So you have been penalized by Google and want to know how to recover?
Analyze the situation:
(You can follow my step-by step process for analyzing or auditing your SEO efforts with a series of blog posts that can be found at this link: SEO Audit for Law Firms)
Answer These Questions:
Do you have an overt penalty communicated to you in Google Webmaster Tools?
Many “penalties” are algorithmic and are never indicated in your Google Webmaster Tools. Even if you get a message in GWT you are likely still going to need to utilize a professional to analyze the situation in detail, as Google’s messages are not very specific.
Did your rankings drop-and by how much?
- Less than 1 page?
- 1-3 pages?
If you fit into 1 of these two categories then recovery could be relatively quickly. “Quickly” could mean 1-6 months, depending on:
1. Properly identifying all of the on-site issues that might be negatively impacting your rankings?
- Do you have duplicate content?
- Are you guilty of keyword stuffing?
- Are your title tags and description tags correct?
- Are you creating new content regularly?
2. Have you identified all of the off-site issues that might be negatively impacting your rankings?
- Too many exact match text links to your website?
- Too many low-quality links?
- Spammy low trust link profile?
3. How well your recovery strategy is implemented (Step 2 in this process)
- Are you targeting the right links?
- Do you or your new SEO company really know what fixes need to be made? If not, you can cause more harm than good.
4. How quickly Google responds to your changes.
- Google can take up to a year to like your changes, but that is a worst case scenario.
- A better link profile will speed this process up, but you are still at the mercy of Google.
- Some solutions can work faster than others.
5. The action of your competitors
If your competitors get better at SEO while you don’t you will lose more ground. You want to be the first if you can, but more importantly the best.
4 pages or more?
10 pages or more?
If you had a really bad penalty, it might make more sense to start with a new domain name on a new site. You could do that while also working on recovering your current site. I am a fan of hedging my bets with Google. The more sites you have ranked the better off you may be when new updates occur that affect one site but do not affect another.
Step 2? Develop a plan, implement and wait.
In many cases it is a good idea to hire a professional to analyze your situation and develop a strategy.
If you try to do this yourself, you would likely “fix” things that were actually helping you, as every link has to be analyzed by someone with experience in the business.
My $300 analysis and recovery service will save you hours of time and keep you from making your situation worse. Call me at your convenience for a free initial consultation at 720-985-7945 or click on the Free Assessment button on the top right side of this page.
Whomever you hire, please make certain they can show you examples of recovery and have some references you can contact before you let them implement any kind of solution.