Google is a powerful search engine that strictly analyses websites and content for quality, usefulness, and relevancy to rank them accordingly in SERPs.
Unfortunately, when optimizing your website for the best possible search engine rankings, sometimes Google may penalize you or any SEO company which may be working outside of their guidelines.
There are a lot of ways you can be penalized. The most common ones include:
- Having unnatural links to your website.
- Having unnatural links from your website.
- When your site is hacked or is found as a hacking/phishing site.
- Having content that adds no value or there is little of it.
- It features pure spam or it has user-generated spam such as forums.
- It features cloaked redirects.
- It’s stuffed with keywords or hidden text.
- It features spammy free-hosts or structured mark-up.
Other types of penalties include:
Algorithmic Penalty – A website usually triggers a filter and the algorithm assesses you as a penalty. These are multiple algorithmic penalties which include Panda, Penguin, and unannounced updates.
Manual Penalty – Someone at Google issues you a penalty.
Combination Penalty – This is a combination of both the above penalties.
Different applied penalties include:
Site-Wide Penalty – All rankings are gone and your whole site is affected.
Keyword-Specific Penalty – You have some rankings for keywords but you haven’t worked on the most important ones.
Page-Specific Penalty – A particular page isn’t ranking while the rest of your pages are.
How To Recover From A Google Penalty?
Before the recovery process starts you need to first work out which penalty you’ve been hit with.
- You won’t receive a message from Google.
- You need to figure out the problem on your own and the closest thing you’ve found is when looking at the HTML improvements area in the new Google Search Console.
- If your current keywords are roughly in the 30ish spot it may just be an algorithm update. If they’re in the 50ish-400ish spot, then it’s possible it’s a Panda penalty.
- If there are any changes to your old site when new Panda updates occur, it’s a Panda penalty.
- You may get a message from Google Search Console or you may not.
- Check your backlinks to see whether any of them have errors and check the sites which are linked to you. You can open the Search Console and see whether there are any bad links here.
- Check your queries in Search Console. If keywords are around 90ish to 500ish you’re pretty much be penalized with Penguin.
- During a major Penguin update check your analytics if your site is old and if any changes occur it’s a Penguin penalty.
- You will receive a manual penalty notice from Google Search Console.
- They will tell you the penalty and if it’s partial.
Process For Recover Website From A Google Penalty
- Remove any duplicate content both inside and outside your website, meaning duplicate content with other websites.
- Remove any over-optimized keyword-stuffed language which sounds unnatural when read.
- Remove and reduce low-quality inbound and outgoing links and backlinks.
- Produce content that doesn’t repeat itself on multiple pages and that’s unique, valuable, and of high quality to the readers.
- Create a list of all your backlinks and analyses link quality for unnatural links that are pointing back to your website. These tend to include:
- - Links from low page ranking websites
- - Links from non-indexed sites
- - Site-wide links
- - Links from blog networks
- - Links from untrustworthy and irrelevant websites
- - Article directories and forum links
- - Unproportioned anchor text usage.
- Keep track of all the links you’re going to remove and keep so you can change and build your list over time.
- Remove all irrelevant links that are pointing back to your website.
- Remove any new pages and pages with 301 redirects of the URL to the homepage.
- Stop what you’re currently doing with your website and start cleaning it up. Some areas to clean up include:
- - Eliminating keyword stuffing.
- - Updating your blog with quality, useful content.
- - Deleting duplicate content both within your website and with other websites.
- Download your list of backlinks and determine which links are unnatural and which ones are valuable to your website.
- Identify which links lead back to spammy sites or sites you don’t want to be associated with such as porn sites, gambling sites, etc.
- Remove all bad links that may be jeopardizing your website and which may have caused you to receive a manual penalty.
- Request reconsideration from Google to see if you’re website is now suitable and meets their guidelines.
- If you have done any changes just
- Before the penalty hit, assess what you have done and address it.
When it comes to Google guidelines it’s imperative to follow them as best as possible to reduce the risk of your site becoming affected with a penalty. By taking your time to work out what the penalty was and how to fix it, you’re on the right track to taking backs your overall website ranking. So which penalty have you been hit with?
Caroline is a digital marketing specialist who works on helping websites reach the top of search engines. She has spent the last 10 years analyzing websites, Google, and everything in the seo company
niche to bring the best results to her clients. On the side when not working she loves spending time with her son and two dogs.