An infraction issued by Google, to a webmaster, for breaking Google’s guidelines. The penalty is issued by Google through Search Console and can result in a sites’ removal from search engine results. The issues that caused the penalty will need to be fixed before the penalty is lifted, and once the penalty is lifted it may still take some time to return to the previous rank in Google search results. A penalty may also refer to an “algorithmic penalty” which is actually a misnomer; a website may be doing poorly in search results because of an issue that Google’s algorithm has found in the site. This however is not really a “penalty” but a ranking problem. For there to be a true penalty, there would have to be a manual action from Google, as denoted by the message sent to the webmaster in Search Console.