In an episode of Ask Googlebot, John Mueller explained what happens if you make an honest SEO mistake and you get a manual action applied to your site.
The SEO professional asked John about how Google would react to an honest SEO mistake.
John explained that he can only answer this regarding their webmaster guidelines and spam policies.
Google knows nobody is perfect, and it’s easy to stumble into bad SEO practices, because you saw something wrong online.
Or perhaps someone tried to give some well-meaning advice.
Google does understand that this can happen, and their systems try to help website owners in two ways.
First, if their systems can automatically recognize and isolate the bad practices, they will try to ignore it and just focus on the good parts of their site.
And most websites have many good parts.
Secondly, if Google does need to take a manual action, they will let you know about it in Google Search Console. This should give you a chance to fix the issue and then file a reconsideration request.
At that point, they can double-check that everything’s fixed and cancel the manual action.
Google does understand that honest mistakes can happen and they try to deal with them thoughtfully.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to learn more about SEO before making changes to your site.
And a simple mistake is not going to ruin your site’s standing in Google Search forever.