The worst nightmare of any webmaster is having a Google penalty and he has no idea about to recover from Google penalty. It is because a penalty from Google can severely impact your website’s search engine traffic and can drop down your website ranking in the SERPs or search engine result pages.
Yes, there is fierce competition among websites to steal top ranking in search engines, but achieving this is not a simple task. For this reason, SEO marketers used to overdo the process of link-building. But to combat this issue, Google penalizes websites that over practice link building or violate guidelines from Google.
So, if your website is experiencing a sudden drop in online traffic then there is a possibility that your site has been penalized from Google. The reasons for a penalty can be different. But no need to worry as this post will tell you some awesome and simple ways to remove Google penalty and get your website working again!
First, let’s begin with the two evils – Algorithmic Penalty and Manual Penalty.
What Manual Actions Causes a Penalty?
Penalties caused by manual actions are easy to find out. If any of your manual action violates quality guidelines from Google, then this will result in a penalty. But the good thing is that, you are informed of the cause and effect occurred because of the penalty. Hence, when you are aware of the reason, you can fix it easily and faster.
Most of the times, it is easy to recover from manual penalties that may occur because of sneaky redirects, cloaking, or hidden links and text.
If you want to recover from Google Penalty?
- You first have to identify the affected or penalized pages of your site, which can be done by using a Webmaster tool.
- Once you have discovered such pages then you need to remove all spammy content. Spammy content can be in the form of comments, URLs, and irrelevant redirects that fail to satisfy the users.
- If there are invisible links or text in your webpage then you have to make them on display. Because if your webpage has hidden links then Google believes that you are presenting manipulative search results.
- Once all the issues have been fixed, you need to submit a request to reconsideration to Google. Describe the changes you have made in the request.
Website Hack – Recovering from this Unintended Manual Action
If your website is hacked then this brings more pain than a Google penalty. It is a clear sign that your website lacks the security needed to function safely online. No customer would prefer visiting a hacked website. When your site is hacked, there is a warning issued by Google about the damage that can occur. As a result, this greatly affects your organic search result volume.
Though it may take some more time to fix the things, the following are the instructions that can help you recover your site completely from a hack.
- You need to quickly inform the host about a hacking activity that took place on your site. Immediately you must set your website offline in order to stop catering the hacked pages.
- Before you begin the recovery process you need to determine the kind of attack in the message and analyze malware or spam damage.
- Find out the way your website has been hacked.
- The next step is to clean the website with removal URLs tool available in the Search Console.
- When the process of cleaning as well as restoring your site is completed, you need to check security issues within Search Console. For this, you have to ask for a review. Once it is confirmed by the Google team that entire issues on your site have been fixed, your website will be flagged for online.
Understanding a Google Penalty Algorithm:
In an attempt to keep every online action optimized, Google updates its algorithm on a regular basis. In this case, even the smallest change can result in a traffic drop.
The worst thing is an algorithm penalty that does not come with a notification. This implies that it is extremely difficult to detect the penalty. So, if your website has been penalized and it is not a manual penalty, then it must be an algorithm penalty.
The challenge here is to determine the kind of algorithmic penalty. For this, you need to correlate the time of new update and the time where your website lost its traffic suddenly.
So, if you consider Penguin and Panda algorithms as penalty reasons then you are making a mistake. It is because these are two important algorithmic updates from Google.
Penguin update – This update focuses on the distribution of anchor text and backlinks
Panda – This update focuses on the quality of content
Recovering from a Penguin Algorithm Penalty:
In order to recover from a penalty because of a Penguin update, you need to assess the anchor text distribution.
For this, you first have to create an account and check for the backlinks report. You can check this by entering the domain of your website.
Next, check for the ‘overview’ tab and identify anchor text distribution.
You have to check for target keyword variation, keywords related to your brand name, naked URLs, and other aspects. It is because of Penguin attacks websites where anchor text distribution comprises just matched keywords.
It is therefore essential to determine the anchor text’s source and get details of the source or referring domains. Once you are able to locate referring sites, you need to remove backlink.
Recovering from a Panda Algorithm Penalty:
The Panda algorithm usually penalizes websites having issues like insufficient content, duplicate content, the poor speed of the site, innumerable ads display, and improper navigation structure. In order to resolve penalties from the Panda algorithm, you have to check your site for all such issues.
You first have to ensure that your website has a fast speed. Secondly, resolve webpages with low-quality or duplicate content. For this, you can use Google Webmaster tools and discover search appearance and improvements in HTML. By doing this, it will be easier to identify web pages with duplicate content.
Now, in addition to these penalties, there are more other common Google penalties, which can entrap your website. So, it’s time to learn about those issues and the best ways to resolve them. Let’s first begin with the most common reason for Google penalty – low-quality or bad links on your website.
What are the Different Kinds of Low-Quality and Bad Backlinks?
If you want to recover from Google penalty occurring because of bad or low-quality links, you first have to learn about the various kinds of such links.
The various kinds of bad backlinks are:
- Websites with low-quality or duplicate content
- Spammy or spammers comments and forum profiles
- Websites having no relevance to your site’s niche
- Sponsored and Advertorials content
- Backlinks from online directories
- Social bookmarking sites
- Gambling site links
- Adult site links
- Any sort of hidden text
- Sneaky and Cloaking redirects
- Content Generated Automatically
Ways to recover from Google penalty one by one:
1. Websites with Duplicate or Thin Content:
Web pages are considered having low-quality content if they have spun or auto-generated content. Web pages have thin content with no additional value, OEM descriptions, no unique information. Low-quality blog posts scraped content from sites and doorway pages.
This penalty can be in two kinds:
Site-wide matches – These affect the entire site.
Partial matches – These affect some parts of the site.
First, you need to identify and eliminate spun or auto-generated content. Next, you have to determine affiliate pages which offer no added value. Web pages with thin content must be eliminated. Also, you can use software to identify duplicate content, which is available elsewhere online. Either remove or replace the content. Next, identify content having a low word count and make them more informative and useful. Finally, you need to remove the doorway pages.
Once all such issues are resolved, you need to submit a request for reconsideration.
2. Spammed Structured Markup:
Google has some rich snippets guidelines as well as markup content that are not visible to the users. Also, this sort of content is misleading or irrelevant, and hence, a penalty is issued.
You have to update the existing markup and eliminate markup that violates rich snippet guidelines from Google. After this, you need to submit a reconsideration request.
3. Spammy Free Host:
If you are using a free hosting service then there might be spammy ads being displayed on your site, which you cannot control. Websites with such manual actions are penalized from Google.
You need to migrate to a reliable shared hosting. Once it is done, you then have to submit an appeal to reconsideration.
4. Pure Spam:
This is one of the major reasons why Google penalizes websites. This penalty is offered to websites that aggressively uses numerous spammy techniques, including scraped content, cloaking, automated content, and more activities that violate Google guidelines.
If you have made this mistake for the first time then make necessary actions in accordance with the Webmaster guidelines from Google.
5. Unnatural Links from the Website:
Google is always against websites that sell links. Even, if there are any links that exist mainly for manipulating the search engine rankings then they can trigger a penalty. Such links are deemed as artificial, manipulative, deceptive, or unnatural.
You need to modify or remove such links by including a ‘nofollow’ attribute. This way, these links will no longer pass the PageRank. Finally, you can appeal reconsideration.
6. Unnatural Links to the Website:
This again is a common penalty and the main cause for this is buying links or participating in the link schemes to increase organic SERPs. Again, this is a violation of webmaster guidelines from Google.
You first have to download links to the website from Google’s Search Console. Then audit such links to determine aspects that violate guidelines. You can either use a ‘no-follow’ attribute or remove to make it a non-conforming link. Disavow links, which you are not able to follow or remove. Request a reconsideration appeal.
7. Sneaking and Cloaking Redirects:
Cloaking is the act to show distinct pages to the users that are displayed to Google. Cloaking or sneaky redirects send users to a distinct page than what is shown to Google. Such actions directly violate guidelines from Google webmaster.
Navigate to the search console of Google and then extract pages from the effects parts of the site. Then compare content on web pages to extract content by Google. Resolve all the variations, identify redirects, and remove redirects, which send users to an undesirable destination, conditional redirect, or are sneaky.
8. Cloaked Images:
Cloaking can occur to images as well. It serves images which are obscured by another image, distinct from image served, and redirect users away from actual images.
Make sure you display the same image to Google as displayed to the users of your website. Finally, you need to submit a reconsideration request.
9. Violation of Google’s First-Click-Free Guideline
This form of penalty is levied to websites, which show complete content to Google but restrict the content viewable by the users, particularly users from services of Google in accordance to the First-Click-Free policy of Google. Sites that ask users to subscribe, log in, or register to view the full content are directly violating Google’s guidelines.
It is essential that the content displayed to users coming from services of Google must be the same as being displayed to Google. Hence, make adequate edits to stay in compliance with Google’s guidelines.
Submit a request for reconsideration.
To Sum Up:
A penalty from Google can hit the traffic of your website considerably. Removal of such penalties may be a tedious process, but the good thing is that every penalty can be fixed. By eliminating bad backlinks and removing duplicate or low-quality content can help you stay away from Google’s penalty.
If in case your website has been penalized and you are not able to recover it then it is best to hire a professional.