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Google penalty is a manual action taken by Google if your website violates the google webmaster guidelines.
The best way to avoid it is to practice white hat, rather than black hat, SEO tactics. Black hat SEO tactics include things like stuffing pages with keywords rather than quality content, creating duplicate content, featuring irrelevant or poor links, and over linking with direct keywords. If an SEO tactic doesn’t have user experience in mind, it’s likely a black hat practice, and Google will take notice. Additionally, your site could also be penalized for things like overlooked 404 redirect pages, an outdated XML sitemap, and an overuse of anchor text.