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How to Fully Recover from a Google Penalty and How We Did it

A Google penalty is a nightmare for website owners and search engine marketers. It’s one of those problems that happen before you know it. Worse, penalties are difficult to resolve. Give or take several weeks or months, depending on the gravity.

So how do you overcome Google penalties? How do you make amends and set things right with the world’s biggest search engine? Before we go further into this discussion, it’s best to note that some penalties may not be as easy to resolve as others. There are times when the recovery process takes longer than expected. However, that does not mean all hope is lost for your penalised site or web page.

When, after a thorough SEO audit, it has been discovered that your homepage or an inner page has been penalised, here are some tips for consideration:

1) Ask: Why Were You Penalised?

Algorithms don’t penalise websites randomly. There must be a reason why you were penalised in the first place. A good way to start the penalty recovery process is to find out the cause of your penalty. One surefire sign of a penalty is a sudden drop in traffic. What could have caused your site traffic to decline so drastically?

Google can apply two different types of penalty to a website. Firstly, a manual action courtesy of their spam team. Second, a penalty from its algorithms. Note: different penalty types requires different penalty removal processes.

2) Your Website Has Tons of Bad Backlinks

And this is one of the most challenging situations. There are so many bad backlinks going to your website and you just don’t know it. Bad backlinks are unnatural links generated by questionable sources or spammy software. They can also be low PR or penalised websites or pages that have linked to your site.

Types of bad backlinks:

Duplicate content

Several backlinks on different pages of the same website domain

Websites not related to your niche

Directory backlinks (low PR directories)

Advertorial or sponsored backlinks

To trace and remove bad backlinks, you need expert assistance or a reliable backlink tracker software. Without either option, it will be hard to identify which backlinks are responsible for your traffic loss. As you remove these toxic links one by one, your site rank and traffic gradually recover.

Final Thoughts

No website is immune to Google penalties. Even a website that diligently follows the SEO handbook to a tee may inadvertently fall prey to a penalty. A competitor could be out to ruin your site ranking without your knowledge. Or someone from your team could be using the wrong digital marketing strategies – to the detriment of your website’s ranking.

In the event a penalty does strike your website, you can look into the pointers raised above. We would also like to share to you our very own experience of Google penalty removal. One of our success stories was LogoPro. Click here to read more about how we managed to get the site back to page 1 on the SERP. It was a challenging time for the Digital Muscle team but the penalty removal process we employed allowed LogoPro to recover in the nick of time.

Word to the wise: always be vigilant. Once your site experiences a drastic traffic loss or rank drop, you already know what to do.


Arthur Choi

Arthur Choi

SEO Strategist

70% technical SEO, 30% offsite optimisation. Loves to strategise and build organic SEO campaigns for plumbers, excavators and e-commerce clients.

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