It's such a bummer to at the receiving end of a penalty. In terms of SEO, the consequences can be devastating as it includes lost organic search visibility, traffic, and revenue. That's gonna put a dent in all the hard work done and the budget to start building up again.
Google Penalty is a drop in your organic search rankings caused by an update to the Google algorithms and/or manual action by a Google employee. When you've been penalized, it's important to understand why that happened. Penalty recovery is possible, especially once you’ve fully grasped what this is all about.
Two Main Penalties You Should Know
There are two main penalties: manual action from Google's spam team, and an algorithmic penalty.
For manual action, you could see if you've been penalized by going to the Google Webmaster Tools for your site. Check your notifications and keep an eye out for messages about "unnatural links". If you don't see any warning messages, dig deeper so you could figure out the cause of the traffic drop.
On the other hand, an algorithmic penalty is an automated penalty making it much harder to determine. This requires thorough backtracking and in-depth analysis to be able to solve the problem. One has to find the time when the website lost traffic, and correlate it to the date when a new algorithmic update occurred.
Tips To Avoid Penalties
To avoid getting your website penalized, take note of these tips and potential threats to your rankings.
- Backlinks from websites that are violating Google's guidelines, it should be removed. The backlinks with websites that are penalized or banned from Google. Avoid this by verifying a website status first.
- Avoid content duplication. These are usually low quality and unprofessional, so try not to use links from such websites.
- Focus on relevancy. Having links that have nothing to do with your niche or website can alert Google and risk you for a penalty.
- Get rid of spam comments and forum profiles. No one wants them, including Google!
- Don't use site-wide backlinks, as well as backlinks from directories or social bookmarking websites. These are considered the low quality and risk you getting penalized.
- To promote services on a blog, use a nofollow attribute for the links to keep your rankings safe. Keep in mind that Google is against sponsored content which passes PageRank.
- Avoid hidden texts from users using CSS, and links from adult or gambling websites.
- Other violations to take note of are cloaking, hacking, link schemes, doorway pages, irrelevant content, keywords, etc.
SEO Penalty Recovery — How to Recover When You’re Penalized
Thankfully, being penalized isn't the same with dealing a death sentence. There are many cases wherein you can still get your site to rank higher again and at the same time, recover the lost traffic. There are three things to do to recover from Google Penalty: identify bad links, try to remove bad links, and disavow bad links.
Most penalties are caused by bad backlinks to your site, so this means that you set aside time and effort to analyze and fix the problem. SEO by Design has a dynamic and hardworking team of experts to solve your problem. If you work with us, we will do all the work for you and bring the site back up in no time!