Google is not only a search engine but also an online police. So imagine when this firm sends you a penalty notification for violating its guidelines? How would you respond?
An initial shock would be a natural response, followed with “OMG” utterings and questions like “How did this happen?”. You might even call your SEO expert and ask the same question you’d ask yourself earlier.
How Google Penalized Website Offenders
There are several reasons that websites can violate Google’s guidelines. Some of them involve backlinks, from manipulative usage to poor quality to masquerading, among others. When your site is penalized it means Google has removed your website in the search engine. This can lead to a dramatic drop in your site’s traffic as it becomes virtually unfindable.
First Step to Recover from a Penalty
You have to correctly identify the penalty to start the recovery process for your penalized website. Google Penguin penalizes websites for link misuses or abuses. The first can be unintentional while the second is deliberate. Still, the penalty and the effect to a penalized site are the same. That is a devastating traffic loss.
Two Ways to Effective Recovery
There are tools you can use to identify your penalty and correlate it with Google algorithm updates/penalties. One of them is the Google Penalty Recovery Questionnaire which can assist in traffic loss analysis and provide tailored instructions on how your site can recover based on your answers.
If the problem is related to your backlink, it’s time to do a cleanup. Once you’ve identified the penalty, the following factors will determine your chance and length of recovery.
- Severity of the penalty.
- How fast you can identify the penalty.
- How fast you can resolve the problems brought about by the penalty.
- Time it takes to get a response when a reconsideration request is necessary.
The best defense against Google penalties is to be proactive. This means you have to be aware of Google’s guidelines and the updates it releases over time. The law does not spare the clueless, so to speak.