Manual Actions Report in Search Console – How to Fix Them

Hi, I’m Ankit, Today, I’ll talk about how to fix the Manual Actions report in Search Console to check if your site has any Google Search manual actions issued against it.

Should you worry about a manual action?

This is important because if a site has a manual action, some or all of that site might not be shown in Google Search results. By the end of this article, you should be able to find out if your website has any pages affected by manual actions, and if so, how to fix them and request Google to review your changes.

How often do manual actions occur?

Google is constantly working to improve Search. That’s why changes to our algorithms undergo extensive quality evaluation before being released. The algorithms are extremely good at detecting spam, and in most cases, they automatically clean it up from search results.

To further improve search results quality, Google also scans sites for cases where its policy and guidelines are not kept. In these cases, a human might review a website and apply a Manual Actions Report in Search Console.

Following the application of a manual action, relevant pages or entire websites may be ranked lower or completely omitted from search results. There are quite a few manual action types that you might see in Search Console. So, I won’t go over all of them, but here are some of the most common ones. For a comprehensive list, visit the Help Center article link from the description.

List of Manual Actions in Webmaster

Pure spam stands for what webmasters usually call Black Hat SEO. It includes complex techniques, such as hosting auto-generated gibberish pages, cloaking, scraping, and other shady practices.

Thin content with little or no added value is issued to websites that appear to contain a significant percentage of low-quality or shallow pages that do not provide users with much-added value.

Structured data issues are applied to websites where some of the markups are using techniques that are outside our structured data guidelines. For example, marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, or other manipulative behavior.

How To Find or alert of Manual Action

If your site is affected by a manual action, you’ll receive an email notification from Search Console to alert you. Click the link provided in the message to visit the Manual Actions report in Search Console. Even if you miss an email, you can always log in to Search Console to check if you have any issues.

On the Overview page, you’ll already be notified if you have manual actions on your site. Click the alert to find the list of all manual actions issued against your site and more information about them.

You can also navigate to the Messages panel to see all manual action messages that have been sent to your website in the past. This might give you context on your website history,

How to Fix Manual Actions Report in Search Console

especially if you’re new to a company or took over an existing website. Here’s how to fix a manual action on your site. Expand the manual action description panel on the report to learn more about the issue and, in some cases, to review a sample of pages affected.

Follow the Learn More link to see detailed information and steps to fix the issue. Fix the issue on all affected pages. Fixing it on just some pages will not solve the problem. So, make sure you leave no pages behind.

When you believe all issues listed in the report have been fixed or not applicable, click Request Review. A good request does three things: It explains the exact quality issue on your site, it describes the steps you’ve taken to fix the issue, and it documents the outcome of your efforts.

You’ll get a review confirmation message when you send your request and another one when Google reviews it and accepts or rejects your request. No need to resubmit your request before you get the final decision on your outstanding request.

If you recently bought a site that violated our guidelines before you owned it, fix the issues listed in this report, then let us know in your review request that you recently acquired the site and that it now adheres to the guidelines. Don’t just remove the old bad content. Be sure to add your new good content before requesting a review.

Now that I discussed both Security Issues and Manual Actions reports in this series, I thought I would clarify the difference between them because there is some conceptual overlap.

What happens when I receive a Manual Action?

The Manual Actions report lists manually detected issues that are mostly attempting to manipulate the Google Search index but are not necessarily dangerous for users.

As a result, most manual actions reported here will result in a group of pages or the entire site to rank lower or drop from search results without any visual indication to the user on Search.

The Security Issues report shows instances where your site was hacked or behavior in your site that could potentially harm a visitor. For example, phishing attacks or installing malware on the user’s computer.

These pages can appear with a warning label in search results or a browser can display an interstitial warning page when a user tries to visit them.  I hope that helps to clarify the subject.

Conclusion

That’s all for today. I hope you have a better understanding of What are Manual Actions Report in Search Console, how to fix them with the help of Search Console, and how to request Google to review pages you have fixed. If you are interested in learning more, do check out my website Technical Ankit. Stay tuned.

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