How To Identify Google Penalty And Find Solutions
Website owners dread Google penalties since this is the worst thing that can ever happen to their operations. However, there are ways you can identify this problem and also rectify it to put your website back on track and improve rankings. Here is how to know if your website was penalized.
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT)
You can easily tell if your site has been penalized with GWT. This will help you know whether you have a manual Google penalty. You only need to login to your GWT account then click “Search Traffic”. Click on the “Manual Actions” option. A window will then display that will state if you have any Google penalty or not. In most cases, websites will be penalized because their backlink’s profile doesn’t look natural.
After you have reviewed your site’s organic traffic chart, it should be easy to detect a change in your website’s ranking. So you should proceed to identify the date on which the change took place. Try and look on industry leading, SEO websites to confirm if there is anything that was rolled out on the day the changes occurred.
Moz Algorithm Update
Normally, Moz automatically provides an updated list of official and unofficial updates to Google’s algorithm. If you don’t have Google Analytics or GWT implemented with your website, then this could be a resourceful tool to use. Since this list dates all the way back to 2000, it is efficient to provide you with a starting point and give you an insight of what happened during the time of your impact.
There are two major updates Google has recently done. They include:
- Panda— This targets sites that have duplicate content and are of low quality.
- Penguin—This targets websites that have over optimized anchor texts.
How To Recover From Panda
Panda is a site-wide quality algorithm that will detect low-quality content. But over the years, it has graduated from just looking for low-quality content to also ranking high-quality content. It is thus important to have high-quality content.
To recover from this, you should first identify the most common quality issues page by page. Evaluate if that page is the best on the internet for the topic. After you have identified the quality issues, correct them. Make sure you correct the content length, copied content and missing critical site-wide information. It is important to understand that although a single element can trigger Panda penalty, a combination of all elements can also determine your quality score and influence the penalty.
Panda will in most cases require drastic changes to the header, footer, navigation and content of the website. In some instances, webmasters will be required to update hundreds of pages while others will do so to a few. So to speed up your recovery, know exactly what to update.
After you have fixed your site, give Googlebot enough time to recrawl your site and redo a quality check. So if you have successfully removed the Panda penalty, you will see traffic increase within 48 hours after you have received a new score.
How To Recover From Penguin
Penguin looks at attempts to manipulate search engine rankings. It will thus detect unnatural links that point to your website. So to recover from this, you will need to remove the links that harm your page. First, you have to locate the page and keyword being penalized. However, a good SEO company should be able to help if you subscribe to a monthly SEO package or payment plan.
You should then download your entire link and identify which link Google considers bad for the website. You should then get rid of the link then wait for Googlebot to re-crawl the changes. This process will take from 3 hours to 3 months. The speed depends on the crawl frequency and the number of links you had to remove. If you also have a manual action attached to your website, you will require a reconsideration request.
With that in mind, you should always check your Google Webmaster tools for warnings when you notice fallen rankings and traffic. If there is no message, then the loss of traffic is due to algorithm update from Google. Check for updates and if the penalization is as a result of previous updates. To be on the safe side, always write content that’s long and useful, mix your anchor tests, avoid building too many links and make sure you verify for duplicate content.
Why is Google webmasters tools (Search console) very important?
Google search console formerly known as Webmasters tools if a free analysis and recommendation platform that helps you to monitor and maintain your website presence in google’s organic search results. However, you do need a Gmail account to use the tools. It gives you the opportunity to view your website in a way that Google does and Google often makes recommendations on various aspects of your website needing improvements. How much more do you want Google to care about your needs and efforts?
Google search console is therefore, one of the important SEO arsenals for any SEO expert or consultant. Below are the various reasons for SEO consultants, business owners, website administrators, Application and website developers to use Google search console. These important reasons include the following:
- Know which keywords that triggered your website to appear on organic search results
- submit new content as and when needed for crawling
- Learn or find out the keywords that brought in more traffic to your website
- Tell google the type of content on your website you do not them to crawl
- Monitor and discover malware issues and clean them
- Maintain and update your website with minimal effort with recommendations from Google
- Learn if Google is able to see your Schema.org
- Find out if google can the installed AMP on your website
- Find out if people are coming to your site via mobile
- See if there are any issues with your mobile site
- Discover the websites that link to your website
- Find out if Google is able to crawl all the content on your website
Do not worry about not having the knowledge to work with Google search console. Google has provided all types and forms of tutorials to get you started in no time. All you need is to become familiar with the basics and the rest will come. Alternatively, you might hire the services of a webmaster with expertise in using search console. With that being said, there are hundreds of video tutorials on Youtube to help you get started.