Google Penalty Recovery
Google Penalty Recovery
When a site is penalized by Google, the number of people that visit your site drops off sharply costing you lost revenues from the decrease in potential customers. When this happens, your website has probably suffered from unethical, unnatural and low quality Search Engine Optimisation activities.
Google Penalties come in two forms: Manual penalties are issued when someone at Google reviews your links and determines that some or many are the result of spam-like linking practices, and this can cause your website traffic to drop off within days or hours. Algorithmic updates come about from Google’s algorithms identifying unethical, low-quality and questionable SEO practices.
Most of the times, if your site experiences any large decrease in search engine traffic, then you can be pretty sure that its been penalized by Google.
What is Google Penguin?
Google has two main penalty types (Panda and Penguin), where Penguin is the most common penalty affecting sites involved in aggressive link-building. The Penguin algorithm can severely penalize any website trying to manipulate Google’s search results through building low-quality backlinks and by over-optimizing the anchor texts on the site.
Whenever Google detects what it considers ‘unnatural’ links to your site, it may penalize the site for the keywords targetted. This results in far less traffic (visitors) from Google, and for any online business, this can spell significant loss of earnings.
However, before we can fix the problem and restore a website to its former ranking, we first need to discover why Google penalized the site in the first place.
Why does Google penalize websites?
Google may penalize a website for any number of contraventions of its rules, but the most common reasons for getting penalty include:
- Google views paid links as ‘unnatural and manipulative’, and this is the reason why sites that buy their links are often heavily penalized. And the greater the penalty, the more damage can be done to how much income your website generates for you.
- Original, relevant content is the cornerstone of modern Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Google and the other search engines. Duplicate content by contrast is seen as a threat to the purity of the internet and as such can be severely penalized. In order to get Google to consider your website an authority, the content on your site must be unique, relevant and valuable.
Keyword Stuffed Content
- How relevant a website is to the search results they may appear in, is determined by the type, usage and frequency of the keywords in the website’s content. And there are definite limits to what Google deems acceptable. Content which has over-optimised keywords, or low quality anchor links may quickly get blacklisted by the search engines, and as a result a website may quickly lose out on a lot of organic traffic to the site.
Now we know the basics of why websites get penalized, we can move to the next step of discovering which penalties your website may have incurred.
Has your site been penalized?
If your site has been penalized by a Penguin update, then you will see drops in traffic numbers on or near the time when an algorithm update was released. Panda updates however are trickier to identify immediately as they are now built directly into Google’s algorithm.
We use a number of tools to identify the type of penalty a site has been given, including:
Now we know what kind of penalty a site has incurred, we need to know which links to your site caused the Google Penalty.
Identifying toxic links:
Remember, when trying to get a manual penalty reversed or to recover from a Penguin update, the biggest mistake is to rely on backlink data from one single tool.
So, at digitalpact, we use a number of different tools to give us a reliable understanding of the scope of the problem:
When we know which links are causing the problems, we get to work removing links from unrelated websites, as well as any links from sites with over-optimised anchor texts (i.e. sites with too many links with targeted anchor text that no longer provide value or actually removes value for your site).
Websites that follow the anchor text distribution formula (shown below) have successfully achieve good rankings in Google and were moving up the search engine results pages (SERPs). Those sites that ignore this rule, often fail to get high rankings.
Getting rid of toxic links
One we have identified the toxic links to your site, we contact the websites on which these links are found and request that they remove these links from their sites. Each site is typically contacted three times to request removals until they comply with our request.
In the image above, you can see a typical example of how the number of referring links and domains decreases as our link removal work progresses.
Disavowing toxic links
The final stage in this process to lift a Google Penalty is to create a disavow report of the toxic links we identified. Once completed, we then submit this report for you using the Google Disavow Tool:
Note: When Google has approved a disavow request, your site may still not fully recover until the next Penguin update is released.
Here’s how one website recovered its rankings after the disavow request was successfully submitted) a few days after the Penguin 3.0 update was released.
This website’s rankings and traffic levels are now back to where they were before the Penguin update hit them.
As a result, this business can now concentrate on its growth instead of disaster recovery!
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