What should you do for a Google penalty recovery?
From investigating recent algorithm updates to doing a backlink audit, here are answers to the question, “What is one step to take to recover from a Google Penalty?”
- Remove Or Disavow Bad Backlinks
- Investigate Recent Algorithm Updates
- Investigate the Reason for the Penalty First
- Don’t Act Impulsively
- Backlink Audit
- Find the Reason Behind the Penalty and Address It
- Fix The Issues
- Conducting a Penalty Audit
- Be Patient
Remove Or Disavow Bad Backlinks
To remove bad backlinks, you can reach out to the website owners and ask them to remove the links. This process can take time and may not be successful in all cases.
If you are unable to remove the bad backlinks, you can use the “Disavow Links” tool in Google Search Console. This tool allows you to tell Google to ignore specific backlinks, effectively removing them from consideration in the search algorithm. To use this tool, you will need to create a file listing the bad backlinks and upload it to the Disavow Links tool.
Additionally, it is important to keep your website’s SEO healthy by creating quality content, having a good website structure and internal linking, and promoting your website through legitimate means.
Investigate Recent Algorithm Updates
One step to recover from a Google Penalty is investigating recent algorithm updates. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and the latest update may have caused your website to become penalized. Investigate what changes were made so you can determine why your site was affected by the penalty.
Make sure that all your content follows the new algorithm rules, and take action to remove any content that is not compliant. Doing this can help you recover from the penalty and get your website back in good standing with Google.
Additionally, it’s important to keep up with algorithm updates to stay ahead of penalties.
Investigate the Reason for the Penalty First
Before you can recover from a Google penalty, you first need to understand what you’ve been penalized for.
There are two main types of Google penalty (manual and algorithmic). You’ll need to look in different places to find out which you’ve been hit by and why.
One of the first things you should do is check your Google Webmaster Tools account to see whether you’ve been notified about a manual penalty. This is where mishaps like keyword stuffing, misleading redirects, and other black hat SEO practices may be flagged. By highlighting exactly what you’ve been penalized for, these notifications give you a clear insight into the actions you need to take to rectify the mistake.
There’s likely to be more guesswork involved if the penalty is an algorithmic one, though. To understand what’s gone wrong you’ll want to look at the recent algorithm updates and their guidelines. That way, you’ll have an idea of which updates have had a negative influence on your rankings, and why.
Don’t Act Impulsively
Being hit with a Google penalty is an SEO’s worst nightmare. It can feel like you need to immediately find the cause of your traffic dropping, however, it’s actually best to take a minute before taking any drastic action.
It is important to understand the difference between an algorithmic penalty and a manual action. First, check that you have not been awarded a manual action in Google Search Console. If not, refer to Google’s Search Essential blog, which details any algorithm updates.
Use any insights here to audit your website and create a plan to regain your rankings. If nothing comes up here, analyze your competitors who overtook you in the SERPs.
It might be difficult to recover from a Google penalty, but there are actions you can do to raise your website’s reputation with Google. A novel strategy for recovering from a Google penalty is to carry out a complete assessment of the backlinks to your website.
The process of locating and evaluating the links pointing to your website is known as a backlink audit. This can assist you in finding any links that can be detrimental to Google’s perception of your website.
For instance, your penalty can be the result of having a large number of links that are of poor quality or come from spammy websites. Any bad links can be removed when you’ve spotted them. To do this, either contact the website owners and request that they take down the links, or use the Google Disavow Tool.
Additionally, you may strive to get backlinks from reputable websites, like .edu, .gov, and sector-specific websites, to raise the authority of your website with Google.
Find the Reason Behind the Penalty and Address It
The best way to recover from a Google penalty is to find the root cause behind the said penalty and solve the underlying problem. If you got penalized for using PBN backlinks, for example, your road to recovery will involve disavowing the sketchy backlinks, and focusing on building links from legitimate websites.
If the penalty is because of subpar content (or AI-generated content), your best bet is to get a quality writer involved and significantly improve the quality of your content.
Fix The Issues
Recovering from a Google penalty can be an intimidating process. The first step in recovering from a Google penalty is to try to identify the reason for the penalty. Reviewing your website’s SEO practices thoroughly might help you pinpoint what caused the issue. This could be anything from keyword stuffing to link spamming or insufficient content on your website.
Once you have identified where you went wrong, it’s time to fix these issues so that Google will recognize and reward your efforts with higher rankings in its search engine results pages (SERPs). This may involve cleaning up any existing keyword-stuffed content, removing any links flagged by Google as “spammy,” ensuring all of your content is high quality and unique, and submitting a reconsideration request form directly to Google for further review.
Conducting a Penalty Audit
Identify the penalty by checking Google Search Console for any manual actions taken against your website. Look for notifications of “unnatural links” or “thin content.”
Gather data by collecting data on your website’s traffic, rankings, and backlinks. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Majestic to analyze your link profile.
Analyze your content by ensuring that your website’s content is high-quality, original, and relevant. Check for plagiarism, duplicate content, and irrelevant keywords.
Evaluate your backlinks by reviewing your backlink profile for any links that could be seen as spammy or low-quality. Disavow any links that may be hurting your site’s reputation.
Implement the changes necessary to fix any issues found during the audit. This may include removing low-quality backlinks, improving your website’s content, and fixing technical SEO issues. Re-submit to Google and monitor progress.
Though Google penalties vary, the most straightforward ones to deal with are hacked websites or pure spam penalties.
However, once you’re hit with one of the following penalties, then your approach needs to be more meticulous:
- Unnatural links to your site
- Algorithmic penalties
Though the latter is caused by multiple Google updates, consequently it will involve multiple ranking factors (technical SEO, E-EAT, or off-site SEO).
If you ever get hit with the first site-wide, manual penalty, do the following:
- Export all your backlinks from Ahrefs (or Semrush)
- Export all your backlinks from Search Console (if a website is a victim of negative SEO, they’re probably blocking 3rd party crawlers)
Shortlist and disavow those backlinks.
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