Google’s Office Hours Hangout featured a question about algorithm updates and whether the rankings of a negatively affected site is suppressed by a “soft penalty.”
The person asking the question made reference to a soft penalty, which is a phrase that’s been around for several years but isn’t really a thing.
They also make reference to suffering from a “flag” that’s been assigned to their site, which alludes to Google having marked the site in some way, as in flagged.
Here is the question:
“Both of my websites have been hit by different updates, around 90% drops and are suffering from some type of flag that is suppressing our sites until the soft penalty is lifted.
Or… is there even a soft penalty? “
This is the answer:
“No, the named updates that we publish on the rankings updates page on Search Central are not penalties in any shape or form.”
That confirms that any ranking drops associated with a named Google updateis not a …