In this article, I’ve listed some of the most effective Google penalty recovery tips which could help you recover your website or blog which has got hit by any of the Google updates like Penguin, Panda, Humming Bird, etc or by any manual action for violating TOS. We’ll also help you to identify if your website or blog has been penalized by Google and explain various methods to avoid getting penalized.
How to Identify if Your Site is Penalized?
It’s likely your site has been penalized if there is a sudden drop in your rankings or web traffic. Unfortunately, the very first step any webmaster takes after identifying the penalized site is to fix things that aren’t actually broken. In fact, the first step is to recognize the source of penalty. The next step is to identify whether the traffic dropped due to a manual penalty or an algorithm update.
Manual penalty happens as a result of spammy behavior, and Google decides to apply a manual penalty to your site’s rankings. They aren’t related to Google algorithm changes like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, or the others.
Manual penalties are easier to identify because they are usually accompanied by a message to your webmaster account.
Algorithm penalty is assessed when your site is triggered. Penalties occur as Google naturally updates its algorithm. A small change or group of change can drop your site’s ranking. Algorithm penalty is much harder to detect because it doesn’t come with notification.
Penguin or Panda?
Whether it’s a manual penalty or algorithm update that has burned your rankings, the source of the penalty is likely Penguin or Panda.
Google Panda Update
Google’s Panda Update is a search filter meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Panda is updated from time-to-time. When this happens, sites previously hit may escape, if they’ve made the right changes. Panda may also catch sites that escaped before. A refresh also means “false positives” might get released.
Google Penguin Update
Google launched the Penguin Update to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular, those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings
Are you a victim of Google’s Panda update?
If you are a victim of Google’s Panda update, I will tell you the procedure to file a reconsideration request and some tips for bloggers who want to get safe from Panda.
I’ve learned some common reasons and simple mistakes which many of the bloggers still follow on their blogs. Those small mistakes will lead to the removal of your blog from Google’s search index.
What Should We Care While Blogging?
‘People learns from mistakes..‘ it’s very true for me, I’ve learned from my mistakes. Here are some important things to be taken care off while blogging.
Stop Writing Short Articles Just to Target Adsense Clicks
I’m a very lazy person, And I always hesitate to write long blog articles. And I believe that reading long articles makes readers bored. Everyone needs a quick answer in short paragraphs of instructions.
But Google thinks oppositely. They think that long articles are good in quality. So, try to explain your articles in depth.
Avoid Buying Low-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks can really help your website in Google rankings if done in the right way. But you must be really careful in doing so. If good quality links can help you in rankings, bad quality links will do the opposite.
Stop Using Too Many Ads
Most bloggers including me, try to make money as quick as possible. So we try to include more ads for increasing our revenue. But Google treats this as bad karma. So try to reduce ads on your blog. And don’t use third-class ads, it won’t help make you richer. But it will affect your blog severely, and it also makes readers irritated.
Use Nofollow for Untrusted and Affiliate External Links
Using nofollow tag tells Google bot, that the blog has no direct relationship with the link that has been mentioned.
example for a nofollow link:<a href=’http://google.com/news’ rel=’nofollow’>Google News</a>
Avoid Using Link Exchanges
Link exchanging between blogs are vastly seen in the blogosphere. I recommend you to avoid two-way link exchanges.Two-way link exchanges will not increase your blog rankings.
Now I’ll tell you on sending a reconsideration letter to Google
How to Send a Reconsideration Request to Google?
Sending a reconsideration letter to Google is a very simple process. Follow my steps.
- Go to Google Reconsideration Request Page .
- Then select your blog from the drop-down list and tick on the reconsideration statement. (* You must add your blog to Google Webmaster Tools if you haven’t done this before.)
- You have to fill some information about your blog’s problem. You can get a ready-made reconsideration letter from Labnol. (Don’t forget to change the links in the reconsideration template into your blog link.)
- At last, click Request Reconsideration.
- Then wait for the reply from Google. It may take up to 2 weeks. They will also tell you the reason for the removal.
How to Recover from a Google Penguin Penalty
To recover from a Penguin penalty, you will have to analyze your site’s anchor text distribution.
Go to Ahrefs and create a free account. Then, click the backlinks report tab at the top of the page and enter your site’s domain.
Click the overview tab and scroll to the bottom of the page to see your site’s anchor text distribution.You want to see a natural distribution that includes anchor text with targeted keyword variations, brand name keywords, naked URLs, and other natural variations.If your site’s anchor text distribution contains only exact match keywords, it’s likely you’ve been hit by Penguin.
In order to identify the source of the keyword-rich anchor text click on the “backlinks” tab on the left side of the page, this will give you a list of all referring domains along with the inbound anchor text used to link to your site from those domains.
Another thing to look at closely is the relevancy of the sites linking to your domain. If you notice that you have a large number of unrelated, low-quality sites linking to your domain, this could also trigger Penguin.Reach out to the referring websites and request that they remove the backlink. Make a list of the sites that do not respond, and then submit them to Google’s disavow tool.Another area very few SEOs discuss is the over-optimization of the homepage. If all your backlinks are pointing to your homepage, this will look unnatural to Google.Concentrate on building links to all the pages on your website and then build a solid internal link structure that will distribute page rank throughout your site.
5 Tools for Google Penalty Recovery
- Fetch as Google
The Fetch as Google tool enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site. You can use Fetch as Google to see whether Googlebot can access a page on your site, how it renders the page, and whether any page resources (such as images or scripts) are blocked to Googlebot. This tool simulates a crawl and render execution as done by Google’s normal crawling and rendering process, and is useful for debugging crawl issues on your site.Fetch as Google has different Googlebot types you can choose from, including Desktop and Mobile: Smartphone. Once you’ve chosen your Googlebot, you can then “Fetch and Render” the URL, which will give you details on the URL’s HTTP response, the page download speed, and how Google sees your page (vs how browsers see it).This is a great (and quick) tool to use to detect basic errors (e.g. whether your URL being redirected or blocked by robots.txt) and also to see the response time of your server.
- Screaming Frog Web Crawler
Penalty recovery needs to start with a thorough assessment of the whole site. To fight a Google penalty, it is crucial to know exactly what has caused it. Screaming Frog Web Crawler crawls a site and finds problems such as thin or duplicate content, dead ends, internal redirects and other common issues.
If you think you have been penalized, you need to invest in a good “spider” to crawl through your entire site before taking any action.
Screaming Frog can handle large sites that would be impractical to check manually, making it a favorite choice of many SEO pros.
- Majestic SEO
When facing Google penalties, it’s important to have a good understanding of your link profile. Link intelligence tools like Majestic SEO can also help you analyze the link profile of your (and your competitors’) sites.
Many Google penalties have to do with bad backlinks, and Majestic is especially helpful for cleaning up your site’s backlink profile. It can also give you a detailed report on anchor text, with red flags for over-optimization and other problems. Once you know about your exact trust rating, you can take steps to improve it and maintain it.
Ahrefs is a popular tool suite for finding bad links. It’s one of the most effective tools for inbound link analysis and detailed backlink reports. It can tell you the overall quality of the domains involved, and it can point out specific problems with individual backlinks that might be spammy or unnatural.
The Ahrefs index of links is based on data from more than a trillion connections. It is updated several times per hour to keep you up to date on the most recent developments. Ahrefs is also a good tool for pointing out problems with your anchor text.
- Monitor Backlinks
Another nifty tool for finding bad backlinks is Monitor Backlinks. After importing your links from Google Webmaster Tools into Monitor Backlinks, you can then look for your Dofollow backlinks (since Google supposedly ignores any nofollow links).
From there, you can use the filters to switch to external and then manually verify the backlinks. Be aware that a lot of your bad links can come from blog comments.