Google penalties are quite common these days. No matter what niche your website belongs to, you might be at risk if you are not fully aware of the different types of search rank penalties that Google might impose. Many times when a website is penalized by Google, webmasters have no idea whether it was due to a Google penalty. However, there are some effective guidelines that you can follow to evaluate where things have gone wrong.
The worst part about Google penalties is that many websites will not recover at all. If your website means real business, you need to make sure you take appropriate action in time in case you have been hit.
Is It Really a Google Penalty?
This is the first question that you need to ask yourself as soon as you see a loss in the search rankings of your website. Before you start to take some remedial action on your website, it’s extremely important to know the reason that caused your website to lose its Google rankings.
Thankfully, Google Webmaster Tools does a good job of informing webmasters when something goes wrong with their websites. Though Google is trying to make its communication via webmaster tools more transparent, sometimes you may not receive any notification even after being hit.
In case your site is banned by Google, you can run a URL search to find out whether it’s really happened. There are several tools that you can use to know whether Google removed your website from its searches.
Conduct an SEO Audit
In order to discover whether your website was hit by Google’s Panda algorithm, Penguin algorithm or other search algorithmic updates, you’ll need to run an SEO audit. Though an SEO audit will take some time to complete, it will certainly reveal the actual reasons as to why your website was penalized.
To conduct an SEO audit, you’ll need to check –
- On-page SEO elements
- Link profile
- Internal linking
- Indexing status
- Load time
You need to take each of the above into consideration. By conducting an SEO audit in this way, you’ll be able to determine the performance of your website from an SEO standpoint.
Finally, It’s Time to Take Action!
If you have issues with your website’s content (duplicate, thin or low quality content), Google’s Panda might have hit. In case your website has a suspicious or spammy backlinks profile, the penalty could be due to a Penguin algorithmic update. If you are selling links to pass PageRank, a PageRank penalty might have hit your website.
After you have run an SEO audit of your website, you’ll become aware of the actual reasons for getting penalized. Once you know the issues really well, it’s finally time to take action.
Depending on the issues that you have with your website, you need to take appropriate action before it’s too late. If you lack adequate SEO experience, it’s highly recommended to work with an experienced SEO professional or a reputed SEO agency. After you have fixed the identified issues, you should give Google some time to re-crawl and re-evaluate your website.
If the problems are taken care of really well, you should hope to recover from the Google penalty in a few weeks or months. To ensure whether your website recovered and regained its lost search rankings, you need to keep a close watch on your website’s traffic over the next few months.