Recall the instance when I suffered a Google penalty. It was quite painful. I sincerely hope that you do not face a similar situation, or suffer the same penalty in the future. Thus, I am sharing my experience with you on my Google penalty recovery with the Google penalty checker and the following tips as I got the penalty revoked.
Table of Contents
The Penalty Recovery Process
It was back in April of 2015 and I got an email from Google about having unnatural links and my site being penalized.
The first place I started looking at the links was in the Google Webmaster tools. (Today you see them in the Google Search Console.) I saw many inbound links coming from websites that were no longer in existence linking to the website.
Nothing. Mayura used a WordPress plugin to change links from Follow to No Follow here. Still Nothing.
Going The Old Fashion Way – Post By Post
Then, I decided to go blog post by blog post since the beginning of time. Over 430 blog posts.
It took time, patience, and work. And the links all had to be put in a spreadsheet. I found something very interesting.
The plugin did not look at the links prior to WordPress. Many posts originated on another platform, Blogger. The mystery began to become clearer.
Then Google emailed me a hint when I pleated with them “I really don’t understand….why my site is still being penalized.” They replied with a hint. Yes, Google actually did that back then.
I found the link they complained about and made it no-follow along with another 800+ links.
The typing was great for my physical therapy as I hope to return to my day job soon.
The moral of the story? Don’t rely on automatic systems. You have to sometimes dig deeper and do the real dirty work.
How To File A Reconsideration Request To Google For Google Penalty Recovery
Google Penalty Checker in Google Search Console
- Go To The Google Search Console– If you do not have one, do sign up today for this FREE Google tool. It can help you find out what may be wrong with your website. The search console tools can also tell you what you have been doing right with your website.
- Verify your website if you haven’t done so already and check that Google has verified it. They include instructions on how you can verify your own website. There are at least 2 different ways that they let you choose to verify your website.
- Go to your manual actions section and you will see what Google has done. Hopefully, you won’t see any manual actions in your search console tools.
- Fix the issues that Google has claimed your website may have. Give yourself time and patience to do this. If you don’t understand what the issue is about you can check their search console help section.
- Double-check the security issues in your Google console tools. Make sure you have none.
- Click on “Request a Review” which is only shown if you incur a Google penalty. In that section, you must explain what you have done to your website and describe the steps you have taken. Do have your documentation ready if Google asks for it. You may have to attach it. Having documented what you have done is helpful on its own for yourself. It won’t be a waste of your time.
Learn From Matt Cutts
You can also listen to Matt Cutts from Google on his high-level view of what you can do to get your Google penalty revoked. He has a few cool tips on the subject for you to hear only as he can give them.
The Important No-Follow Attribute
I had to keep searching on how to change my links from Follow to No Follow. If you don’t know how to make your links no-follow please see the example below:
<a href="http://example.com/post" rel="nofollow">Post Example</a>
That is how I changed my links from Follow to No Follow manually, one link at a time. It is not an easy process but one you must do if you ever get hit with a Google penalty.
Another thing I learned was that many affiliate links do NOT include the No Follow, I just assumed they would. Never assume a link is No Follow unless you see the attribute in your code. You can label the links nofollow, sponsored like this: rel=” nofollow sponsored”
(Just one more lesson I had to share.) See why you have to dig deep into your website to check all the links. If you want to learn the latest link-building techniques check out this updated guide.
Bonus Tip – No-Follow Links For Google Penalty Recovery
Making links that are not relevant to your website a no follow attribute is another way to avoid a Google penalty. Why link out to other websites that are not relevant?
You may want to show examples of things on your blog. I used them for examples but many of these example blogs were not blogging, social media, or SEO niche type of blogs. Therefore, I put in the no follow attributes.
If other websites or blogs are not related to your site’s topics or niche do not give them a follow link. I know it may make you sad not to give your friend a follow link but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Why Does Google Care?
Why does it matter so much to Google? When a link is a follow link, link juice is given to the site (the one that is being linked to) thus being one of the 200 ranking factors to increase their ranking in search or pagerank.
Hence, when it is a no follow link, no link juice is given.
Internal Links Matter Too
Not only do you need to monitor your inbound and outbound links but your internal linking matters too. You want to be sure to give your readers the best experience on the blog.
By having the right content linked to other relevant content it puts them on a path to find more information from your blog. You don’t want to leave valuable content orphaned on your website.
How The Blog Recovered After The Google Penalty Recovery
After the Google penalty recovery, the blog took multiple months to regain its traffic. However, after a full year, it reached its highest peak.
Naturally, more adjustments had to be made such as updating aged content to boost both SEO and traffic. If you notice a decrease in traffic over a week or longer check your Google penalty checker for any penalties.
Your Turn On Google Penalty Recovery
Have you been hit by a Google penalty or have you had a Google penalty revoked in the past? Have you used the Google penalty checker?
I’d love to know about your experiences with a Google penalty in the comments below and what SEO techniques you use for your blog today.
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