By Kaitie Frank
12 Mar 2024

Google Issues Manual Actions After March 2024 Updates


Just days after the March 2024 spam and core updates, numerous site owners have stated that their sites received manual penalties. These penalties were given to sites that Google felt violated its new spam policies. 

Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz collected numerous complaints from X, where site owners were dismayed to find their sites had a penalty. Here are a few screenshots of those posts:

Manual actions are issued by humans who review your site and determine if it violates spam policies. In support documentation, Google states:

“Google issues a manual action against a site when a human reviewer at Google has determined that pages on the site are not compliant with Google's spam policies. Most manual actions address attempts to manipulate our search index. Most issues reported here will result in pages or sites being ranked lower or omitted from search results without any visual indication to the user.”

You can check if your site was affected by a manual action by looking in the Manual Actions report in Google Search Console. If your site was affected, you can follow the steps that Google outlines in its documentation:

  1. Expand the manual action description panel on the report for more information.
  2. See which pages are affected.
  3. See the type and short description of the issue, and follow the "Learn more" link to see detailed information and steps to fix the issue. (You can find the detailed information for each action below on this page).
  4. Fix the issue on all affected pages. Fixing the issue on just some pages will not earn you a partial return to search results. If you have multiple manual actions on your site, read about and fix all of them.
  5. Be sure that Google can reach your pages; affected pages should not require a login, be behind a paywall, or be blocked by robots.txt or a noindex directive. You can test accessibility by using the URL Inspection tool.
  6. When all issues listed in the report are fixed in all pages, select Request Review in this report. In your reconsideration request, describe your fixes. A good request does three things:
  7. Explains the exact quality issue on your site.
  8. Describes the steps you've taken to fix the issue.
  9. Documents the outcome of your efforts.
  10. Reconsideration reviews can take some time. You will be informed of progress by email. You will get a review confirmation message when you send your request, to inform you that the review is in progress; don't resubmit your request before you get a final decision on your outstanding request.

It’s important to note that reconsideration reviews can take days or weeks. Google will inform you when the review is complete. 

In the wake of the March 2024 updates, it’s important to keep track of your manual action reviewer. Additionally, remember that hits resulting from algorithmic updates are distinct from manual penalties. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure that your website remains compliant and avoids any potential penalties or setbacks.

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.