In a recent Google SEO office hour, Google responded to the query of how long it takes to recover from an algorithmic penalty that appeared from content quality issues. Google’s new office-hours structure does not allow for follow-up questions, resulting in answers that lack clarity and are less helpful than the previous format, which allowed for clarifying queries.
For example, we don’t know whether the “algorithmic penalty” mentioned in the query indicates that the site was fully removed from the search results or simply dropped a few ranks. There is a contrast between the two conditions.
Here is the query that was asked:
“…if a website gets algorithmically penalized for thin content, how much of the website’s content do you have to update before the penalty is lifted?”
In this question, much information is missing.
- Did Google notify the publication that their content had been “algorithmically” penalized?
- Is the individual asking the question thinking they will be punished and does not know?
Below is the answer:
“Well, it’s generally a good idea to clean up low-quality content or spammy content that you may have created in the past. For algorithmic actions, it can take us several months to reevaluate your site again to determine that it’s no longer spammy.”
Google Takes Months To Evaluate Site Quality
It is critical to improving as much of the low-quality content as possible. However, once it is completed, it may take many months to return to the top of the search results.
“I think it’s a lot trickier when it comes to things around quality in general where assessing the overall quality and relevance of a website is not very easy. It takes a lot of time for us to understand how a website fits in with regards to the rest of the Internet.
…And that’s something that can easily take, I don’t know, a couple of months, a half a year, sometimes even longer than a half a year, for us to recognize significant changes in the site’s overall quality. Because we essentially watch out for …how does this website fit in with the context of the overall web and that just takes a lot of time.”
Listen to the Google SEO office hours starting at 24:24 minutes here.