• Google uses "pure spam" manual measures to penalise spammers who use aggressive tactics like cloaking and scraping content from other websites.

Google's release of new search spam policies and updates in March 2024, some websites experienced penalties, resulting in complete or partial removal from Google's search results and a significant decrease in search traffic. These penalties were issued through manual actions, which occur when human reviewers identify pages violating Google's spam policies, often involving attempts to manipulate search rankings.

Check your properties within Google Search Console for manual actions to see if you were impacted.

The day after Google released its new search spam policies, including the March 2024 spam and core updates, Google began penalizing websites that the search company felt violated those spam policies.

The result of these search penalties was that some sites were completely or partially de-listed from Google’s search results, and all or part of their search traffic was wiped out.

These sites also received a notice of these penalties in the manual actions section within Google Search Console.

Manual actions. In short, manual actions by Google occur when human reviewers identify pages on a site that violate Google's spam policies, typically involving attempts to manipulate search rankings. These actions can lead to lower rankings or removal from search results without any visible indication to users.

Examples. Google issues pure spam manual actions when sites are found to employ aggressive spam techniques like generating gibberish content, cloaking, or scraping content from other sites, indicating a blatant disregard for Google's spam policies. These actions are aimed at penalizing such practices and maintaining the integrity of search results.

Here is a screenshot of one of the many we saw posted across the web:

Some are also reporting getting manual actions for “misleading content.” Google says in that violation, “Your site appears to violate our misleading content policy and misleads users into engaging with it by promising details which are not reflected in the content.”

Manual actions vs algorithmic updates- Manual actions by Google involve human reviewers identifying and penalizing sites for spam policy violations, even though some processes may be automated. This distinguishes them from algorithmic updates, which are automated changes to Google's search algorithms that affect how sites are ranked.

Algorithm updates- To sum up, algorithm updates, such as the March 2024 core update or spam update, do not trigger notifications via Google Search Console's manual action viewer. Unlike manual actions, algorithmic updates are automated, and Google doesn't directly notify site owners of their impact, whether positive or negative. It's essential to recognize that a site can be affected by both manual actions and algorithm updates simultaneously.

How long does it take? Google says “Most reconsideration reviews can take several days or weeks, although in some cases, such as link-related reconsideration requests, it may take longer than usual to review your request.”

Google added that you will be informed by email when we receive your request, so you’ll know it is active. You will also receive an email when the review is complete.

We recommend you check your site’s manual action viewer to see if you have any manual actions. If so, you might notice a huge drop in traffic and even notice your site was delisted from Google Search. If you were hit, you need to decide what actions to take to recover and then go through the reconsideration request process.

How your website might be fixed following a manual activity- You have the option to address the infraction and have the manual action removed if you receive one.

To resolve the manual action on your site, follow these steps

1. Expand the manual action description panel on the report to access more information.

2. Identify which pages are affected by the issue.

3. Review the type and brief description of the problem.

4. Click on the "Learn more" link to view detailed information and steps to fix the issue.

5. Ensure that you fix the problem on all affected pages; addressing it on only some pages won't suffice.

6. Verify that Google can access your pages by checking for any login requirements, paywalls, or blocks by robots.txt or a noindex directive.

7. Utilize the URL Inspection tool to test the accessibility of your pages.

When requesting a review after fixing all issues listed in the report, ensure your reconsideration request includes the following:

  • Clearly explain the specific quality issue that was present on your site as identified in the report.
  • Describe in detail the steps you have taken to address and resolve the identified issue. This should include specific actions taken on each affected page.
  • Provide documentation or evidence of the outcome of your efforts to rectify the issue. This could include screenshots, code snippets, or any other relevant information demonstrating the fixes implemented.

It's important to note that reconsideration reviews may take some time. Upon submitting your request, you will receive a review confirmation message indicating that the process is underway. Avoid resubmitting your request before receiving a final decision on your outstanding request. Be patient and await progress updates via email.

By following these steps and addressing all manual actions on your site, you'll effectively resolve the issue and improve your site's compliance with Google's guidelines.

Keep in mind, the core and spam updates are different from manual actions and those will take 2-4 weeks to roll out fully.


For instance, Google issues pure spam manual actions when sites engage in aggressive spam techniques like generating gibberish content, cloaking, or scraping content from other sites, indicating a blatant disregard for Google's guidelines. These actions aim to penalize such practices and uphold the quality and integrity of search results.

To check if your website was impacted, review the manual actions section within Google Search Console. If you find any penalties, it's crucial to address the issues promptly and request reconsideration to restore your site's visibility in search results.

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