The Google Penalty Box: Google’s Time-out Corner for Disobedient Websites!

The Google Penalty Box, or The Sandbox, is the practice of filtering websites by Google’s web ranking algorithms. This penalty is the result of the violations of Google’s Web Master Guidelines.

In response to a user question: “Is there a thing like a permanent Google penalty for sites, or if the necessary fixes were made according to Google guidelines the penalties are lifted in all cases?”, the head of Google’s Web Spam Team, Matt Cutts, replied in a recent YouTube video explaining how the whole process works. According to him, there are two types of Penalties (1) Algorithmic and (2) Manual.


If you improve your site, then the penalty will be removed after recrawling and reindexing the page. For now, a reconsideration request is entertained once it is checked whether the original penalty was a manual penalty or algorithmic penalty. So, algorithmic penalties will complete their tenure before being expired or you may have to just improve your site and wait for the next crawl.


“They try to have essentially a time out.” If it’s hidden text, the penalty will eventually expire after 30 days. Moreover, for cloaking and malicious activities, the penalty will be for a longer period of time but, eventually it will also expire. The affected sites can submit a reconsideration request for manual penalties and if it’s acceptable within the guidelines, then the penalty can be revoked.

Cutts also said that the manual reports are used to further improve the algorithms, so in the future the system is able to catch the violation automatically.

Here is a list of things to avoid in your websites:

  • Avoid poor quality content and make sure your article is not full of keywords.
  • Avoid back links to blacklisted sites, porn sites or any other malicious sites.
  • Over optimization of site.
  • Illegal exchange of links.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Malicious scripting.
  • Hidden links, tiny or invisible text.
  • Avoid auto linking software
  • Try to avoid repeat titles, descriptions.
  • Avoid irrelevant keywords.

In case you’re penalized, this is how to file a request:

If you think your site has been penalized unfairly or if you have fixed the problems that were the cause of your penalty, then try to be very specific about your request. Try to give as much relevant information as you can about how you have corrected the issue. If you’re unsure what’s wrong, then make sure you go thoroughly through the Google Webmaster guidelines “Things to avoid” section.

So, please be careful when optimizing your site for search engines!


About Farhan Niazi

Farhan Niazi is an experienced web developer with a passion for blogging. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is currently working for McCarrison Hayes as their Chief Information Officer. He is the founder of SMB Tech Guide and writes for several blogs and magazines including Two's Company, Stirring Media and TMR Direct. Follow him on Twitter.