So how can you recover from Google penalty? Just this week I was hit with what seemed like a Google penalty. I couldn’t find my site with a search for my name (main keyword) which usually brought it up in the first 3-4 results. I immediately realized that this was because of something I had done the previous week on the site and began looking at articles around the subject. I identified two things which may have been the cause:
1. Some website copy which may have been found on another site. (This site was auto created originally and had some duplicate copy on it).
2. I had been putting too many affiliate links on my latest blog posts.
There are of course many reasons why someone would get a penalty and most of them will be automatically created by the search engines. Manual penalties can also be put on your site but for the bulk it is an automated process decided by the search engines. Here are a few other reasons why you may have had a penalty:
1. Spammy copy. If you are spamming keywords into your copy in the hope that it will help with the search engines, don’t do it. Write naturally and don’t overdo the keyword placement.
2. Incoming links. Your link profile should be organic and happen over time. Sudden rises in incoming links is a sign to Google that you are trying to manipulate the results of the search engines. Links from dubious or unrelated sites are also a sign of manipulation. Your links should be from good quality sites which are related to yours in some way.
3. Not enough content. Initially Google may rank a site which is later found to have too little content.
4. Cloaking of urls or sneaky redirect tactics.
5. Not enough unique content or not offering enough value. Affiliate sites are often penalized for this because they only offer the same content as the other site’s they are promoting. If you’re an affiliate you need to offer some value in addition to what the vendor/creator of the product has created, otherwise Google has no reason to index your site.
Google wants good content which offers value to the end user – or the person entering the query into the search engine. Don’t try to trick Google, instead try to give it what it wants.
Have a look at Google’s webmaster guidelines to see what they want from a site for it to be indexed properly. A site can be penalized for between 48 hours and up to the lifetime of the website. If you have webmaster tools on your site you can check to see if it has received a penalty.
My site returned two days after I had changed some content and removed several affiliate links. I think the links were the problem however since that was the latest thing I had done to the site. More than one or two affiliate links within an article seemed enough to cause the problem. I know article sites like Ezine articles won’t allow links to be placed in the first paragraph of the copy so it could also be a problem with where the links were placed.
Looking through the last two articles I had written I saw that I was placing more than the normal amount of links I usually place in any given article. Although the initial shock and horror of being hit with a penalty is slightly traumatic, this has helped me to improve my understanding of the search engines and can only be a good thing moving forwards.
Just reading some online advice and taking immediate action has helped me to recover from the penalty in less than 2 days. If you have any experience of this yourself and can help others recover from a google penalty comment below. Many thanks.