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.

Google Analytics

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:

  1. Panda— This targets sites that have duplicate content and are of low quality.
  2. 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.

Conclusion

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.

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