It is a pretty bad morning when you wake up to find that your site rankings have dropped…not just a few spots but pages, or worse, off the search results entirely. What might be even worse is that helpless feeling – you just don’t know what to do or who to call or turn to. Not many people in Chicago, or the country for that matter, are experts at site recovery. Most agencies you call won’t have a clue because they mostly outsource their SEO work. But they will “help” you by giving you a quote to fix the problem and then having one of their account assistants find someone to outsource the issue to.
The first task is to determine what penalty caused your problem. Is it a Panda penalty, maybe a Penguin penalty, or is it something else (such as the mobile friendly update we’ve been warning about)? Each of these penalties is initiated by something different and you need an expert to be able to determine exactly which one is causing the issue. There are also manual penalties for things like web spam that can enter into play. Again, the first step is diagnosis.
Once we know what the problem is, we can begin to fix it, that is unless your site is so far gone that it would just be better to start from scratch. Usually, this is not a surprise as there have been warnings from the search engines that something is wrong somewhere… whereas penalties usually present themselves quickly as when a search engine has an algorithm update.
We performed a Google penalty recovery a few months ago that illustrates this point. We had a suspicion that something was going on for months, but since this was a new client of ours, we didn’t have the benefit of a history of what their previous SEO agency had done to their site. But we knew something was wrong because we could push rankings only to a certain point. Then an algorithm update hit, and their rankings dropped by pages. At that point, they remembered that they had used an automated service to get links to their site – and these foreign links were depressing their rankings. We performed an extensive analysis, found the culprits, and eliminated them from their Google index of links and the rankings not only bounced back within days, but actually surpassed the level we achieved before.
Penalty recovery is not for amateurs. But if your site is experiencing a penalty, then there are steps we can take to restore your traffic and revenues.