Are your traffic volumes falling rapidly, has your site dropped in Google and Yandex, have some pages completely disappeared from the index? This is a webmaster’s nightmare.
In practice, this can happen even to the most experienced SEO specialist. Search engines are constantly being updated, introducing new algorithms and improving existing ones. Sometimes working on website promotion has the opposite effect if you overdo it a little, miss another update or openly try to deceive the algorithms. In this case, it’s important to know how to check if your site’s blocked in Google and Yandex, and what to do about it.
Getting the site through the filter might sound a bit scary, but in a lot of cases you can quite do it without the help of a specialist. Just keep reading until the end 😉
- What is a filter and how to get one?
- Yandex filters – what they are used for?
- Checking for Yandex filters — algorithm of actions
- Google ban— how to get banned in Google and for what?
- Check the Google search engine filters on your site
- Check the site in Google search/Yandex search
- Getting a site through the Google or Yandex filter – algorithm of actions
- Useful online services to check your website
What is a filter and how to get one?
First, let’s see what a filter is, and what it means when you see the message “sanctions have been imposed on the site”. Search engine algorithms are commonly known as filters. There are many of them, and they differ in every search engine. Yandex filters and Google filters are different. Actually, if you compare the two search giants in terms of sanctions, Yandex imposes punishment publicly and for a long time, whereas you can often “negotiate” with Google. In Google, you have to make a lot of mistakes to be banned. Most often the punishments are “silent” and not so harsh. However, you can get sanctioned by both Yandex and Google for:
- supersaturation of content with key queries;
- copy-paste (content duplicated from other resources);
- hidden text with a huge number of keys;
- chaotic, illiterate link building, in particular a “link explosion”;
- behavioural factor imitation;
- aggressive advertising formats;
- presence of malware and infected files;
- grey and black promotion methods (cloaking, doorways, clickjacking, phishing, etc.);
- selling links.
These are just the main violations: in fact, this list is much longer. Every search engine system has its own requirements and algorithms.
If your site has dropped out of Google rankings, before you check the domain for a ban, first of all make sure that individual pages or the entire site haven’t been removed from search engine indexing. You can check to see if the site’s been banned in the robots.txt file, which is located in the root folder of the site.
Google’s algorithms have such romantic names as “Penguin”, “Cassandra”, “Hummingbird”, “Panda”, “Caffeine”, “Opossum”, “Orion”, “Fred”, “Pirate”. Yandex often assigns them the names of cities – “Kaliningrad”, “Magadan”, “Snezhinsk”, “Dublin”, “Korolev”, “Vladivostok”, “Konakovo”, “Arzamas”, “Krasnodar”, “Baden-Baden”, etc.
Yandex filters – what they are used for?
Yandex bans sites for such things as: hidden text, creating doorways, and cloaking.It pessimizes sites for non-unique content (i.e. stolen), and excludes pages from the index which don’t offer any useful information. Anyone who creates pages only for the purpose of placing SEO links, uses invisible elements on top of active buttons and oversaturate the site with advertising can expect the site to be lowered in the search engine ranking.
Sites with excessive contentof key queries (over-optimization) can also expect to be removed from search engine ranking or lowered.
You can learn more about violations and sanctions here.
Checking for Yandex filters — algorithm of actions
To check the site, you need to open the “Diagnostics” tab in the Yandex-dashboard for webmasters. If the Yandex filters have been applied manually, you will be notified accordingly. The “Security and Violations” section will contain information about the reasons for the sanctions and when you can report that the causes have been eliminated.
If you don’t receive such a notification, but you still suspect that the search engine has imposed sanctions, then go to the “Site Diagnostics” section. You may find a fatal error notification “Violations or security problems have been detected” on the site.
If you don’t find any such notifications related to manual or automatic sanctions, you can contact Yandex technical support.
There is another way — exclusive to Yandex: you can check the site for sanctions using a free X parser (Site Quality Index). All you have to do is enter the URL of the site’s main page – if the SQI is zero, then the site is being filtered. You can also find the site’s SQI in Yandex. Webmaster, if you have access to it.
Google ban— how to get banned in Google and for what?
Your positions can be lowered and you can be removed from the index for the same violations as in Yandex.
Check the Google search engine filters on your site
Google doesn’t notify site owners about automatic sanctions to their site, if the algorithms have “survived” the update.
Use the Google Search Console to check the functionality of the site. Google search engine filters will be displayed in the “Manual actions” section. It will contain a notification about the sanctions, reasons and further actions. When all the causes have been eliminated, you can request a site review from Google (“Request Review”). If everything is fine, the sanctions will soon be lifted.
You can use Google search engine to quickly check if the domain has been banned. Enter site: https://site.com in the search bar and if there are no results, then you’ve most likely been banned from Google. You can try finding sanctions in various online services, but not all of them provide accurate information.
Check the site in Google search/Yandex search
You can use the search query to check for Yandex and Google filters in two ways:
- select two or three keys and monitor statistics on them. If traffic has fallen sharply, you can suspect search engine sanctions;
- in the search bar enter the name of the site and domain without a dot (this way the browser won’t go to the site, but will pass the request to the search engine) and then view the position. The site should appear in first place. If this isn’t the case, the search engine is dissatisfied with something.
In addition, you can use a special online service to check for a bank, but we will talk about them a little later.
Getting a site through the Google or Yandex filter – algorithm of actions
Since the cause of pessimisation or a ban in Google and Yandex always is due to non-conformity with the requirements of search engines, there is only one way to remove the sanctions. Stop violating the rules, troubleshoot technical problems and contact support with a request to remove the filter.
For example, we’ll show you how to get a site through a specific filter:
- AGS is a Yandex filter that blocks sites with useless and meaningless content (doorways, for example, or so-called “garbage” sites with a lot of links). In order remove the filter, you need to completely revise the strategy and redesign the site. However, if it’s already come to the attention of Yandex, then it might be better to create a new doorway.
- Over-spam — the name speaks for itself. The sanctions aren’t very harsh, but search engines recognize such “sins” immediately and hit them hard. To remove from the filter you obviously need to get rid of the overabundance of keys and evenly distribute them on the landing page. Part of the text can be replaced with media content.
- Over-optimization is similar to the previous filter. You need to clean the text content from an overabundance of keys and then you’ll be happy.
- Cloaking filter — it’s impossible to “mess up” things like that accidentally. In response to “black” SEO, the search engines exclude them the index and are unlikely to return them.
- “New filter” is another algorithm that mercilessly reduces the positions of pages in “bundles” for oversaturation with keys.
- 18+ sanctions for can only be removed by removing erotic, obscene and other “adult” materials. If this site segment and specifics were originally planned, Yandex won’t punish with pessimism.
- Filter for copy-paste snippets. In this case, Yandex will give preference to the page with the most relevant meta data. Make the content of the title and description tags unique and everything will be fine.
- Minusinsk — this algorithm is applicable to sites that massively purchase links for the sake of external promotion. In order to “cure” a site, you have remove SEO links, get rid of links from irrelevant and low-quality sites, and ask for support to unblock the site.
- The filter for behavioural factor imitation is imposed for simulating a lot of activity on the page. Yandex imposes harsh sanctions for motivated traffic, right up to exclusion from the index. In order to fix the situation, cease doing such actions and try contacting the search engine technical support – who knows someone might be listening.
- 10.The search engine considers PBN networks an unfair way of competing with rivals for positions. If sites are suspected of affiliation and they’ve been punished for such, you need to make them less similar (change contacts, structure, content) and delete information that indicates their connection. You can check for sanctions by entering the query in the search box: lang:ru ~~ domain: ua << (url:adres-glavnogo-saita.com | url:adres-vtorostepennogo-saita).
Useful online services to check your website
If you don’t have access to the webmaster panel, we’ll be happy to show you another way to check the site for Google and Yandex search engine filters.
You can use automatic online services, to detect the presence of individual filters. Most of them will show whether a filter has been applied and which one. Some might tell you about problems with the site even before getting banned from Google. They will indicate why the site will disappear from the search results.
PR-CY: One of the services for checking the position and quality of the site
- Xtool – this online service is most often used to check the domain for a ban in Google. Enter the address of your site and you’ll get information about filters and problems that could potentially lead to search engines sanctions.
- PR-CY – allows you to check the site for the Yandex AGS filter.
- Panguin Tool – here you can check the site for a ban in Google because of the Panda and Penguin algorithms. You will need access to Google Analytics to use the service. By checking the dates when Google’s algorithms are updated, you can track the link between traffic drop-off and updates.
- Website Penalty Indicator – shows the same information as the previous service, but you don’t need access to Google Analytics.
- Google Penalty Checker – it uses multi-coloured circles to clearly demonstrate how algorithms affect site operation.
The mission of search engines is to improve user experience, and make the SERP as useful as possible for the user. Search engines can not only encourage online resources by moving them up organically in the search results, but also punish them with pessimismation and banning. As a result, good and “honest” sites are slowly but surely moving up organically in the search results. Search engines mercilessly pessimize or ban those who violate the rules. When optimizing an online resource, no one is immune from such punishment.
Now you know how to check for domain bans in Google/Yandex and what to do with the sanctions.