Do you fear your website would get penalized by Google? Or is your site already penalized by Google? No worries, follow this guide to recover from any Google penalty and, most importantly, prevent it!
Website traffic is crucial for the growth of any business and with frequent & unknown algorithmic changes to Google, achieving search engine rankings is not as easy as it used to be.
Thus, to grow online businesses, SEO’s and marketers are violating Google’s guidelines to achieve high ranking, and hence, they get penalized.
And the saddest part is that only 5% of penalized websites try to recover their rankings by submitting a reconsideration request.
But don’t surrender yet! Follow these guidelines to prevent getting manual or algorithmic penalties from Google and also prevent it.
Why Have You Been Penalized?
You could sense the penalty if you witness a sudden traffic drop on your website. Penalties could be of two types, manual one by Google’s spam team and an Algorithmic one.
Let’s understand them in detail:
Manual Action: If you’re a webmaster, you must be familiar with Google Webmaster Tools of Google Search Console. You need to visit it and look for any new notifications or warnings.
If you didn’t receive any GWT warnings but still notice traffic drop, investigate further to find the cause.
Algorithmic Penalty: This is the penalty you could try to prevent by correlating your traffic drop’s time with a new algorithm update.
The best approach you could take is to stay updated with recent changes from the following sources:
- Frequently check Google Algorithm Change History
- Follow Matt Cutts on Twitter and check MozCast or Algoroo to stay updated with all new algorithmic changes
- Also, check Google Webmaster on Youtube for SEO and Panda for algorithmic updates on content quality and Penguin on backlinks or anchor text distribution.
Backlinks Harmful for Your Website
Backlinks can improve link building and SEO rankings, but low-quality links can get your website penalized.
So, if you don’t want to lose your rankings, ensure your website does not contain the following types of backlinks:
- Websites already penalized by Google: What’s more dangerous than having backlinks from websites that Google already bans for violating its guidelines.
So always check if a website is de-indexed by searching “site:thewebsite.com” in Google and removing all the backlinks from that website.
- Websites with content irrelevant to your niche: Google rewards websites relevant to their niche. So having backlinks from websites that are unrelated to your niche can violate Google’s guidelines and raise a red flag.
For instance, if you have a website of clothing and apparel, it makes no sense to have links from a website selling pots and planters.
- Websites with duplicate and thin content: Websites that paste duplicate content for the sake of ranking are low in quality.
So having backlinks from directories or social bookmarking websites may degrade the quality of your website for Google and thus get penalized.
- Spammy comments and advertorials: Google also hates websites with comments and forums that encourage spammers to place links to redirect users. Some advertisers utilize these forums to advertise their products.
Google penalizes such websites as they degrade the user experience.
So, if you’re noticing a traffic drop on your website, it may be possible that Google has penalized you for having low-quality backlinks.
Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines to know why 95% of penalties by Google have bad backlinks as a reason.
How To Recover Your Rankings
There could be a traffic drop due to manual or algorithmic penalties. However, the first step towards achieving your rankings back is to identify all the backlinks that caused a penalty in the first place.
There are two approaches to this: either you delete the identified backlinks or disavow the ones you can’t delete.
Let’s deep dive into the process of identifying and destroying the bad backlinks:
Get hold of all your backlinks
To begin the search, go to Google Webmaster Tools and download all the active backlinks. In the top left menu,” click on “Links to Your Site” under “Search Traffic.
And, then export all your backlinks by clicking on “Download latest links.” Once you get hold of all your backlinks, go to a reputed SEO tool to get more information related to the SEO metrics of your links.
And please avoid using tools promising to auto delete low-quality backlinks as your best backlinks may get disavowed by it.
Identify all bad backlinks
Use the tool Monitor Backlinks and connect your Google Analytics account. Now import Google Webmaster Tools, and you’ll be able to see all your backlinks in one place.
Do follow backlinks are the ones that affect the ranking of a website. Once you get them, search for bad backlinks by concentrating on links that contain more than 100 external links per page.
These links are either unrelated to my website or contain thin content. You could use Page Rank with domain 0 to get more bad backlinks.
How to Remove Bad Links
Follow these four steps to remove bad backlinks easily:
- Email request for the removal of bad backlinks and track them
Draft a personalized email and politely request the webmaster to remove the links pointing to their website.
Be as specific as you can by mentioning the links and anchor text to be removed. Use your company’s email address and track the requests to see who opened or ignored your request.
- Find a way to contact the webmaster
You’ll probably get the website owner’s contact details on the About Us or Contact us page.
And if you don’t get the contact, try using Whois.com to know the Administrative Contact Email or email of the website owner.
- Send a personalized email with the request to remove bad backlinks
If you send a personalized email, the chances are that the bad link will be removed. If in case the webmaster ignores your request or demands money, simply disavow the whole domain.