Getting a Google penalty can be one of the most frustrating and confusing challenges for many webmasters today. It is hard to see a website you have put so much time into, and many times either fully or at least partially supports your family, get penalized in the rankings. I would like to talk to you about our recent experience with getting one of these penalties, and what I did to start to turn things around.
Let me first give you a little background to my career. I have been in the SEO industry for just over 4 Â½ years. I worked at a large agency for the majority of this time. Just in the last 7 months I switched over to doing in-house corporate SEO for one company. We are an enterprise level solution for survey software. Needless to say, it is a very competitive industry. It just so happens the penalty that was given by Google happened to be an affiliate site to this domain.
When I first got started at this new company, their rankings were horrible. The last webmaster didn’t believe in link building, thus the website didn’t rank for a wide range of important phrases. Just weeks after I got hired, the website started to generate significantly more traffic. Just a few weeks ago, the rankings completely tanked for an important affiliate site. The problem came when we became too dependent on automated link building networks. Build My Rank is definitely the best network I have ever worked with in my career. Rather than looking for links with featured guest posts, link exchanges, infographics, and partnerships we took the easy way out. There is no question this was one of the reasons the website was penalized. However, it wasn’t the main reason. The real kicker came when we tried to use a service called SEOLinkMonster. It was actually partially our fault. Rather than setting up a spun article to be distributed, we just sent out static content. Their service passed this article out to a wide range of sites. Google noticed that all of our recent links had been generated by these questionable link-building services. This triggered an algorithmic penalty to be added to the domain.
It has been 3 weeks since the penalty was placed on the website. It looks like the rankings are starting to come back. Right after we noticed the drop in rankings, I deleted as many of the junk links as possible. I feel this is a reason Google is starting to give us placement back on the first page. The other thing that is important to do is file a reconsideration request in Google Webmaster Tools. This is a platform where you can tell Google exactly what happened. Don’t get your hopes up for a quick response back from the search engine. It usually takes at least 2 weeks to hear anything.
The main thing I want to advise is that you don’t become too dependent on 1 network or form of link building. It takes time and effort, but be sure to obtain links the natural way as much as possible. It is much easier to do quality link building so you never have to deal with a Google penalty.