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A penalty constitutes a degradation of web documents in search engine positioning or even the exclusion of a web page from the Google index. You can check if a penalty has affected a domain is affected by typing the domain name in the Google search box. If there are no visible results or the results appear in very low positions, it may be an indication of a penalty.


The Google search engine evaluates web documents with an algorithm that evaluates pages based on their relevance and quality. At the same time, as part of the evaluation, a document is checked to see if it violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines. If there is a clear violation (such as keyword stuffing) the web page can be penalized by the search engine.

Types of sanctions

There are different types of sanctions imposed on the websites. There are generally three types of sanctions:

  • 30 penalty (minus 30):

The 30 minus penalty is the downgrade of a domain in Google's rankings1 to position 31 or lower. The results are placed on page 3 onwards in the search results. This type of penalty normally applies to the entire domain.

  • 950 penalty (minus 950):

A penalty of minus 950 means that the domain is no longer in the top 100 search results, despite everything, it is not absolutely prohibited in the ranking. This type of penalty is usually related to individual URLs or keywords.

  • Index exclusion or de-indexing:

Index exclusion exists when the page is no longer enabled in the Google index. This can be verified through a search on the site :.

The difficulty in establishing whether it consists of a penalty (especially in the case of a penalty minus 30) is to distinguish if the website is no longer well positioned due to lack of popularity or if there is a violation of the guidelines.

How to avoid penalties

If you adhere to Google's guidelines, you can usually avoid penalties. If relevant content is enabled for your website users and you do not engage in unauthorized SEO techniques such as doorway pages, camouflage or hidden text, it is unlikely that you will be penalized. You should pay special attention to external links, since unnatural link structures can be penalized by Google.

Request for reinstatement

In the event that your domain has been subject to a penalty, Google offers the affected webmaster the possibility of communicate it actively. As part of a reconsideration request in Google Search Console, you can submit a reinstatement request. You can inform the search engine that violations of the guidelines have been corrected and request that the domain be re-indexed.

It is recommended that you first determine if there is simply a sanction or if the classification changes are transitory.