Successful recovery from a Google penalty means fixing the issues which caused the problem, satisfying Google guidelines and undertaking a full link-audit.
Every penalty is different, therefore, recovery time can take anywhere between one week and three months. Regardless of the situation, there is hope that all sites can be rescued.
To clearly assess and evaluate which penalty your website has received you should consider a variety of factors to determine the process of removal. These are:
Google Penalty Factors:
• Type of penalty (Google Panda, Google Penguin, Manual Action).
• Severity of penalty (Small Ranking Drop, website not ranking at all, de-indexed completely).
• How quickly you can identify the issues with your website.
• Length of time which it will take to resolve.
• Duration of the reconsideration request (this not required for all types of penalties).
Google Penalties Explained
Google Panda and Google Penguin are the most common website penalties.
They are both entirely separate, however, both penalties have devastating consequences for your website’s traffic if you are caught on the wrong side of them.
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Types of Google Penalties – Which Penalty Have We Received?
In order to successfully diagnose which type of penalty your website has suffered from we will need to examine and evaluate the symptoms.
Usually, a site-wide traffic drop or a keyword rank drop will correlate with Google updates. On the other hand, you should check your Google Webmaster Tool’s account for any messages/notices or manual actions.
Identifying Google Panda, Penguin and Other Penalties.
The most common penalty, which impacts the majority of sites is Google Panda. Google has now moved to rename Panda to a “Quality Algorithm”.
If Google’s algorithm concludes that your website is providing low-quality content, then your entire website will be assigned a lower quality score which will mean it is increasingly difficult for your website to rank for your chosen keywords.
As Google Panda is a site-wide penalty which affects the rankings for all your organic keywords, generally, if your business is penalised by Panda, you will notice that:
• Your website may be experiencing a sharp, gradual traffic decline
• Web pages may be experiencing difficulty ranking, regardless of the amount and quality of your backlinks.
• Your website might be found on page 2 or 3 or lower for the majority of keywords.
• After further Google updates, your rankings may drop again. As Google consistently tweaks their algorithms and quality standards/guidelines your website may likely become worse over time.
Google Penalty Tip:
If you are wondering whether you have been hit by Google Panda please note – A Google Panda Penalty will NOT appear under manual actions in Google Webmaster Tools.
The main point to remember about Google Panda is that it is a site-wide quality algorithm which affects all of your keywords and traffic.
If all your keywords have dropped (which you can verify by looking at your Google Analytics traffic), then your website may be a victim of the Google Panda algorithm.
Speak to us today for a quick recovery, alternatively you can call us on
“The 24th of April will be remembered by many webmasters who on that day noticed a dramatic traffic downfall by 30-70%.” (Moz, 2012).
Google Penguin is another common penalty which impacts website owners who have implemented aggressive link building strategies.
This algorithm was first introduced in April 2012.
Google Penguin seeks out aggressive and un-natural link patterns to sanction websites which attempt to manipulate search engine rankings by building artificial links and involving themselves in link scheme or wheels.
Google’s position on link-building is very clear. Every external link to your website should be natural and match the quality of your content.
Any link which is created with the purpose of increasing your keyword rankings are considered to be a violation of Google web-master guidelines.
This includes paying for links, asking for a link, negotiating link exchanges, automating link creation through the use of tools and mass syndication with the purpose of manipulating rankings.
When Google’s Penguin algorithm detects that you are attempting to manipulate the rankings via unnatural link building, it punishes your website for the keyword and/or group of keywords which you are targeting.
You can view Google’s link guidelines here.
Common Google Penguin Symptoms:
A specific keyword, or group of keywords may have suffered a sharp decline, for example, your business website drops from position #2 to position #180.
Specific pages which contain the targeted keyword might be de-indexed while the rest of the website still remains indexed with Google.
Your business may or may not have a message concerning un-natural linking inside Google Webmaster Tools, under “Search Queries” and “Manual Actions”.
In some cases, pages on your site which are not supposed to be ranking are now showing up for the penalised terms.
For example, your news section now ranks instead of your homepage when you search for your main keyword.
Disavow Low-Quality Links
When you have found low-quality links on your site you should check them before removal (this is a common mistake many people make and end up ruining their website’s position).
Once you have identified the low-quality looks added them to the Google Disavow Tool — the next task on your list is to acquire some high authority links.
Google Penalty Tip:
You should avoid exact anchor text backlinks. Instead of exact anchor text, you may be better to target long-tail or descriptive anchor texts with a mix of branded terms.
Make sure that you only acquire relevant, high-authority (high DA and PA), do-follow links. Always remember, link-building should be about building high-quality links which have relevance to your website.
Tools and Resources – Start Recovering Today
1. Xenu Link Sleuth – This tool allows users to crawl a website to locate problems such a broken links, broken pages and various other issues that can cause traffic drops. If this tool is used properly it can also help source duplicate and thin content issues which is great for recovering from Google Panda.
2. Google Webmaster Tools – The website dashboard provided by Google shows all the vital information associated with your website, including penalties, site query drops, crawl statistics, HTML / mark-up errors and inbound links. Anyone wishing to recover from a penalty should start with this tool.
3. Ahrefs – An alternate link crawler provides full link lists regarding domains for your website along with additional information about your anchor text and link density. This can be a useful tool for anyone dealing with a Google Penguin penalty.
4. MajesticSEO – Another alternate link crawler which provides a full list of links pointing to your website. This tool is extremely useful when dealing with Penguin issues.
For further information regarding our Google Penalty removal service please contact us.