One aspect of SEO that is a constant issue for businesses and SEO professionals alike is the prevalence of poor-quality companies that tout things like “1st page in Google guaranteed” or services like link building. These companies are likened to weight-loss pills – immediate results but no long-term stability. It’s a problem, and it gives search engine optimization services a bad reputation – our world seems like it’s all about making money in a “burn and churn” manner. If you’re looking for a good SEO company, here are some good guidelines – but what do you do if you’ve hired a company that has left your SEO in shambles?
Recovering from a Google penalty may be a long process, but it’s a positive long-term investment.
If your site rankings have dropped recently, there are a few different kinds of penalties that could affect your site. Google’s two main algorithms that determine search rankings are called Panda and Penguin. Panda is the algorithm that determines the quality and relevance of your website’s content, as it relates to targeted keywords. For instance, a website about hamburgers is never going to rank for the term “transmission repair,” no matter how many links you build trying to point that keyword to the site. Penguin, on the other hand, is the algorithm that detects and values the links that point to your website. If you have links pointing to your site from hamburger forums and the latest post by National Hamburger Magazine, your site is going to be more relevant to that subject.
Either way, your website is often the lifeblood of a business; it’s your virtual storefront. Having it disappear from Google (which is by far the most popular search engine) is not an option for most companies. If you’ve been penalized, making sure to recover the right way, with long-term goals in mind, is the best practice. Don’t fall for the same schemes that got you in trouble in the first place – usually performed by SEO companies that make grand promises. Here’s how Creative California can help with your problems:
Google Panda Penalty Recovery
Sites that get penalized by Google’s Panda algorithm get hit for one of two reasons: thin content, or duplicate content. This means that your web pages are not very descriptive, informative, or are copies of other pages on your site (or worse, other websites). This kind of penalty is the easier one to recover from, as it’s controlled internally and Google’s updates occur more frequently. We’ll begin recovery by doing thorough keyword research, determining the needed focus for your web pages. We can then generate quality content and make sure each page is properly optimized and hitting all the marks of a good web page according to Google’s standards. Just a note: we don’t recommend content written for the sole purpose of hitting on a certain keyword, but rather informative, quality pages that are useful for your customers – these will, over time, be the best web pages for your customers and ultimately, the search engines.
Google Penguin Penalty Recovery
If your site was suddenly hit hard and your rankings dropped dramatically, odds are that it’s related to Google’s Penguin algorithm. This is the most difficult penalty to recover from, and unfortunately, often the most common. Poor quality SEO firms typically add a website to private blog networks, low-quality (or fake) directories, and fake websites in an effort to trick the search engine into thinking your website is popular. This used to work quite well, and even today, some companies see immediate results – but it’s not a long-lived solution. The Penguin algorithm eventually catches up, devalues the sites, and penalizes websites that use these tactics. In an extreme case, you’ll receive a manual action – pretty much the “kiss of death.”
In order to recover from this kind of penalty, we have to go through the process of gathering a list of all the links that point to your site, and begin to get them removed from their hosts. This sometimes works, but often, we’re unable to communicate with the various webmasters, as all of the websites were fake to begin with. The company that charged you to post those links is not very motivated to then remove them for free. So while we work on those removals, we’ll also disavow the links with Google – basically telling the search engine not to count those links when evaluating your site.
But that usually isn’t enough. When we remove all of the links you previously had, often you’re left with no quality links, so you still won’t rank very well. We’ll have to put a plan of action into place on building quality links – relevant, niche-specific links that have value. For instance, if you’re quoted in an industry-specific magazine as a professional in your field, the reference link to your site will hold some weight. The basis of these types of links is public relations, media relationships, expertise and social media. We’ll help you build a plan, or even execute it for you, to slowly and consistently grow these relationships.
Your search rankings may have dropped, but there is a quality way to recover.
Don’t fall for the trap of hiring the same type of SEO company that got you into this mess in the first place. The roller coaster of web traffic and rank is not worth it when you can have a long-term increase in site visits and quality. Not only will you be insulated from future search engine updates, you’ll also better serve your customers by providing quality content and good relationships.
If you’ve been hit with a penalty, or just don’t know why your traffic has dropped recently, contact us today. We’ll get to the bottom of why you’re having the issues, and help you create a plan to recover from your search engine penalty.