Businesses are often charged with penalties due to a violation of certain rules put in place. Online businesses are no different and receive penalties in their toil to achieve highest rankings in Google. Websites are penalized as a result of violating Google webmaster guidelines by trying to push link building to its limit. A traffic drop on your website is one of the indicators of a penalty and you need to check its cause.
Causes of penalty
- Manual penalty. The penalty can be applied by Google due to something on your website which may flag its spam algorithm. It can be detected easily since notifications are sent to your website which you can check in webmaster tools.
- Algorithm updates. The most popular algorithmic updates include penguin and panda where the latter focuses on content quality and the former on backlinks and anchor text distribution. To find out which among the two is the cause of penalty, you correlate the period you lost traffic with the date of a new algorithm update.
Low-quality links (backlinks) is the main reason for most of the penalties on websites. On the other hand, Google updates its algorithm regularly and any slightest change can cause a traffic drop where the updates, unfortunately, are not easily detectable. In other cases, penalties may be caused by things that are out of your control, for instance, negative SEO attacks.
How to recover from a Google penalty
Luckily, a Google penalty recovery is doable. In both cases, whether a manual penalty or due to algorithmic updates the recovery is possible. The steps include:
- The key thing to recovery is analyzing your website’s backlinks to identify the links that caused a drop in your rankings. You look for dofollow backlinks (those which pass page rank) and verify each of them manually to identify the bad ones. a common tool which can be used in this case is Monitor Backlinks.
- Once these bad links are identified, the next step is to remove manually those that can be removed.
- Those links that are irremovable, you disavow.
If the penalty was a result of low-quality content on your website, your solution may be to hire some professional writers to deliver high-quality content. Where the Penguin algorithm was the cause, you can start by analyzing its function- backlink profile and anchor text distribution. Whereas, if it was Panda, your start is to look for site structure problems and content that has been duplicated. Once you have created a recovery plan, then you file your request for reconsideration with Google.
As much as you can recover from a penalty, the process can be lengthy. Your safest option, therefore, is to create a backlink profile which is natural with proper content. During the recovery process, you may consider not taking an action before determining what was the cause of traffic drop. Detecting the cause is key to proper Google penalty recovery. Once you have recovered from a Google penalty successfully, take caution and avoid another instance where your traffic may drop. Ensure you follow the Google Webmaster guidelines too.
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