Manual Action

What Is A Manual Action Penalty?

A Manual Action (also known as Google penalty) is a manual penalty imposed by Google on a website that has been reviewed by a human reviewer.

The human reviewer will deem the website as non-compliant with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines and impose the manual action.

manual action report google search console

Manual actions from Google can affect the entire site or individual pages.

When Google issues a Manual Action penalty, the affected site or specific pages may get demoted or completely removed from Google Search results until the issue is resolved.

Manual actions and penalties are different from algorithmic penalties.

Algorithmic penalties are issued as a result of the Google algorithm automatically detecting an issue with a website.

Manual actions and penalties are always given by a human team member.

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Why Would A Website Receive A Manual Action?

A website would receive a manual action because Google has detected that the website is purposely doing something against their terms and conditions to manipulate the Google search rankings.

Here is a complete list of manual actions that can be applied by Google against a website:

  • Site abused with third-party spam
  • User-generated spam
  • Spammy free host
  • Structured data issue
  • Unnatural links to your site
  • Unnatural links from your site
  • Thin content with little or no added value
  • Cloaking and/or sneaky redirects
  • Pure spam
  • Cloaked images
  • Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing
  • AMP content mismatch
  • Sneaky mobile redirects
  • News and Discover policy violations


Google takes manual actions very seriously.

They have a complete process used by the Google quality rater team before they issue the manual penalty.

The good news is that Google penalty recovery is possible. But it is hard work and often takes months to reverse the manual action.

How To See If You Have A Manual Action

To see if you have a manual action, log in to Google Search Console and click on the “Manual Actions report”.

If you have a manual action, Google will notify you with a message.

It will look something like this:

manual action report google search console

The message will tell you what type of manual action you have, how many issues are detected and what pages are affected.

How To Remove A Manual Action

To remove a Manual Action, fix the issues detailed in the Google Search Console Manual Actions report.

Google often gives you guidelines on what you must do to lift the manual action. But sometimes the guidelines can be vague.

That’s when you’ll need to contact a Google penalty recovery service to assist you.

Once you have fixed the issue, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google explaining the changes made.

Google will then review and confirm the fixes before lifting the penalty.

Important Note: This process can take months, depending on the type of manual action and how many issues were detected.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A Manual Action Penalty on Google is when a human reviewer at Google penalizes a website for not following Google’s Quality Guidelines. This penalty can cause the site or specific pages to rank lower or even be removed entirely from search results.
A Manual Action Report in Google Search Console informs website owners of any penalties applied to their site by a human reviewer. It details the specific issues and affected pages that need to be addressed.
You should first check the Manual Actions report in Google Search Console for any notifications. This will let you know if your website is being penalized. Any sudden and significant drops in search traffic can also be signs of a Google penalty.
Manual action can take anywhere from a few weeks to 1 year. It depends on why you received the manual action, which pages are affected and what needs to be fixed.

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