Manual Penalty Removal

If you have noticed your website is no longer showing in Google’s search results pages or seen a drastic drop in your rankings and a significant decrease in your traffic, your site may have been penalized by Google. This may have affected a particular keyword term or a large number of terms – either way, your site has done something to encourage Google to suppress your previously good rankings.

Two Kinds of Google Penalties

Google routinely makes algorithm changes to improve the results they provide. In the past, these changes have been used to weed out sites that are involved in unnatural linking, sites that feature duplicate content or content that is perceived to be of low quality. etc. If your site is hit with an algorithm penalty, this is an automatic penalty that is not “fixed” after filling out Google’s reconsideration request. Unfortunately, you have to make the right changes and then play the waiting game until the Google algorithm is updated to see if the penalty goes away – and this only happens every few months.

Or your site could be issued a manual penalty by Google’s spam team at any time. This may be due to Google finding your site in violation of its terms of service or because someone reported your website. Once you have made the right changes to your site, you need to compile information and make your case to Google (through a reconsideration request) to have them remove the penalty, which can take a good amount of time and energy.

How will you know which kind of penalty you have? Generally speaking, a manual penalty is accompanied by the following alert in Webmaster Tools:

Unnatural-Links-Warning-1

If you haven’t received such a message, your site is most likely under an algorithmic penalty.

How We Can Help

We start by determining if your site has been penalized and then what type of penalty it is. From there we develop a custom plan to help your site recover. Our process includes multiple steps, based on our diagnosis of the problem(s).

These effort will most likely include:

  • Making changes on your site.
  • Manually reviewing hundreds or thousands of third-party sites linking to your site
  • Classifying all found backlinks as safe or targeted for removal
  • Cataloging all sites and contact information
  • Contacting site owners at least 3 times to request link removal. And documenting this information
  • Creating a link disavow document detailing all sites that did not remove the link as your requested and submitting to Google.
  • Submitting a documented case with all vital information about your link removal efforts and submitting a reinclusion request to Google
  • In rare cases, creating a new domain and starting fresh.

Our team keeps current on the changes to Google’s algorithm, both recent and historical. We apply white-hat SEO techniques, based on Google’s current terms of service, to getting your site’s penalty removed.

Of course, the final decision to remove a penalty rests with Google. Depending on how pervasive the issue(s), the road back may be a long one. However, correctly identifying the problem at the outset and then doing the right things to bring your site in line with Google’s guidelines increase the likelihood the penalty will be lifted

If your website has been penalized, give us a call to discuss how we can help it recover. Call 804-741-6776.

We have written more on the topic of what can get your site banned. We also have a case study showing the successful Google penalty removal from a recent client.