You got a Google penalty. Now what?


Our colorful friend Google drops the hammer by dishing out manual penalties by the thousands. Their commitment to user experience and trust is what makes them the top dog of search engines, which is why SEO practices have to be carried out in a legitimate, procedural way.

Shortcutting or investing in black hat SEO is a good way to wind up with one of these common Google penalties, but it doesn’t mean your website is ruined forever. You can bounce back from a Google penalty by knowing what to do.

First and foremost, identify what kind of penalty you’ve been slapped with. Google provides step by step instructions for identifying what kind of penalty you got and how to recover from it, so this is your starting point. Unless you’ve committed a major SEO offense, you’ll more than likely be dealing with a manual action penalty.

Next, do a thorough inspection of your website’s architecture and perform a site audit. This will mainly entail checking for clean source code, page depth, and other foundational aspects of your website that Google looks at.

After that, you’ll want to make your website Panda friendly, which deals in large part with content. Believe it or not, things like low quality and duplicate content are punishable because they disrupt a user’s access to reliable content, which is a no -no in Google’s eyes.

Your final step in bouncing back is to build new links that are authoritative and high quality. Despite it sounding like a huge undertaking, a few really good links can drastically improve the traffic and search ranking of your site. Focus less on building bulk spam links and more on securing editorial links on respected websites with high traffic. You can do this through guest posting, developing creative content like infographics or tutorials for others to share on their websites, or even by writing reviews.

While receiving a Google penalty certainly isn’t a good thing, it can definitely be overcome and is certainly not the end of the world. By approaching it as an opportunity to correct the weak spots of your website, the penalty can eventually be lifted and your site left in better standing to build new traffic.

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