Google Penalty Recovery
WHAT IS GOOGLE PENALTY?
Have you had a sudden drop in traffic to your website or rankings?
A drastic and sudden drop in Google search rankings can often mean that you’ve been penalised for your use of banned SEO practices. Whether you’ve accidentally breached the Webmaster Guidelines or have actively been practicing black hat SEO, you’ll be knocked down the rankings or even removed from search results completely.
Examples of how a Google Penalty impacts traffic and visitors
Types of Google penalty:
Algorithmic penalties are a ranking drop caused by updates in Google’s constantly-updating algorithm, which sees up to 600 updates each year. These updates cause ‘SEO flux,’ penalising you for not being up-to-date with the latest in best-practice SEO.
A manual penalty is given to you by an actual human, who’s noticed your “black hat” – unethical – search engine optimisation techniques. Black hat SEO is not illegal, but it does invoke the wrath of Google penalties.
The following SEO techniques can result in a manual action notice:
- Hacked site
- Malware attack
- User-generated spam
- Spam free hosts
- Spam structured mark-up
- Unnatural links to your site
- Unnatural links from your site
- Pointless content – a mask for keywords
- Pure spam
- Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing
Can Anyone be Blacklisted?
Yes. Google isn’t in the pockets of any major corporations and has called them out in the past – if you’ve been penalised, you’re in famous company.
Google Penalty Case Study – BMW
In 2006, German auto giant BMW had their ranking dropped to zero after they were caught using black hat SEO. They created hidden text pages that allowed them to top search results for, example, “used car” – BMW does not specialise in used cars. When users clicked through to these pages they were redirected to the regular BMW landing page.
The Google penalty was to completely remove BMW.de from its search results for three days.
Google Penalty Case Study – BBC
Violation: unnatural links
In 2013 the BBC had one page given a “manual action notice” from Google for unnatural links, which are links that don’t fit with the page content for any number of reasons. Link spamming has been the focus of the last few updates in the search algorithm, and it caught the BBC by surprise; just like you or I, the news giant turned to Google forums for help.
The page in question was removed from Google search results indefinitely.
Google Penalty Case Study – JC Penny
Violation: paid links
One of the best ways to boost your Google ranking is to have sites linking to yours. These inbound links suggest to the search engine that your website is in demand and trusted. JC Penney paid external websites to create thousands of links to their website, causing the famous corporation to top the search results for everything from “dresses” to the weirdly-specific “grommet-top curtains”.
The pages linked to in this scheme were degraded in Google’s search results for 90 days.
How Do I Get a Google Penalty Removed?
Algorithmic penalties are easier to solve, as they’re usually content-based. Check the Webmaster Guidelines to see if you’re compliant with the latest update. Low-quality links, poor keyword choice, and competitor sites can all play a part.
Manual action penalties are a more difficult process, as you’ve been caught in direct violation of Google’s guidelines. Obviously the first step is to cease the violation: remove spam links, take down hidden text, etc.. You’ll then need to place a reconsideration request.
Once you’ve had the penalty undone you’ll want to climb back up the rankings. Google’s machine-learning AI is allowing it to look for websites with content written for customers, not the search engine; authentic, ‘natural-linked’ content. Because of this, investing time in white hat SEO such as quality content and high quality backlinks is more likely than ever to boost your rankings.
Collecting the data and completing all required actions for this is an intensive process. Thankfully, there are SEO experts out there who offer penalty removal services alongside rank-boosting ones. Digital Squad is one of those – get in touch if you’re concerned about your Google ranking.
Need Help with Penalty Removal?
Digital Squad is a specialist pure white hat SEO agency based in Auckand. We invest more hours than any other agency in research and testing to stay100% compliant with latest Google Algorithm Updates. This allows us to provide Google Penalty Guarantees to all our clients for complete peace of mind.
Don’t risk your website with agencies that take shortcuts and use Black-hat SEO practices.
Get in touch with Digital Squad today to arrange a site audit to see if you’re at risk OR to arrange a Google penalty removal request.