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Manual filter in Google –
What is a manual filter? How can I verify it? What does it do? The imposition of a manual filter on the website takes place through the intervention of a Google employee who performs his duties in the Search Quality Team (SQT) department. As the name suggests, this is a manual action and not the result of a software analysis. This is the basic difference between an algorithmic filter – this one is applied automatically, not by a Google employee. It has a great influence on the position of a given website in the search results.
How to check if a domain has a manual filter applied to it?
If you run your own website, you probably have a hair on your head when you say manual filter . This is no wonder, because every person managing the site wants to be high in the search results, not disappear from them. However, at the very beginning it should be noted that the manual filter , compared to the algorithmic filter, is rare and is imposed in extreme cases of violating the rules and guidelines for webmasters from Google.
Since you already know the theory and know what a manual filter is , it is worth suggesting how to verify whether the website has received it. This is especially important if you are trying to position your site yourself so that it is as visible as possible on Google. Inadequate SEO activities can lead to the imposition of penalties, which by the way are very severe and can cause a lot of trouble.
How can I check if a domain has a manual filter applied to it ? Just use a tool you probably know – it’s Google Search Console. After logging in to your account, just go to the Manual Actions tab . It is available on the left side. If you see a message saying “No problems found” , the site is free of any manual filters – you can rest easy! However, if there is other information, please read it. You will likely find out that your site has a manual filter applied. In addition, you will learn its cause and you will be informed whether the penalty applies to the entire page or only specific subpages. Remember that the problem should be dealt with as soon as possible. You will learn more about the effects of the filter later in the article, but remember that the most unpleasant effect of such an action is, above all, lowering your position in search results or removing (ban) from the Google index.
What can a manual filter be placed on for?
It doesn’t matter if you have a manual filter on you or not. If you are involved in running a website, you need to know what the most important rules are to follow. Then the site will be friendly and compliant with the guidelines for webmasters, so as a result, no filter will be imposed on it – neither manual nor algorithmic. As we mentioned before, manual actions are rare compared to automatic filtering. Currently, Google has many algorithms – the two most important are Penguin and Panda – they are responsible for assigning automatic penalties to websites.
External links – outgoing and incoming
You can receive a penalty from Google, both manual and algorithmic, for unnatural link acquisition, for example. Links on other pages that lead to your site are “understood” as recommendations by Google’s algorithm and have a positive effect on SEO. For this reason, link building is very often used during positioning, i.e. a process focused on acquiring links from various valuable places on the Internet. Unfortunately, if these activities are carried out unnaturally (e.g. by retrieving a large number of links in a short time), the whole thing will end with a manual or algorithmic filter . A similar situation is with spamming with outbound links. If you suddenly see a lot of spammy URLs on each subpage, you may face a penalty from Google.
The term “keyword stuffing” is used when a large number of keywords are “stuffed” into short texts. It is spam with specific phrases that the website should rank for. Very often, this kind of mistake is made by people who are just learning about SEO principles and guidelines from Google. A large number of keywords on a subpage will not suddenly make it high in the search results – on the contrary, it can quickly disappear from them! Therefore, you should avoid repeating key phrases everywhere on the website. This rule also applies to meta data (title and description).
Content based on spam and copying
Although most spam and copied texts are quickly caught by algorithms, it sometimes happens that a filter for such actions will be imposed manually . You may receive a penalty for multiple offenses. These include duplicating and synonymizing other people’s content, as well as copying your own texts within one website (the same content on many subpages). The filter is also awarded for completely worthless content, the main purpose of which is to contain keywords.
Virus website and hacker attacks
If your website is not properly protected against viruses and hacking attacks, you may be exposed to the manual filter from Google. Why? First of all, it is about user data, for example within social networks or on forums. If you want to appear in high positions in search results, take care of the safety of Internet users. It is also not a good idea to share virus-infected files on subpages.
SEO consequences of imposing a filter
What is a manual filter for SEO and what are its effects? As you can guess, the effects of Google’s penalty are not very pleasant. It is primarily a lower position in search results and reduced traffic on the site. For example, let’s assume that you run an online store where you sell clothing – so far, for the phrase “black dress”, your page was displayed as number one on Google. After applying the manual filter, you can drop even several dozen items or completely disappear from the index (in case of serious violation of Google’s guidelines). Suddenly you will lose a lot of customers and acquiring new ones will become much more difficult. Also remember that the applied filter may result in loss of image, even after its removal.
How do I remove the manual filter?
You already know what a manual filter is . How do I get rid of it? Of course it is possible, but it is a time-consuming process. The whole process may take from several days, even up to several weeks, depending on the complexity of your case. Sometimes a manual filter is granted for more than one reason, which further increases the time it takes to make corrections on the website.
In theory, removing the manual filter is very simple. Just do what the Google team asks you to do in the Manual Actions tab when you open Google Search Console. In practice, this can be a difficult task, especially if you do not have SEO expertise. To remove a manual filter , the cause of its application must be dealt with. Then all you have to do is inform Google employees about the implemented fixes. The website will then be verified again. If you have no idea how to tackle the topic of removing the manual filter from Google, get help from a professional SEO agency. Then your website will quickly return to its position in the search results!
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