Google Penalties - 12 ways to find fix and void them
Google AnalyticsSEO Strategies

How to Recover from Google Penalties

Therefore, the reason many become very aggressive with their search engine techniques for Google cannot be farfetched.

What are Google Penalties?

According to Wikipedia, a Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms or manual review.

Google penalties are of two types namely google manual penalty and algorithmic change.

The penalty can be a by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.

Good thing is that I’m going to show you how to determine if your website has been penalized by Google, identify the type of penalty that you’ve been hit with and ways to resolve google penalties.

First things first

If your SERPs rank and/or website traffic dropped abruptly, then it’s very likely you’re site has been penalized by Google.

Google Penalties

Lamentably, in the event of a Google penalty, many webmasters go into panic mode and start ‘fixing’ things that aren’t actually broken, often making things worse.  In order to form a recovery plan, it is important to first properly diagnose the source of the penalty.

Thus, the first step is to determine whether the traffic drop was as a result of a Google penalty and if so, figure out if it is due to algorithmic update or manual penalty cause by black-hat issues on your website.

Manual Penalty

manual penalty - digital markets journal

A website is hit by the manual penalty when a human (google engineer) manually reviewed a website and imposed a penalty for violating a Google search standard. Depending on the violation, this type of penalty can affect a particular page of a website or an entire website.

In cases like this, Google will give you an update on your Google webmaster tools console with the reason for the action and what needs to be done for the penalty to be lifted.

Algorithmic Update

algorithmic update - digital markets journal

This is the most common type of Google penalty. It is as a result of algorithmic change or update. An algorithmic update is a continuous change/update in Google search algorithms for the purpose of ranking high-quality pages on SERP.

Understanding Google Search Algorithms can sometimes become overwhelming, especially for SEO newbie and wonder how not to run afoul of any of them (panda, penguin, pigeon, hummingbird).

One of the first few ways to identify if you have been slammed with a Google penalty is a sharp decline (or no traffic at all) in the number of visits to your website which can be tracked in your Google Analytics account.

When this is observed, then you might like to login to your Google webmaster tools for more insight.

Use Google Webmaster Tools

The webmaster tools help you find out if you are under a manual penalty.

Follow the below steps to find out:

  1. Login to webmaster tools
  2. Click on Search Traffic
  3. Select Manual Actions from the dropdown.

If you see the message “No manual webspam actions found” then you are clean and do not need to worry on taken further action.

However, in the event that there is a manual Google penalty, then you should read the message and correct the problems before requesting a review of your web pages.

How to Recover from Google Penalty

The best way to recover from a Google penalty is not to get hit by it in the first place.

From my experience webmasters are always scheming for ways to maneuver their way to the top of Google SERP for relevant keywords without following a due process which usually gets them in the way of penalties.

The way to succeed online is to be committed to creating great content and be patient with it.

Being consistent with this will eventually make you get noticed by search engines and the much-needed success would follow.

Third-party Tools to Fix Google Penalty

Below are free third-party applications and tools you can also use to find out if your website has been penalized.

Fruition

Fruition - Digital Markets Journal

Fruition is a great tool for doing a quick Google penalty check. Setup a free account on the platform and connect to your Google Analytics account for free insight into your website status. Fruition will give you an impact probability score. The higher the percentage of probability, the greater the likelihood that you’re site has been penalized by Google.

Algoroo

algoroo - digital markets journal

Algoroo is another insightful tool that tracks Google algorithm changes by monitoring turbulence in rankings of thousands of keywords. Algoroo gives you immediate insight in your website performance.

Panguin Tool

Panguin Tool - Digital Markets Journal

Panguin combines data from the Moz Change History report with your Google Analytics graph.

Panguin checks to see if your traffic/rankings drop coincides with an algorithm update.

The red lines identify Panda updates, the blue lines are Penguin updates, and the orange lines are general algorithm updates.

Click on the line that corresponds with the algorithm update and you will get additional information about the update.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve narrowed it down to the cause of the penalty, you can begin to formulate an action (recovery) plan.

If you’ve been hit by Penguin penalties, analyze your backlink profile and anchor text distribution using Ahrefs.

If you think Panda is the culprit, do a full site audit looking for duplicate content and site structure problems.

Once you’ve completed your recovery plan file a reconsideration request with Google. It is not uncommon for these requests to be rejected several times before it is granted. Be patient.

As a word of advice, please consider your link building profile and your on-page optimization. Remove backlinks from spammy websites and be sure to be careful of duplicated content on your website. You also do not want to make sure that your website is secure by adding SSL to your current website if not yet secure.

By using the methods mentioned above, you will be able to determine the cause of your penalty and how to come out from it if you have been slammed by one.

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Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka
Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka is the founder of Digital Markets Journal, a top digital marketing blog. As a lead Digital Marketing/SEO Expert, he leads project development in SEO, SEM, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Web Audit, Web Analytics, Local SEO, and Web Development. He is married and lives with his wife in Winnipeg, Canada

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