Penalized By Google? – Steps To Take To Pardon Your Site
If you find your website suddenly being penalized by Google for reasons that are unknown to you, you could be a victim of bad back links into your site. Unless you’re practicing Black Hat SEO, this could probably be the main reason why Google has flagged your site. While this can send you into a state of panic, there are steps that you can take to correct the violation Google has discovered on your website.
Most website owners may not be aware of who has linked on to their sites by way of backlinks. Unless the links are high quality relevant sites, they can do you more harm than good.
There are basically two types of penalty that Google issues to users that violate their usage terms – the algorithm penalty and the manual penalty. The algorithm penalties are automatically detected by the search algorithm and instantly penalizes you by dropping your index. A manual penalty happens when a human rater from Google manually detects a violation. You would be able to know if your violation has been manually detected if you received a message from Google warning you about your violation.
Google doesn’t say much about what sort of violations they have detected on your website. Often, their only advice is for you to correct these violations before they reconsider your ranking in the index. Because of this, you will need a great amount of time and effort to thoroughly review your website. There are several tools you that can help you with this, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Drive, Spreadsheet and Disavow Tool. With the use of these tools, you can find the actions to take for your recovery:
Step 1 – Preparing your website.
If you have been penalized, stop the things you’ve been doing and start cleaning your website. Fix 404 broken pages, update your blogs, delete duplicate contents and remove key word stuffing. Webmaster Tools allows you to detect these errors so follow their directions.
Step 2 – Download your list of backlinks.
It is possible that the main reason for your penalty is because of bad backlinks, which you may not even know of. Download the list of all the backlinks that your website has attracted. There are many ways to do this for free but the only one that counts are those found with Webmaster Tools. There is an option available in the tool that searches for links to your website. Download the list of these links and save them in a spreadsheet format.
Step 3 – Document and save in Google Drive.
It is important to document every step you are taking when clearing your website. Google favours users who submit a detailed action on the corrections made to their website. Once you have downloaded the list of your backlinks, save them on Google Drive for easy access. At the end of your actions, send the spreadsheet file to Google to let them know that you have taken their warning seriously.
Step 4 – Search for irrelevant backlinks.
The next thing for your to do is to search for irrelevant or low Domain Authority backlinks. There are a lot of DA checkers online that you that allow you to check many links at one time. Sort the backlinks and export those that have ratings of 25 or below. These are low DA sites. But if you personally know some sites that are ranked with the same, don’t include them as they can be trustworthy sites. Be careful who you are weeding out.
Step 5 – Check out the segregated list of backlinks.
As you have separated the low DA backlinks, personally review these sites carefully. If you find them to be low in quality and spammy, identify them in your worksheet as spam. But be careful in your review as you don’t want to get rid of those that can drive traffic to your site.
Step 6 – Request removal of your site from their website.
Next thing for you to do is to search for their contact details and make a request for them to remove your site from theirs. Document this action as you would want Google to know that you have taken this corrective measures on your own. Given a few days time, check if they have favourably responded to your request. Another way to see if your site has been removed is to go to their site again and check if they have removed your link.
Step 7 – Utilize the Disavow Tool as your last resort.
Having requested the removal of your site, not all of them may actually comply with your request. For this matter, use the Google Disavow tool found within the Web Master Tool. Be careful when using the Disavow Tool as this can either make or break your website. Copy all of your flagged backlinks and submit them to Google for them to process.
These are the basic steps to take as you prepare to have your website rank again in the index. To avoid running into the same situation again, monitor and maintain your website properly and stay away from techniques that violate Google’s usage terms.