How Google Deals With Bad Practices? What An SEO Should Know?

Google Penalty

Google’s John Mueller recently posted a video on Google Search Central youtube channel discussing about how Google handles the mistakes you have made on your site.

Generally webmasters get a quick panic attack whenever they see a Manual action in GSC. But hey isn’t it a good thing that you at least get to stay aware that there is some mistake? Unlike the Google algorithmic updates where you completely get lost in the woods identifying what could have gone wrong with my site.

SEO mistakes can be widely divided into two parts:

1) White Hat Mistakes – The obvious ones that you make unknowingly after reading a guide/article that mislead you.

2) Black Hat Mistakes – The ones that you make knowingly. That completely goes against the SEO guidelines.

If our systems can automatically recognize and isolate the bad practice, we try to just ignore it. We'll focus on the good parts of your website and most websites have many good parts....... A simple mistake won't ruin your website's standing in Google Search.

John Mueller

Google Search Advocate

It’s clear from John’s statement, Google is not just looking for bad practices in any site. So work on making your website as good as possible and incase you have any bad practice, it’s not going to affect much and obviously it is not something that cannot be fixed in future.

Second part of the discussion is the Manual Action and it is rather a step taken from Google itself to let the webmaster know of any possible mistake/bad practice. This gives us a chance to learn and rectify it and ask Google to reconsider.


If we do need to take a manual action, we'll let you know about it in Google Search Console. This gives you a chance to fix the issue and then to file a reconsideration request.

John Mueller

Google Search Advocate

To conclude, mistakes are a part of a website, even if you have made one, it’s not the end of the game. Google gives you enough chance to improve and grow.

Here’s the complete video:

Thumbnail from Google Search Central official Youtube channel.


I started my SEO career in 2013 and I am fortunate to have a lot of practical exposure to ideas and tactics that got me actual results in the real world. Specifically with organic search both from a technical and content point of view.