Search Engine Sanctions: Why They Are Used and How to Lift Them


Sanctions that search engines apply to websites are a set of measures by which a website is “punished” for certain actions that are regarded as a deliberate influence on ranking results, through the use of various “tricks violating the rules of Google”. For example, they can be applied if webmasters publish prohibited content, use “black” methods of website promotion, or buy links. Quite frequently administrators and resource owners fail to immediately realize that a website has been sanctioned by a search engine. But the consequences are noticeable: positions in the search results dropping, and traffic decreases.

LuxSite specialists know what to do in such a case, as well as in a situation when an administrator receives a letter through the Google Webmaster Tools service that the website has violated the promotion rules. Why is it important to respond to website sanctions? Getting under the sanction filters of the search engine is the reason why the resource cannot be effectively promoted in the search engine. The most serious level of restrictive measures is delisting, as a result of which the resource disappears from the search engine results.

Checking the website for sanctions is the first step to be taken if action could be taken against the resource automatically (without written notification from the GWT). The most common reasons for which restrictive measures can be applied to a resource are:

  • Poor quality content. It is important to check the uniqueness of the texts on the pages, the absence of hidden texts or spam in them. For example, sanctions may be imposed due to complaints from a copyright holder who discovers their content on your website.
  • Poor quality links. Artificial links are a tool to quickly increase traffic. Naturally, the search engine does not approve of such methods, and this factor may cause sanctions. The website should not contain hidden links, for example, disguised as images, or hidden using visual solutions.
  • Problems with the functionality of the resource or misleading users (webmasters lead users to other pages, not the expected ones). Action can be taken if the goals of the pages do not match the results of their transition.
  • The so-called dishonest promotion. Google filters may consider inappropriate attempts to promote as a violation or respond to a violation of the promotion rules adopted by the search engine. Usually, this includes websites that are promoted by the owners themselves or novice specialists.

Sanctions against a website can be applied manually or automatically. In the first case, the administrator, as we have already mentioned, will receive an email from Google Webmaster Tools. This means that a technical specialist took manual action against your resource. In this case, it is easier to solve the problem – get a claim, fix the problem, get rid of the restrictions. Everything is much more complicated if sanctions are imposed automatically. In this case, there will be no notification. But a significant drop in the position of the resource in ranking will become noticeable, traffic will fall. Since the reason for the sanctions is not known, their elimination will require more effort and time. In this case, you can not do without an experienced specialist.

Search Engine Sanctions

How to lift search engine sanctions 

  1. Link mass analysis. It is necessary to identify links to which the search engine may have claims. Often competitors put bad links on you, it is the so-called unfair competition. Or webmasters want to save money buying low-quality links.
  2. Content verification – analysis of uniqueness, absence of hidden materials, overspam.
  3. Studying the structure of the website. Special attention is paid to the presence of duplicate pages or server errors.
  4. Technical audit. There are technical problems which cause the search engine to lower the website in the result list.
  5. The aim is to determine the main reason why the website fell under sanction restrictions.
  6. Lifting sanctions. To do this, it is necessary to eliminate all the problems identified in the analysis process. Then an application is submitted to the technical support of the search engine to review the positions of the website. Usually, search engine sanctions are lifted automatically after the next update.
  7. Return of website positions and its further promotion. Recommendations on how not to be subject to sanctions again.

Checking the website for search engine filters is a measure that will help you find the causes of a drop in search results, a decrease in traffic and sales. The cost of services depends on the complexity of the project (the size and technical execution of the website), as well as the measures that need to be taken to return the resource to its former positions and improve them in the future.