Manual Action

Joran Hofman
March 6, 2021

What Is A Manual Action?

A manual action is a way for Google to penalize a website when it detects that it does not meet the quality guidelines for webmasters established by it; this action is performed manually by a real person and can affect individual pages or the entire website.

Further Reading:  Manual Action Report 

How Do I Know If My Website Has An Action Manual?

There is a Manual Action Report that website owners can view in the Google Search Console tool.

In it, you can see if a website has a sanction against it, the causes, and how to correct it. This query is often done when you first SEO a company or buy a new website; it is very useful because it will indicate whether the whole site or part of it can be shown or not in Google search results.

It should be noted that whenever a manual action occurs, a notification email is received from Search Console.

What Can Cause A Manual Action?

There are several actions that can become a sanction of manual action, among the most known are:

  • Pure Spam: this type of infraction is known as "black hat" SEO; it is used to create automatically generated content, redirects, hidden text, and other practices not allowed.
  • Thin content with no added value: this infringement happens when there are a lot of pages of poor quality or no value for users on a website.
  • Structured data problems: A website commits this type of violation when it uses structured data that does not comply with Google's standards.

How To Fix A Manual Action?

For webmasters, it is necessary to understand why a website has manual actions and how to fix them.

The following explains what to do to correct them:

Enter the Manual Action Report generated by the Search Console; expand the section of problems detected to read the information. Then click on the link "get more information" and follow the steps indicated there to solve the problem, making sure that all the Google webmaster guidelines are met.

If several pages present manual actions, they should all be fixed; if you do it only in some of them, you will not get results.

Once you have solved all the problems in the report, you can ask Google to review the website; for this, you must write a message explaining what is the exact problem and site, describing in detail all the steps taken to solve the problem and attach samples of the final result of the actions.   

Upon completion, you will receive a confirmation message reviewing the submitted application and then another message indicating whether Google accepts or rejects the application. It is advisable that the website does not undergo major changes during the application review process.

It should be noted that manual actions do not occur often. Still, when they do, it is because the Google Webmaster Guidelines confirm the violation or violations. Still, most importantly, they can be reversed by following the steps above.

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