What is the generally accepted definition of an SEO Penalty?

Online Marketing Body of Knowledge from OMCP

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What is the generally accepted definition of an SEO Penalty? Answers must include: Definition of terminology, Importance of the concept or process, and the Process of how a professional marketer approaches the practice. Please start your answer so it can stand alone as a sentence/paragraph. For example, “SEO keyword analysis is the process of…”

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Pages rise and fall in search engine rankings all the time. Google, in particular, are always changing their algorithm by which pages are ranked. However, any deliberate action taken by a search engine to demote a previously higher ranking page or groups of pages on a website based on violating terms of service or published best practices can be construed as a penalty.
These deliberate actions can either be algorithmic or manual in nature. With Google, manual actions – or penalties – that are taken against particular pages often come with a warning or explanation via Google Search Console. Some common examples include “Unnatural outbound links,” “user-generated spam” and “Hacked content spam.” These messages also include examples of the content in question and links to the best practices for the particular action taken so that the site owner can remedy the content and return to the search results pages.
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