Video: SEO Myth. Will Google Penalties Last Forever?


John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, answers the question of whether Google holds a grudge against a website that had a penalty (Manual Action) and wants to recover.

Some SEO articles advice against purchasing an expired domain name that has received a penalty for some reason, implying that Google punishes a website (and its domain name) forever. Is this true?

The short answer to this question is no, this is just another SEO Myth that you should not believe.


Today's question is from Switzerland,

Michael asks I had a penalty and I fix it. Will Google hold a grudge?

First of all, at Google, we call them manual actions, not penalties since generally applied by a team here and they don't always have a negative effect on a site overall.

In search console, we inform sites about any manual actions their sites may have.

If you receive such a notification, you can take an action on that. Resolve the issue, submit a reconsideration request.

The webspam team processes these and if they can confirm that the issue is fixed, they lift the manual action.

It may take a bit of time for everything to be reprocessed, but Google's algorithms won't hold that issue against the site in the long-term.

However, it's possible that a site temporarily had an unnatural advantage before, by fixing this issue, your site will return to its natural location in the search results.

Additionally, things change on the web and in the search results all the time. The site visibility in the search can change over time even when nothing on the website changes.

So, in that in mind, it can be normal that a site doesn't return to the exactly the same place as before the manual action.

So, in short, no. Google's algorithm does not hold a grudge.

However, visibility can change over time regardless of any manual action.

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