What Is a Manual Spam Action?

Spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited messages, mainly advertising. Google keeps a close eye on spammy search results, combating them in one of two ways- through penalties that are manually applied and algorithmic updates which Google uses to remove sites that are not quality sites.

Google has a team, called the Google webspam team, who reviews sites manually. When the team finds sites that violate Google quality guidelines, penalties are levied against the site. When this occurs, the action is referred to as manual spam action. Depending on the servility of the violations, part of the site may be affected or Google may remove the site. The result is decreased organic search traffic. There are several categories, which are reviewed, including unnatural links, keyword stuffing and low-value content

Resolving Manual Actions

In the past, site owners have had difficulties knowing whether poor search engine performance was a result of a manual penalty. Today, manual spam actions, can be resolved as Google offers a manual actions tool.

The manual actions tool lets a site owner know when their site has been manually penalized and provides details as to why the site was penalized and which pages were affected.

Only about 2 percent of site owners who use the Google manual actions tool find they have a manual penalty. If the action is a partial action (affecting a portion of the site), the tool will list the first 1000 pages affected by the action, giving site owners a bit of assistance in understanding the issue. For each action, the site owner is penalized for Google provides a link to a help section which offers the webmaster information on the action.

Google has also created a series of YouTube videos that provide information on various spam categories and how to go about resolving the issues.

Once a webmaster has reviewed and resolved their manual actions issues, they can contact Google for reinclusion. You will be required to Request a Review of each issue corrected. Webmasters will find a large red “Request a Review” button on the site. Once you submit your request, Google’s webspam team will begin their review process to determine if your actions merit reversing their manual actions.

Do not take a spam action lightly. Carefully analyze your site and take necessary steps that need to be performed to ensure the issue is resolved before you submit your request to have the manual action resolved. Google’s Webmaster Central Blog is also a source to gather information on reinclusion after incurring a link spam penalty.