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Steps to Take After You’ve Been Hit with a Google Penalty

As most business owners know, penalties from Google can be damaging and take time to recover from. Depending on the type of penalty, there are many things that you should do to ID and repair the problem. Here’s an outline of what to look at:

  • Keep your composure. It may feel like the perfect time to panic, but slow down and you most likely will be able to find the reason for your website’s penalty.
  • To check if you’ve been issued a penalty by Google’s Webspam team, go to Google Webmaster Tools and look for a warning under Search Traffic then Manual Actions. If there isn’t anything there, the penalty is from a wider Google algorithm and not a site wide or partial issue.
  • If your penalty is from a Google algorithm, it could be from Panda (onsite issues) or Penguin (offsite issues). Staying updated with Google algorithms and comparing them to dips in your organic traffic will help to determine which update you were affected by.
  • Once you determine which update you were affected by, read up on where your website went wrong and what changes you’ll need to make.
  • Review your current and past SEO approaches to see if there is anything that you may have done that might worry you. Things like buying links or having duplicate content may have seemed convenient at the time, but are now negatively affecting you. Review Google’s algorithms to remind yourself of white hat (good) and black hat (bad) SEO.
  • If you believe the penalty could be from Penguin, look into your backlinks to check for any unreliable sources. If you notice any, begin the disavowing procedure.
  • If your website is made up of duplicate or thin content, it’s time to revise! When it comes to website pages and content, think quality. You want content that is going to creative and engaging for the users coming to your website.

Fixing and preventing Google penalties can be overwhelming. If you’re unsure of what a penalty is or how to fix it, contact Boston Web Marketing!

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