Google’s last few algorithms updates have created havoc over the internet. Webmasters plunged in to Google Webmaster Forums with questions asking they had penalized Google for doing nothing bad and hundreds of thousands of articles were published bashing Google and Matt Cutts, head of Google Antispam Team.
Well, the funny part is there are even petitions raised asking Google to rollback the Penguin updated. However Google stood firmly towards its goal to clean the web by removing Spam sites.
Google’s latest update “Penguin” had bought down hundreds of thousands of websites and blogs from search results over the night. Website penalized by Google either lost their ranking in the SERPs or moved to 10th or later pages of the search engine result pages or some disappeared from SERPs.
If you are one of the victim of Google’s penalty this post is for you. Here in this article I have some tips for you to clean those mess you had done knowingly or unknowingly. Please understand that, these tips are not tested by myself or on my blog, but those were proven by major SEO professionals.
First, Wait For At Least 2 Weeks
Most of the webmaster make fatal mistake by taking further steps without thinking second. When they see changes in the ranking assuming their site has been hit by Google penalty and start working towards fixing it.
This fixing may include removing back links, deleting post which they think low quality and so on. But I suggest you to wait, not for a month but at least for 2 weeks.
Because, when Google make changes to its search engine algorithm it affects all the sites in its index, sometime good sites may hit without any reason and when the update reconcile completely those good sites starts behaving normal once again.
So, you should wait at least 2 weeks before do any fixes to your site. I mentioned this because, once you drop your posts or back links it’s hard to get them back again.
Check Whether Your Site Is Just Penalized or Banned Completely
You can check whether your site is just penalized or completely banned by typing site:www.yoursite.com and info:yoursite.com in Google search and look for results, if you see results (should be home page of your site, refer to below image) from your website then you can breathe a sigh of relief because your site still in Google’s index and you just have a penalty which can be fixed.
If you don’t see any results (refer to below image) related to your site, then you have been de-indexed by Google and it’s almost impossible to get back your rankings.
(Image credit: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/web-directory-submission-danger)
Google’s Quality Guidelines Is Your Friend
Google’s quality guidelines or Webmaster Guidelines is one source you should look at. The quality guideline you should have on your site are mentioned there. Read it carefully and make changes on your site consequently.
In GQG, they have different section like: Design and content guidelines, Technical guidelines and Quality guidelines to let webmaster to know how to optimize their site as per Google’s standard.
Google clearly mentioned that, the sites breach their policies mentioned in webmaster guidelines are more be likely to get penalized or banned. Google also provided how to Search Engine Optimize you site in detailed article in Webmaster tools.
- Download Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google.
Analyse Your Site and Make Required Changes
Google is not an evil to simply penalize your site; instead you must have done something that breaches their quality guidelines and that led them to penalize your site. So, now you have to be a good guy and undo the black-hat techniques you have done.
Below are some of key-elements on your site to analyze.
Analyze Your Links
Your fixes to Google penalize work should starts with analyzing back links you have. You can use Google webmaster tool’s links to your site (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/external-links-domain?hl=en&siteUrl= ) section to analyze back links to your site.
Check the sites linking to your domain, if you see any low quality websites linking to you, like some blogspot blogs, scrap sites or RSS feeder sites. You can ask the webmaster of such site by sending an email requesting removal of your link.
Recently, I read an article in WMF saying one of the site owner asked to remove his links from some scrap site owners, but that guys instead of removing them asked him money. So, be careful about those scams running now a days (Read that forum post here: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/g51p-cUckpI ) .
Analyze Your Anchor Text
Have a look at your anchor texts on and off the site. May be you have keyword rich anchor text all over the internet used in comments or in the form of link exchange. Try to gather them using http://www.raventools.com/ or http://www.ahrefs.com/site-explorer/ (both are free with some limits, but really helpful tools) and try remove or fix them.
Analyze Your Old Contents For Keyword Stuff and Duplicate Contents
Review your old articles and check whether you have done any keyword stuffing things or have duplicate contents. If you find anything fishy, completely rewrite the content so that it will help you to recover from duplicate or low quality content penalty.
Check Whether The Ads Placed Heavily or Blocks User Accessibility
Google penalizes the sites are ad-heavy and less content ratio comparing to ads on the page. Also, make sure your ads are not placed above the fold.
Check for any violation you made without knowing like; hidden text, hidden links etc. Check for any other possible on-page SEO penalty, like over-optimization and fix it first.
Google Algorithm Update Related Articles:
Submit A Request For Reconsideration
Once you feel you have done a lot to clean your site, then you can submit a reconsideration request using your webmaster tools. The reconsideration form is available here.
Before submitting reconsideration request I suggest you to have a look on below video made by Google Webmaster team and read this article on google WMT.