Google’s search algorithm is a closely guarded secret; one that evolves constantly to avoid being gamed by unreputable black hat search engine optimization services. Google wants its search results to be valuable to searchers and proactively works to ensure cheap tactics for raising ranking are quickly caught and snuffed out. If you are caught out for attempting to trick the system (or your SEO specialist used poor tactics without your knowledge), you may end up slapped with a massive ranking penalty.
Penalties come in two primary forms: algorithmic and manual. A manual penalty comes with an explanation of what exactly went wrong, but an algorithmic one can be a little more difficult to sort out. Here’s what you need to do if you find yourself on the receiving end of a Google penalty:
Manual Penalties
Congratulations! You’ve received one of the easier penalties to deal with. Your penalty message will include the specific reason for the penalty so you should be able to easily spot the problem. Resolve the issue via a professional SEO specialist and contact Google for a re-evaluation. It takes a little time and effort but if this is your first penalty everything should work out just fine.
Algorithmic Penalties
These are a little tougher to figure out. The most common algorithmic penalty is known as the Penguin penalty, which smacks sites that have used spammy backlink building techniques. If you’ve ever purchased a huge bundle of backlinks, you’re a possible target for this penalty. Penguin penalties are huge; when your site has a Penguin penalty none of your backlinks register — even the good ones.
The only way to solve this particular penalty is fixing all of the bad links. You’ll need to find every single backlink that points to your site, assess whether the link is good or bad, and then delete it or petition to have it deleted. It takes an incredible amount of effort and the help of an SEO specialist can certainly streamline the process. However, once your backlinks are clean, you should be able to have the penalty removed.
For more information about Google penalties and removal please visit or contact us at 888.523.2926 with any questions.