Jun 13, 2007 120 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Rand Fish has a very helpful article about “How to Handle a Google Penalty” and many other issues in an interview with Matt Cutts.

If your website has been penalized by Google, here are tips to help you:

  • Confirm whether your website has really been penalized or whether it has only dropped in ranks
  • Check whether your site is still indexed (site:url.com).
  • If the answer is no that means, The site is most usually banned. Confirm from Webmaster Central after which submit a re-inclusion report after the spam has been removed.
  • If the answer is Yes, then go to the next step
  • Does your Site Still rank for its domain name(or other unique branded names)?

  • If the answer is no: You are probably suffering from a penalty for manipulative linking activity or on-site spam (Cloaking, KW Stuffing etc). First, remove all potentially bad outbound links , drop any paid link campaigns (that Google has discovered) and get rid of your on-page issues. Then, go into Webmaster Central, verify and re-submit a re-inclusion request, own up to your spam and promise not to misbehave.
  • If the answer is Yes, then head to the next question
  • When You search for 5-6 relatively unique terms in the title tag of your pages, Does your site still rank in the top 10-20 results?

  • If the answer is NO: You've most likely had many of your links wiped of their value. Google's Spam team Ids and eliminates the link love passing ability of many sites & networks every day, so you're not alone. Then, go into Webmaster Central, verify and re-submit a re-inclusion request, own up to your spam and promise not to misbehave. Go get lots of great, high quality, natural links to help your ranking improve again.
  • If the answer is yes: You don't have a penalty, you've only lost some rankings. Get more quality, Non-manipulative links and review your on-page SEO efforts.
  • An example to understand this better is through a “quick example from someone in the RealEstateWebmasters.com forum's thread:

  • We'll start with Hgrealtor's site called oaklandhomespecialist.
  • The site's still indexed – it has 94 pages in Google
  • It ranks #1 on a search for the brand name – oaklandhomespecialist – that tells me we're not dealing with a "sandbox"-like effect
  • It's ranking #67 on a search of the home page's full title tag – Oakland Real Estate | Oakland California Homes for Sale | Realtor – that's definitely a bad sign
  • On the plus side, they rank #7 for – crocker highlands homes – so they're not as badly buried as others I've seen
  • And, they're #3 for temescal homes.

    This leads me to believe that while they might have had some of their links de-valued, the site isn't in grave danger, or even necessarily in need of a re-inclusion request”.

    Read the article/interview for a bigger understanding.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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