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How to Recover From the Dreaded Google Penalty [2020 Updated]

Aug 24, 2020 | Google Penalty, SEO | 0 comments

laptop showing SEo data

Google keeps updating its algorithm to improve users’ online search experience. The goal of the updates is to ensure that the search engine shows relevant and quality content for user queries.

With the growing popularity of the internet, businesses realized the importance of getting their websites on the first page of search engine results. In their quest to boost their SEO rankings, some online marketers adopted shady black hat SEO tactics, such as link farming, keyword stuffing, spam commenting, and others. Although these tactics were initially successful, Google soon sfound out that these tactics were against its guidelines and so, the company started penalizing the sites that employed these tactics.

A Google penalty refers to action taken against websites that engage in shady SEO tactics.

Any website that gets the dreaded Google penalty won’t be listed on search results for keywords. It will not even rank for branded keywords, including its business name.

Tips to Recover From a Google Penalty

Google penalizes websites for a range of reasons. If your website has received a letter from Google informing you about the penalty, you shouldn’t just throw in the towel.

You can take action to get the penalty removed and regain your website ranking. Let’s go through the steps that are required to get the penalty removed from your website.

1. Identify the Reason for the Penalty

While the Google letter typically contains the reason for the penalty, the most common reason for imposing a penalty is the use of ‘unnatural’ backlinks.

Analyze your website backlinks to identify what caused a dip in the website ranking. You may use Google Webmaster Tools to download all the backlinks identified by Google. Just left click on Search Traffic and then select ‘Links to the Site’.

Export all the backlinks by clicking on ‘Download latest links’. You can upload the list of backlinks to an SEO tool, such as is Monitor Backlinks, to analyze the backlinks. Avoid using tools that will automatically identify low-quality links. This is important as you could disavow links that could hurt your online rankings.

Look for backlinks that have a dofollow attribute as these pass link juice to your site. You will have to manually check each backlink and identify the ones that have most likely resulted in a penalty. Poor backlinks can come from any of the following.

  • Unrelated blog site
  • Auto-approved blog comments
  • Link farming directories
  • Sites with low domain authority

2. Link Removal Request

You can communicate with the website owner to remove your link from the website. You may email them and make sure to keep the tone polite. Also, use your official email address for this purpose. Try to keep the email concise and specific so that the webmaster can locate and remove the link.

Do not spam the website owner by sending them more than three emails for removing the concerned link. This is important to increase the chances of the owner complying with your request and removing the link from the site.

Some website owners will remove the link. Others may ignore your request altogether. If the website owner doesn’t remove your link from the site, you can disavow the domain. You don’t have to pay for getting your links removed from the websites.

3. Disavow Links

Google disavow form

Google’s Disavow Link Tool allows you to disavow entire domains. You will need to submit a list of sites whose owners refused to remove your link from their websites. It normally takes about 4 weeks for the request to be processed.

After the links have been disavowed, Google will remove the penalty and will see an improvement in your rankings.

4. Removing Algorithm Penalty

Sometimes, Google imposes a penalty on a website owner for not conforming to the search engine algorithm. You won’t get an email in case of an algorithm penalty. The only way to know whether or not a penalty has hit your site is by monitoring the search engine ranking.

If your website ranking has suddenly decreased, the most probable cause is a Google algorithm penalty.

Google has released over a dozen algorithm updates. You can read more about the updates in one of our previous blogs.

In case your website has been hit due to the Panda update, you can check if the website has slow speed, lots of ads, thin content, and poor navigation. Duplicate content can also result in a penalty. You may consider checking the content through a plagiarism checker, such as Grammarly plagiarism checker or Copyscape.

Your website can also take a hit due to a Penguin update. Analyze your website content to know about anchor text distribution. You can also use the AhRef tool to find out about the anchor text distribution of the website. Make sure that the anchor text of the website has natural distribution with different keywords and URLs.

Conclusion

A Google penalty can have a drastic impact on your website ranking. But you can make an effort to have the penalty removed and regain your website ranking.

When you get a Google penalty because of using unnatural backlinks, you will be notified via email. You can get the penalty removed by removing or disavowing the backlinks.

On the other hand, the algorithm penalty is a bit challenging to identify so it’s better to read about the algorithm updates released by Google. You may also talk to an expert Alabama SEO expert to learn how the penalty can be removed. An experienced SEO professional in Huntsville can help you remove the penalty and regain the top position in search results.

That being said, do not hire an inexperienced SEO expert to save money. Your site could be penalized for using shady tactics to boost rankings. In some cases, the damage can be so extensive that it’s beyond repair. You may even have to shut down your site that has received the dreaded penalty from Google. Have you ever been hit with this penalty? Let us know if the comment box below.

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