A Google penalty will come about if you have done something with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that Google feels is either trying to manipulate the search engine or is against the users best interests (adding viruses, etc). When you get a Google penalty such as a lowering in the search engine results pages, or being put in the Google sandbox, it is possible to recover. The first things you should do is follow any Google guidelines. They may have been sent to you, or be available via your Google web master tools. If you are not privy to the reasons why your website has been given a Google penalty, then here are a few tips to help you.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google is a pain for not being very clear about SEO. They do not want people to over optimize for their search engine, so they make things a little bit vague. But, they do release advisory information which you should look up. You may discover that you have been making a lot of mistakes that are easily rectifiable with a little effort.
Keep track of all of your SEO
This means keeping track of the many off-page SEO things that you do. This will help you to go back and change or remove such factors as and when you need to. If you notice that the penalty occurred after one of your more recent campaigns, then go back to see if you did anything you should not have done. Do not forget that sometimes it may take as long as two months for Google to recognize something or punish you for something. But, your more recent campaigns may offer clues as to why you were punished.
Consider the fact that there is not a Google penalty
It may just be that a bunch of other websites have improved their SEO and have climbed ahead of you in the search engine results pages. Instead of a mad search for the reason of your penalty, have a look at the websites above you. If they are all of your most powerful competitors, then it may just be that they are doing better in the SEO race than you.
Check your pages that are indexed
Do this by going to Google and typing in the word “site:” followed by your domain name, e.g.
It will show you all of your indexed web pages. If there are far fewer than there should be, then check to see if a number of your pages have not been un-indexed or cloaked in some way.
Check to see if you have a lot of broken links
Some people change their website and then think that the changes are the reasons for the Google penalty. It may simply be because you have a lot of broken links on your website. Use a link checker to find out if you have a lot of them on your website.
Check Google’s update history
They do publish their updates on most occasions. Nobody can be sure if they publish every update that they make, but they publish a lot of them. You could check to see if your lowering in rank or your Google penalty coincided with the release of an update. If it did then find out what that update is all about and see if you can use that knowledge to improve your search engine ranking.
Keep track of all of your SEO with SEO companies
There is a section on this article about tracking your own SEO efforts, but people who use SEO companies do not feel that they have to track any SEO (as the company is being paid to do it). But, you should be tracking it and getting updates on exactly what they are doing in order to increase your search engine ranking. This helps you to monitor what they are doing in return for your money, and it helps to build up a record for if they are the reason that you are punished. You may fire them and go back over what they did in order to repair the damage.
Use the Google Webmaster notifications
If you have Google web master tools, then you may find help on your web master console. It does sometimes tell you if you are making SEO mistakes. The most commonly seen notification on the web page console is one for unnatural links. No doubt you will have seen such notifications if you have been punished by Google.
Kate Funk is a freelance writer at www.aussiewriter.com. She is mainly focusing on technology, gadgets and all the latest SEO trends which are interesting for networking enthusiasts.