google-penaltyWe like to answer SEO questions from our readers and potential clients. This one came in and I thought it might be helpful for site owners who aren’t sure if they have been penalized by Google.

How Do I Know if Google Has Penalized My Site?

Not all penalties are the same. Some are manual penalties and these are usually very simple to deduce. Log in to your Webmaster Tools in your Google account and check your messages. If you do have a manual penalty you will see a message stating you have a manual action against your site and why. See an example of this manual penalty.

The other type of penalty is an algorithmic penalty. Algorithmic penalties can be spotted by SEO professionals such as ourselves. But there are some things to check to help you find out (or give us a call 804-741-6776):

  • If your website is not ranking for your company name or brand name. This is usually the first thing to check and if you don’t find your site ranking for this information it is almost a certainty you have a penalty.
  • You see most or all of your search result rankings moving from page to page two or three or further. No first page rankings is a bad sign, especially if you have them at one time.
  • If your site’s PageRank has dropped. Google rarely updates PR holistically any more, but they will drop PR on a penalized site out of the blue. Take a look and see what your site’s PR is. If it is a zero or a one you may have been penalized.
  • Has your entire website been removed from Google’s index? No listings can point to a ban from Google.
  • Try running a site search in Google by entering this: site:yourdomain.com – if you get no results that can mean problems.
  • If you try searching for your brand name or company name and if a page on your site other than your home page shows, this can mean your home page has been penalized.

Sorry to say, but if you find any of these examples affecting your website domain you are probably being penalized. How to fix the Google penalty can mean different things depending on the type of penalty (link building, site issues, selling links, etc.) which can Big Oak can help with. There is usually no quick fix here, but we will be honest and tell you what strategy we feel is best to get your site back in the search results.

Give us a call at 804-741-6776 or email us.