Everything You Need to Know About Google Penalty Recovery

Search engine optimization is the most important aspect about marketing your business online. If you don’t optimize your website for the search engines, you lose the potential to be found by your target customers. Hence, a lot of businesses invest money on SEO in order to be ranked by Google since this is the top search engine on the web. But in your effort to reach the top rank (or at least make it to the first page), you could be adapting techniques that violate Google’s guidelines. When this happens, you could get penalized by Google putting all of your hard earned work down the drain! You don’t want that to happen. However, if this has already happened to you, good news is that you can still recover from it. You have to learn about the process of Google penalty recovery in order to get your business back on track.

Learn Why You Got Penalized

Before you can think about Google penalty recovery, you need to first know what got you penalized in the first place. In the later section, you will learn about the different types of Google penalty that could be designated to you.

apple macbook pro on desk with google search web page

The first thing you might notice is that your traffic dropped – big time – overnight or within a short period of time. There are several strategies you might be implementing that could get you in trouble. However, you didn’t think that Google would notice. Well, they do! And that is the reason why you are losing traffic because there is a chance that your website’s penalty is to remove link from Google.

The most common (and ones that you should never use) ways you could get penalized by Google is when you do any of the following:

  • When you had bad outgoing and ingoing links to your website;
  • When your website was hacked and is found to be phishing;
  • When you have ‘thin’ content on your website (such as those that are made specifically for Adsense income generation ONLY);
  • Clear spam content;
  • Cloaking links or farming link websites (intended to bring traffic to your main website) and more.

Know the Type of Penalty

If you have been doing one or all of the items listed above, then you should not be surprised that you undergone Google disavow. You could lose your rankings on Google and would have to work back to square one. This could have easily been avoided if you studied the guidelines of Google. But once you are in this situation, identify which of these practices above could have gotten you into trouble.

The next step is for you to determine what type of penalty you’ve been hit with. Google penalty recovery will largely depend on what type of penalty is attached to your website. It could be one of three things: manual, algorithm or a combination of the two.

A manual penalty is when Google identifies any of the violations from above and sends you a notice. The second penalty, algorithm penalty, is when the Penguin update affects your ranking as your website triggers a filter when Google does an assessment. This could also explain why you experience a major drop in traffic to your website. The final type of penalty is when you receive a notice from Google and get decline in your ranking at the same time.

The penalty can also have a direct impact on how you can handle your website moving forward. Some sites lose all of their rankings, while others experience a drop only. There are also websites that experience penalties on specific pages on their website.

What to Do Next?

This is the most important question when dealing with Google penalty recovery. Here is a guide on what you should do:

  • Perform a check on your website and optimized keywords if your website is still ranked by Google.
  • Another way to perform the check is to log into your Webmaster Tools account and see if there are any manual actions done against your website.
  • If you can, download all of the backlinks that you were able to recover for your website. Once you have exported the file, run through the list to identify the bad backlinks. If you have to do this manually, then you should. There are also tools that enable you to filter each link and identify them according to quality. However, you must be very careful when using automated tools so as not to remove any of the good backlinks by accident.
  • You can also request the website owner to remove any of your links, if it is a bad quality source. Be polite when asking and provide proof that you are the owner of the said website.
  • Create a disavow report. For all of those websites where you could not contact the owner, you can fild a disavow report in order to have your link removed. This process takes about 2-4 weeks to complete.

Whether the penalty was inflicted to you by your own doing, or simply negative SEO from someone else’s website, do not lose hope. A lot of websites have been able to fully recover from a Google penalty. Use this as a wake-up call to improve on your SEO efforts in the future.