All About Google Penalties
A Google penalty is a negative impact on the rankings of your site. The penalties can be either due to updates to the Google algorithms or manual review. A telltale sign that your site has been penalised is a sudden plummeting of your ranking and traffic.
How to identify a Google penalty
It's impossible to know that your site has been penalised by simply looking at it-you have to use other ways. One of the ways is using Google webmasters tools. The tools are free and come in handy when it comes to the monitoring and optimization of your site. You have to sign into your site and if a penalty imposed on your site you will see a notification.
Another way is by using Google analytics. Just like webmasters tools it's free and helps you to know the health of your site. It also helps you to easily track the changes in your organic traffic. You should sign into your analytics account and identify the date when plenty of your web traffic was lost. You should find out if a Google update was launched on the same day. If it's the case, your site was affected by the update and you have to take measures to get out of it.
You can also identify if your site has been penalised by searching your domain name and see if it will rank first. If it doesn't, you are definitely penalised. In addition to using these methods, there are plenty of third party tools that you can use. Some of the tools are free while others will require you to pay. Find the one that is right for your application.
Taking a look at the different penalties and their effects
Google Panda: It's the most common penalty and it targets sites with low quality content. If your site has been penalised by Panda you will experience a sharp, but gradual decline in web traffic. Your pages will also have problems ranking regardless of the number of links that you add to them.
Google Penguin: This is another common penalty that targets sites with unnatural links. When your site is affected by penguin you will find that your keyword or a group of keywords have greatly dropped in rankings. In most cases the page or pages containing the keywords may be de-indexed.
This is what you need to know about Google penalties. To protect your site from getting penalised you should strictly follow the rules given by the search engine.