What is Penalty Recovery?
First, let’s start by talking about a Google Penalty. It’s usually a drop in your organic search rankings in Google, resulting from an update to the Google algorithms and/or a manual action put forward by a Google employee.
For other SEO topics see our search engine optimization main services page.
If you receive a penalty notice or your sites drop in traffic not to worry, many of the biggest websites on the Internet have been hit by them including the BBC.
In any case, if you get a Google penalty, it’s one of the following …
Two Types of Google Penalties
- Manual action– this comes from Google’s very own spam team and also volunteers that report to Google. Now to see if you were given a manual penalty, go to the Google Webmaster Tools for your website and check in the notification section and notice if you have any messages regarding “unnatural links” or similar messages.
- Algorithmic action– this is harder to determine because it’s automatic. And you must match the day when you lost traffic with the day an update happened in Google’s algorithm change history there are several tools for this one being penguin tool (https://barracuda.digital/panguin-seo-tool/). Even with this tool a lot of sleuthing and analysis is required, which Alex’s Penalty Recovery expertise will be needed.
According to the former head of webspam Matt Cutts, more than 400,000 manual actions are taken by Google every month. And that’s not counting the thousands and thousands of websites penalized by algorithmic actions, based on updates like Penguin and Panda.
What can cause a Google penalty?
- Too many reciprocal links. Exchanging links with other website owners used to be a brilliant marketing tactic … until website owners started overdoing it. Now Google may see too many of these sorts of link as manipulation, especially if websites outside your industry are linking to you.
- Duplicate content. This is an obvious thing, but any content on your website that duplicates content on another is disapproved of by Google. And it could get you penalized so rule in SEO is this: Publish unique and quality content and you won’t get in trouble.
- Bad sitemap data. Google uses the XML sitemap on your website to make sense of its site architecture. You must be certain that your sitemap is continuously updated and crawlable by Google. Otherwise can hurt your website.
- Too many keywords. There are many “rules” for keyword density on website pages, but none have been absolutely proven. One fact is clear, though: an overdose of the same keyword too many times on a page can be a red flag to Google.
- Hidden links. Make sure that the robots and visitors can see your links otherwise Google’s suspicious sensors go nuts. Never create links the same colour as the background of a web page, for example, even if your intentions are good.
- Broken external links. If the links on your website are not up-to-date, Google will assume you don’t care about the user experience. Always check your links regularly and remove or repair the broken ones.
- Slow site speed. If your website loads at snail’s pace, people will get frustrated. Google knows this, because they measure this metric (especially time to the first byte). There are a number of factors that can slow down your website, this can be a complex problem to repair by yourself and so Alex can help improve this.
- Txt errors. The robots.txt file is used to show Google and the search engines which parts of your website you don’t want to show up in their index. While you may have many reasons to prohibit web pages from Google and other search engines if this is the case do so cautiously. Extreme blocking may lead to a penalty.
- 301 Redirects. If you’ve been hit with a penalty on your website, using a 301 redirect to re-route the traffic can simply transfer the penalty to a new location. And that penalty may stick around, long after you remove the redirect.
- Error codes. Google wants to deliver an exceptional experience to searchers. However errors like 404s will displease searchers and they wot stick around and this can cause your bounce rate to increase, so clean up your errors.
- Overdoing SEO. Google likes natural written content. And they no if you’re trying too hard to “out SEO” other your competitors. It may seem counter-intuitive, but unless you’re an SEO professional who stays current on Google rules every day, you should focus on publishing good quality natural content.
- Malevolent backlinks. Unfortunately, nothing can stop scumbag or ruthless competitors from setting up malicious spammy backlinks that get your website penalized. Observation is the best protection for this and regularly monitoring your backlinks using Google Webmaster Tools and other tools like ahrefs and SEM rush.
- Targeted keywords. Google monitors the keywords found on low-quality, spammy sites. “Viagra” and “payday loans” are examples of the keywords that they check and may get you penalized if they show up too much on your website. If you operate in an industry that’s filled with spam, you should be extra careful.
How can you recover from the Google penalty?
The best news is that if your site does get a penalty it’s definitely not the end of the world. Alex can recover websites easily and reclaim all the lost traffic and rankings with 12 years of experience doing such things.
With Alex’s experience, whether you’ve been penalized with a manual or algorithmic action, more than 95% of penalties are caused by bad juju linking to your website.
Now this means you should consistently analyze your backlink profile and find which links may be causing the issue however it is a little more complicated that is why you're looking for help?
It’s actually a simple 3-step process: identify toxic links, try to get rid of them, and disavow the outstanding links. It can take time. And continuous effort. But you really don’t have any choice, if you want to reclaim your rankings.
Now, here’s exactly how to recover your rankings …
Step 1: Identify bad links
Head over to Google Webmaster Tools and download all of the backlinks to your website. Google will export them in a spreadsheet (CSV) format.
When your identifying toxic backlinks, you usually have to check them one at a time. However, there are ways to arrange them by “value” and save time. Here are signs of low-quality, bad backlinks:
- Websites not included in the Google index. This usually means they were penalized and banned from the search results
- Websites with a DA (domain authority) below 10 or 20 (Google Webmaster Tools can give you this data)
- Other signs of bad backlinks: gambling or pornography websites; blogs with auto-approved comments or spammy articles; websites with too many external links (aka link farms).
Next, after identifying all the bad backlinks to your website, you must …
Step 2: Try to remove bad links
Find contact details for each website with a bad backlink to you. It can be as simple as looking for the “About us” or “Contact” web page. If those pages are missing, try searching for the domain at www.Whois.com to find their Administrative Contact Email.
Then, send each website a friendly email request to remove the links to your website. You can expect any of the following results: your link is removed (Wicked!); your email is ignored or they ask for money in return to remove the link (Naughty people!).
Step 3: Disavow bad links
For any outstanding backlinks that you can’t remove, you can use the disavow tool in Google to remove them. When you do this, it tells Google that you don’t want these links so they don’t take them into account when they analyze your site for ranking positions.
Call AMW Digital now for google penalty recovery services information on 01992 352196.
In Google Webmaster Tools, that option looks like this:
Once you’ve taken your recovery actions, file a reconsideration request with Google. It often happens that requests are rejected several times before being accepted, especially if you’re new to the process. You either have to be patient or work with a pro to expedite the process.
The Bad News About Penalty Recovery (eek)
While this can be a simple process to regain your website’s search engine rankings, it is not straightforward. And if you don’t know what you’re undertaking, the process can drag on for many months(boring!).
One reason why? There may be multiple penalties that have hit your site and identifying and removing those penalties can be tiring, because Google doesn’t give you a number or tech support to help with this – so they will never tell you what went wrong. That means fixing your website is NOT an overnight process.
But help is here. AMW Digital’s Penalty Recovery service is designed to find out exactly what went wrong, then fix it. So you get your website traffic – and your business – back to where it was.
Our 3-Step Process To Penalty Recovery
Step 1: Diagnose. First I will figure out what went wrong. Was it caused by external issues, like too many “ominous” backlinks to your site? Or was it internal, like duplicate webpage content? Or even both?
Step 2: Create a Recovery Plan. Once I know why your website was slapped with a penalty, I will create a Recovery Plan to fix it. There’s no guesswork – the plan is thorough and complete, thanks to my proprietary software.
Step 3: Execute the Plan. We then go to work removing your Google penalty.
None of this is automated – that’s what can get you in trouble in the first place. Instead, we will manually delete or disavow “unnatural” links to your web site. Or we take care of content removal and repair. Every plan is different and requires a close partnership with your business team over several months.
But the effort is defiantly worth it when you get your traffic and rankings back!
In the end, whether it’s due to bad backlinks to your website or a malicious third party has used negative SEO against you, you can recover from a Google penalty. Websites like yours have recovered before and are recovering now. We know because we do it all the time …
Now take the next step. Contact me with the form below and we can have a chat about the issues you are having and we can arrange a meeting.
For Google, Penalty Recovery Services call AMW Digital on 01992 352196