Google Penalty Recovery

Recovering your rankings after a Google penalty hit

Before contacting us about Google penalty recovery please check that this is really the cause of your lost rankings. To do so look in your Google Search Console (formely Google Webmaster Tools) for a message from Google which will state why you have been penalized and which penalty has been applied.

We're an open and transparent partner with nothing to hide and no 'secret' methods so below is an outline of why sites are hit and how we recover them.

The Google Panda Penalty

If your site has been hit by Google Panda it means one (or more) of the following:

  • There is very little valuable, quality content.
  • Much of the content is copied from other websites.
  • You have a large number of pages which serve up the same or very similar content.

Note Google Panda is an ongoing part of the Google Algorithm which means a website can be hit at any time. There are not always specific "release dates" to watch out for.

How does Google Panda know what valuable content is?

The Google bot is a robot. It can check:

  • General level of content (word count, etc).
  • Spelling and grammar (quality).
  • Duplicated content over multiple pages.
  • High levels of content taken from other webites.

It does not know if your content is valuable but it knows who does ... humans.

So as when coming to the conclusion that a site lacks valuable content Google Panda also looks at:

  • User behaviour (bounce rates, average time on site, brand mentions, etc.).
  • Links from high quality sites.

This means if your website appears to be short of content, or the content appears to be poorly written, these are only the first red flags for Google Panda. User-behaviour is the nail in the coffin.

Google Panda recovery

There are two recovery options. Either recreate your site on a new domain or, if you value your domain name highly, repairing your current content and then requesting a reconsideration from Google.

These repairs take two forms:

  • Repairing code that may have caused the penalty.
  • Creating original and quality content from English native speakers. This will engage your visitors so they will want to stay longer and they will want to share/link to your pages.

High quality original content + Better Visitor Engagement = Panda Recovery

Google Penguin penalty

If your site has been hit by Google Penguin it means there are large numbers of spammy links pointing to your website and Google has enough evidence to point the finger at you as the person responsible for creating them.

Spammy links are not enough to bring a site down. If it was people would all be buying spammy links to their competitor's sites. Penguin also looks at other contributing factors such as:

  • Very few (or zero) genuine links and/or brand mentions.
  • Pure user behaviour metrics.
  • The age of the domain.
  • Low quality site content or site content violating Google's terms.

So, for example, if you have a website where the bounce rate is sky high and users don't stay for long (user behaviour metrics) because there is not much on your site to stay for and you have hundreds or thousands of links from spammy type sites you are likely to be hit hard.

Penalty or Normality?

The most common form of a Penguin hit is simply to realise the large numbers of spammy links are exactly that and should count for nothing. As such Google simply moves your rankings to their correct position now that it understands your links are not valuable.

This is not a penalty, this is your correct position in the rankings as reflected by the genuine backlinkgs that you have.

It is only a penalty if you have received a message in Google Webmaster Tools stating so. If you have no such message you just need to get on with better SEO tactics. Google is not laying the blame at your door directly and sees enough positive assets to your site not to take manual action.

Google Penguin recovery

Every Penguin recovery case is individual. I can help you:

  • Remove the links, or the effect of the links.
  • See if there are existing links which you could salvage.
  • Map out a stronger link-building strategy for the future.
  • Organise and add to your content to avoid a Penguin repeat.
  • Submit your site to Google for reconsideration.

Other Google penalties

While Penguin and Panda dominated the headlines Google also has a raft of other penalties which it hands out - all of which can be recovered from.

  • Spammy structured markup penalty
  • Cloaking and redirects penalty
  • Hacked site penalty
  • Unnatural links from your site penalty
  • Keyword stuffing / hidden text penalty
  • Image mismatch penalty
  • Spammy host penalty

Whichever one it is we can work with you to get the hit removed.