Nowadays for almost all online businesses, search engine traffic is a necessity, but achieving top priority in Google’s search results is not a child’s play, moreover earlier it used to be easy but today the scenario is different. Therefore, many SEO Firms and marketers are making the link-building process limited. As a result, every other website is under the load of being penalized by Google.
Matt Cutts from Google stated that over four lakhs manual actions are being commenced by Google almost every month and this is not only the scene, several other websites are being penalized by algorithmic updates also. But the real fact which is worth noticing is that only about 20,000 webmasters are submitting a request every month to recover their website from penalty. So, this means that only 5% of the websites that are under penalization reconsider themselves.
Do you own a website that has been penalized manually or algorithmically? Then here are some ways to recover :
If there is a sudden drop in traffic, then you need to find out the real cause. There can be two possibilities either your site is penalized by Google’s spam team or there is some algorithmic penalization. Let us understand the two terms :
Penalized by Google’s spam team: To clear out if your website was penalized by a manual action, then you have to go to Google Webmaster Tools and check if you have any new notifications or warning message. If you have no warning messages, then research deeply to find out the real cause.
Algorithmic Penalty : To find out the type of algorithmic penalty, you will have to compare and relate the time period when there was a loss in traffic with the date when a new algorithmic update was initiated. You can check Google Algorithm Change History for all the details.
For regular updates about the changes in algorithms of Google here are the best sources which can give you the most accurate information :
- You can always follow Matt Cutts on Twitter.
- You can even follow Google Webmaster on YouTube to get tips about SEO from seo services company.
- Check MozCast or Algoroo often for latest changes that are not officially announced by Google.
What to do to recover ranking of your website?
The reason can be any, manual or algorithmic penalty, you will have to go through the backlinks of website and identify the ones that caused your rankings to drop.
The moment you identify the links, do not sit calm and start removing them, and disclaim the ones that you cannot delete. See how to do this:
- Go to Google Webmaster Tools and download all of the backlinks identified by Google.
- In the left menu, click on ‘Search Traffic’ and then ‘Links to Your Site’:
- The module ‘Who links the most,’ occurs in front of you then click on ‘More’, here you can see all the backlinks.
- Now export all of your backlinks, click on ‘Download latest links’:
- You can now import all of the backlinks from Google Webmaster to your trusted SEO tool. You can use any tool you are familiar with. However, avoid using tools that promise to automatically reach out to low-quality backlinks, because you might lose some of your best backlinks.
Now that you have identified all the backlinks, it is time to look out for the ‘culprits’ or the ‘bad backlinks’. Here are some steps to follow :
- The most prominent tool used here is ‘Monitor backlinks’. It is the best tool in SEO to detect bad backlinks. The very first thing to search for are the backlinks that are dofollow. These are the links that are transferring PageRank, Google ignores the backlinks with a nofollow attribute.
- So if you are working on ‘Monitor backlinks’ tool then go to the right side of Monitor Backlinks and then click on the thumbs up icon to view all of your dofollow backlinks.
- To identify the low-quality backlinks,you will have to look at the links that have over 100 external backlinks per page. For this, click on ‘Filters’ and select ‘External’.
- Now, you have to manually verify each backlink, and identify the bad ones. Most of the poor backlinks come from blog comments.
- To identify other bad links, you can verify all of your backlinks that own a domain PageRank of zero. To see these links, click on ‘Filters,’ then click ‘PageRank,’ and then ‘Domain – 0’:
- If your website has suffered from algorithm update, what you have to look for is your anchor text distribution. The penguin update penalizes websites that have optimized their keywords more than required. You should always try to make it as natural as possible.
After this great and deep study of your backlinks you will be able to find out those culprits who are affecting your ranking on Google. You have to request for their removal. You need to follow the below mentioned steps:
- Craft out an email to request for the removal of the bad links. This email should be well created with all the required details:
- Politeness is catered first everywhere so be polite in your email and don’t make your email depict that you are forcing the webmaster.
- Always make sure that you use your company’s email address rather than a free email provider. For example, Tang@mywebsite.com is recommended instead of Tang@gmail.com. This will prove to the webmaster that you own the website.
- ‘Dear webmaster’ or ‘Dear business owner’ sound somewhat silly while addressing the webmaster. Find the website owner’s name and then address him or her specifically.
- Create your email to the point and precise because you are requesting someone to help you with something so make it easy for them to understand and analyse where your link is located.
- Do not flood the webmaster’s inbox with several emails. One is enough.
- Track your email requests :
All requests must be sent from your company’s email address. It’s important to keep track of your requests and see who has opened your emails. You can use Signals by HubSpot to track in a better way. But before you do this, one thing you should not forget is to redirect all your companies email to Gmail . So by following these steps you can forward your emails to gmail.
- Go to Cpanel or web hosting control panel, then from the ‘Mail’ section, click on ‘Forwarders’:
- Next, click on ‘Add forwarder.’ Select your company’s email address and your Gmail account where you want to forward all of your emails.
- All of the emails that will be sent to your company’s name now will also be sent to your Gmail account. If you want emails to be sent from Gmail using your website’s email address then go to Gmail Settings and click on ‘Accounts and Import.’ Then on next page, click on ‘Add another email address you own’:
- You will be asked to submit your website’s email address and your name. Then click on ‘Next step,’ where you will have to enter the code you received at your email address. Enter the code, and click Finish. You will be able to send emails using your website’s address, directly from Gmail.
- Install the Signals Chrome extension. This plugin will give you a notification each time someone opens one of your emails.
How to use Signals Chrome extension:
- From your ‘new message’ box, at the top, select the email address you will use to send your email. Then below, click on the right button to activate Signals:
With this plugin you will get to know who is sincerely reading your mails and who is ignoring.
- Get the Webmaster’s contact details :
Most websites have a ‘Contact us’ page where you can easily get the owner’s name and email address. But it might happen that these pages are missing from the website, If you encounter such problems, you can always go to Whois.com to find their email address. Type the website name whose contact you are trying to find, and check for: ‘Administrative Contact Email.’
- Disclaim the rest of the bad links:
It’s necessary to get rid of all of the backlinks before creating a disavow report.
Create a well disavow report by following these steps:
- Go again to Monitor Backlinks, then on the backlinks page, on each row, you have a settings button on the right. Click on the settings button and add tags to all of the links which could not be deleted. A simple tag like ‘disavow’ can be used.
- You can easily create a disavow report which can be submitted to Disavow Links Tool. by clicking on ‘With all’ and then selecting ‘Export (Disavow Format)’.
- Once you are ready to submit the report upload your file to Google Disavow.
Whether you have built some bad back links on your own or someone has used illegal SEO against you, you have to overcome from Google’s penalization. There are several websites which have reconsidered their recovery and have proved successful. The key to removing any Google penalty is to first understand the cause behind it. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines is a glimpse to all the strategies Google uses in ranking a website hence every website owner should have a look on it. Once the reason for your penalty is revealed, you have to remove the back links that led to your rankings drop. Download all of the backlinks from Google Webmaster Tools, and use SEO tool of your choice to get more insights about your links.