Site icon Bill Hartzer

Google Image Mismatch Penalty: What is It?

There is a manual Google penalty called the Google Image Mismatch penalty. What exactly is the Google Image Mismatch penalty, and how can you prevent from getting penalized by Google for issues related to your images? Barry Schwartz first reported about this penalty.

This particular penalty is a manual penalty action by Google, and not an algorithmic action. Manual penalties by Google are different than algorithmic penalties, such as Google Penguin and Google Panda. So, if you are penalized by Google, then you need to take care of this issue and then use Google Webmaster Tools to get in touch with Google to tell them that you have taken care of the issue.

Search Engine Land describes this penalty:

Image mismatch is when the images on your website do not match what is shown in the Google search results.

This is really a form of cloaking, where you display certain information to Google (or Googlebot, their crawler) and different information to your website visitors. Cloaking can also result in penalties, and even can get your website banned in the search results if it’s too severe.

In the case of the image mismatch penalty by Google, most likely it’s going to only affect certain sections of your website, where only the parts of your website that have to do with the issue are penalized.

Search Engine Roundtable has posted a screen shot of the warning a website owner received.

Bottom line? Make sure your site displays the same image in Google search results as it does on your site. And if you get one of these penalties, don’t take it lightly or ignore it. You need to fix the issue and respond to Google, telling them that the issue is fixed.

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