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Google Adds 12 New Types of Manual Action Penalties

Google has 12 new types of manual action penalties which involve violations of Google News and Google Discover policies.

This marks the first time a website could potentially receive a manual penalty for violations of News and Discover policies. Previously, manual actions were limited to violations of Google Search.

That’s not to say Google hasn’t been enforcing its policies around News and Discover. It has – but up to this point enforcement has been automated.

A manual penalty, unlike an automated penalty, is issued by a human reviewer at Google. The penalty is applied after the reviewer determines the site is not in compliance with Google’s guidelines.

Traditionally, a manual penalty results in pages or sites being ranked lower in Google Search. It’s unclear what the repercussions will be when hit with a manual penalty for violating Google News and Google Discover policies.

Google’s help page doesn’t state whether the pages will be demoted/removed only from Discover and News, or if the penalty will extend to Google Search as well.

Regardless, it’s in every site owner’s best interests to avoid these penalties. Manual actions are the most serious of all Google penalties and take serious effort to recover from.

With that said, let’s look at the 12 new manual action penalties specific to Google News and Discover.

Google News & Google Discover Manual Actions

Some of Google’s new manual penalties are specific to News, some are specific to Discover, and some involve News and Discover.

Google News Penalties

The one manual penalty specific to Google News is for violation of the transparency policy.

A site may be found in violation of this policy if it appears in Google News and does not provide clear dates and bylines, as well as information about authors, the publication, the publisher, company or network behind it, and contact information.

Google Discover Penalties

There are two manual penalties specific to Google Discover. They include:

Google News and Google Discover Penalties

There are nine manual penalties for violations of policies shared between Google News and Google Discover. They include:

Recovering From a Manual Action Penalty

Recovering from a manual action is possible, but it takes work. When Google issues manual penalties it sends a message to the site owner via Search Console.

The Search Console message will contain detailed information on how to recover from the penalty. Recovery will usually consist of removing the offending content and submitting a reconsideration request.

For more information, consult these best practices for writing reconsideration requests that work.

Source: Search Console Help

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