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Manual Action

A manual action is a penalty imposed by search engines like Google and Bing on websites that violate their guidelines. These penalties can negatively impact a website’s search rankings and visibility, resulting in decreased organic traffic and potentially affecting the site’s revenue.

Manual Actions in Google

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines outline the best practices that webmasters should follow to ensure their sites are indexed and ranked fairly by the search engine.

When a website is found to be in violation of these guidelines, a Google employee may issue a manual action, which can result in the site’s rankings being negatively affected or even removed from the search results altogether.

Common reasons for manual actions in Google include:

  • Unnatural links – Participating in link schemes, such as buying or selling links, can lead to a manual action.
  • Thin or low-quality content – Websites with thin, low-quality, or duplicate content may be penalized.
  • Keyword stuffing – Overusing keywords in a manipulative manner can result in a manual action.
  • Cloaking – Presenting different content to search engines and users is against Google’s guidelines and may lead to a penalty.
  • Hidden text – Using hidden text or links to manipulate search rankings can result in a manual action.

To check if your site has been subjected to a manual action, you can use Google Search Console. If a manual action has been applied, you’ll receive a notification with details about the issue and how to resolve it.

Manual Actions in Bing

Bing also has its own set of Webmaster Guidelines to ensure fair indexing and ranking of websites. Similar to Google, Bing can issue manual actions for websites that violate these guidelines.

Bing’s manual actions typically target similar issues, such as unnatural links, thin content, and keyword stuffing.

To monitor your site’s status in Bing, you can use Bing Webmaster Tools. If a manual action has been applied to your site, you’ll receive a notification in the “Security” section, along with information on how to resolve the issue.

Recovering from a Manual Action

To recover from a manual action, it’s crucial to identify the issue and take corrective measures. This may involve removing unnatural links, improving content quality, or fixing technical SEO issues.

Once the necessary changes have been made, you can submit a reconsideration request through Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.

If the search engine determines that the issue has been resolved, the manual action may be lifted, and your site’s rankings may begin to recover.