Unless your website is a personal journal you don’t want anyone to find, how it ranks in search results matters. Because organic and local search results are the two primary ways potential customers find your business.

You should not fret if you get a manual actions report. Even the best site can need a little TLC from time to time. The key is to address issues when they pop up and be very clear when you communicate with Google. They are only acting to serve the best results to their users, just like you.

The Manual Actions Report Lists Your Google’s Webmaster Quality Guideline Violations

Google’s webmaster quality guidelines provide a roadmap for design and copy best practices. They are developed by Google to create a high-quality user experience. The guidelines cover nearly everything, including content, layout, web schema, site speed, outbound links, and inbound links.

In many instances, Google’s algorithms will automatically detect and demote sites that violate the quality guidelines. However, the algorithms are only so good. To improve quality standards, Google also uses human reviewers to flag instances where a site isn’t compliant.

A Manual Actions report is an instance where a human reviewer has determined a page (or pages) on your site are not compliant.

This can cause your site to be demoted or entirely removed from Google search results. The good news is, if a Manual Actions report causes your site’s rank to drop, Google will send you a notice outlining the specific issues.

Helping Clients Recover From a Manual Actions Report

One of our clients received a Manual Actions report from Google. Because RWL Design’s creative team already had protocols in place to check and update the site, we were able to quickly resolve the issue by taking the following two steps:

1. We Reviewed the Manual Actions Report

The webmaster quality guidelines are updated regularly. Keeping any site compliant requires regular updates. By carefully reviewing the report, we were able to note errors on the report, compliance issues our team had already addressed, and correct errors that remained.

2. We Sent a Detailed Response to Google

Using the Manual Actions report as a guide, we sent a detailed response to Google. In this response, we noted the errors we’d identified, the compliance issues we’d already addresses and when we’d addressed them, and directed attention to the errors which we’d corrected in response to their report.

Additionally, we gave a detailed explanation of the protocol we use for checking and making updates. In many cases, the issues Google reported were previous errors that had been correctly months past.

Restoring Rank

With our creative team’s quick and thorough action, our client was able to fully recover their lost rank. This mitigated the potential loss in revenue from poor search performance and ultimately improved site performance.

Checking Compliance is Essential to Your Site’s Success

Because the guidelines are constantly changing, simply using best practices when the site is built isn’t enough to guarantee performance. This is especially true if you are using web schema.

(Web schema is code (semantic vocabulary) that is embedded in your site to help search engines deliver better results. This might include displaying relevant events, menu items, opening and closing times, location, phone number, current specials, pictures related to your business, and reviews.)

We recommend running a monthly schema validation test. Google has a structure data-testing tool that’s excellent. You simply paste in your URL, click ‘Run Test,’ and Google tells you any errors it’s flagged.

Getting Help With Errors

Errors could include missing information and incorrectly listed information. These errors can occur even if the information appears on your site to visitors. This is because if the info isn’t correctly listed within your web schema, search engines most likely won’t be able to read it.

If you need help understanding and correcting errors, our team would be happy to take a look.

Let us know if you think your site needs help!

Additional Reading

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