What are security issues and manual actions in Google Search Console?

June 7, 2023

Two important parts of the Google Search Console are the Security & Manual Actions section. Here’s a quick rundown on what each means:

1. Security issues:

The security issues section reports problems detected by Google Safe Browsing. Google Safe Browsing is a service provided by Google that provides lists of URLs for web resources that contain malware or phishing content. If Google detects any security issues with your website, they will be listed here. This can include malware, deceptive pages, harmful downloads, and uncommon downloads.

If your site has a security issue, it's crucial to address it immediately to prevent damage to your site's reputation or a drop in rankings. Google provides detailed reports about security issues to help you understand the nature of the problem and how to fix it.

2. Manual Actions:

Manual Actions are human interventions, which means a live reviewer at Google has manually reviewed your website and found that it does not comply with Google's webmaster quality guidelines. If your site is subject to manual action, some or all of that site will not be shown in Google search results.

When Google takes manual action against a site, it's usually because it has identified a significant issue.

Common types of manual action notices

User-generated Spam: This type of manual action refers to spam that's found in the user-generated content on your site, like comments or forum posts.

Structured Data Issue: This means that there are issues with the way you've implemented structured data on your site. You might be violating Google's structured data guidelines.

Unnatural Links to Your Site: This manual action is taken when Google finds suspicious or unnatural links pointing to your site.

Unnatural Links from Your Site: This means that there are suspicious or unnatural outbound links from your site.

Thin Content with Little or No Added Value: This is when the content on your site is considered low quality by Google's standards. This might be due to duplicate content, automatically generated content, or scraped content.

Cloaking or Sneaky Redirects: This happens when different content or URLs are presented to humans and Google crawlers. This is against Google's guidelines.

Pure Spam: This manual action is taken when Google detects aggressive spam techniques like automatic content generation, link schemes, or cloaking.

Cloaked Images: This is a manual action taken when your site is showing different images to users and to Google, which is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Hidden Text or Keyword Stuffing: This refers to tactics used to deceive search engines, such as using white text on a white background or stuffing your pages with keywords that make the content unnatural and hard to read.

Google tries to communicate as clearly as possible about these issues. In the Manual Actions section, you'll see if any part of your site violates the guidelines, why it does, and what you can do to fix it. Once you've addressed the problem, you can submit a reconsideration request, and a human reviewer at Google will check your site again.

Both Security and Manual Actions are important in maintaining your site's presence and rankings in Google's search results. It's a good practice to regularly check your Google Search Console to address any potential issues quickly.

If you’re worried about a manual action or any type of action against your website, then don’t worry; we can help. Visit our Google penalty removal page for more info.