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How to Recover a Website after a Google Penalty?

recover website after google penalty

According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.85 billion websites in the world as we speak, of which, about 200 million actives ones.

Since the number of Internet users is going to grow in the years to come, we can expect that the number of websites is going to increase, as well.

Google and other search engines are doing their best to provide their users with the most relevant results for their search quests. This is why every dishonest attempt to attract visitors to websites is penalized. If that happens to your website, it’s imperative to take some measures and recover the website. In this article, we’ll show you some simple steps towards achieving that goal.

1. Best Recovery Tools

Not being able to find your website where you usually see it in search results is one of the most common signs that you’ve been penalized. When Google’s webmasters notice anything suspicious that doesn’t obey their rules, they simply push the website in question down the SERPs drain.

Once you realize you’ve been punished, don’t despair, you can always improve your website. That’s the only way to get your rankings back.

Here are a few recovery tools that can help you cut a few corners and come back stronger than ever before.

  • Screaming Frog Web Crawler – This tool will help you discover what to fix in order to recover. Just like its name says, it will crawl your website and identify the key mistakes in your content or in your linking strategy. It will find harmful features, such as dead ends on the site, bad links and duplicate content. Screaming Frog Web Crawler covers a wide range of issues and is suitable for large websites.
  • Check My Links– You can use Check My Links both as a post-penalty recovery tool and as a prevention tool that can help you avoid a Google penalty. Basically, it’s a Google Chrome extension that automatically checks whether all the links placed on a single web page are valid. If any of the links on that page isn’t working, it will highlight it red, while the good ones are colored green.
  • Ahrefs – This solution is a great assistant in finding bad links on a website. For instance, if you have a blog on your website and publish guest posts, some bad links might go under the radar. This is where Ahrefs comes on stage. You should check the content you publish with this tool, in order to spot any bad links. These may include paid link schemes, spam website, or any other content bits that violate Google rules and damage your online reputation. Also, Ahrefs will estimate the general rankings and relevance of the link domains included in the analyzed section or the entire website.

2. The Penalty Removal Process

When you identify the weak spots on your website that have caused the penalty, it’s time to start the removal process. Depending on the type of penalty and the amount of bad content, it may take from a few weeks to several months to put your website and its online rankings where it once was.

First and foremost, you can be penalized in two possible ways: one is the algorithmic penalty and the other one is the manual penalty.

The former one usually happens when Google’s algorithms change. As a result, your website will sink low on the SERPs, given that it wasn’t prepared properly for the change in question. It’s easily recoverable since you or your optimizers need to adapt to the new version of the algorithm.

The latter penalty is a true, purpose-made fine, caused by some ill-mannered SEO-actions. Google’s webmasters notice those irregularities and send a special notification, directed to your website.
Your website will stay low on the SERPs as long as you don’t repair the reported issues which you’ve been penalized for.

3. The Analysis of the Collected Data

Once you’ve conducted the post-penalty analysis, it’s time to make some decisions that will bring your website back to life.

For instance, if you realize that you’ve been penalized for black hat SEO, you should call the company that provides SEO services for your business and discuss the matter with them. You can never tell if their link builders tried to improve your rankings in a black-hat manner. If such a thing happens to you, think about hiring a new SEO specialist.

Further, artificial link building is also something that the SEO community doesn’t completely approve of. If you or your optimizer have used some of these artificial tactics, your website might also be penalized.

It’s important for your future SEO and content strategies to introduce a stricter control of the content and links you publish on your website.

4. Gathering Your Marketing Team

While search engine optimization is important to the rankings of every website, there are also some other effective ways to attract people to your website.

In line with that, you should focus on growing your audience organically, instead of taking shortcuts that might eventually lead to your website’s demise.

One of the ways to do that is to use the benefits of influencer marketing. Communicating and collaborating with renowned professionals in your niche can yield tremendous results in terms of content quality and lead generation.

For instance, if you manage to engage them with your brand, they can recommend it to their audience. Also, your website can benefit from publishing guest posts by well-known influencers and that way gain more recognition.

Also, it can replace some treadmill SEO tactics and boost your website rankings. As a result, you won’t have to expose your website to some potentially hazardous SEO-strategies.

Another beneficial feature of non-SEO strategies for higher conversion rates is content marketing. This concept entails a seamless effort to provide the visitors on your website with top-notch, genuine content features.

So, you should consider all these and many other traffic-increasing strategies and implement the ones you all find most suitable for your online goals.

5. Following Google’s Guidelines

Following Google Webmasters Tools and their guidelines means drinking directly from the well of SEO wisdom. They’ve prepared dozens of directions, instructions and ready-made solutions, based on their experience and online practice.

That way, you can learn how search engines and search queries work in the first place. It will help you develop a constructive approach to your entire SEO effort. As a result, you’ll be moving towards more natural strategies for increasing traffic on your website, as well as improving its overall quality.

Further, these tools will help you understand the underlying structure of your website and the Internet as a whole.

On the other hand, you can learn a lot about the basics of user-friendly design and visuals on your website. The visual part of your online presence is also a powerful tool in popularizing your website.
Moreover, in this day and age, every website should be adapted to different gadgets, so that it’s easily reachable from smartphones and tablets. Also, developing a mobile app could significantly contribute to your online rankings.

6. Working with Trustworthy Optimizers

If you decide to hire a search engine optimizer or replace the old one with a new one, make sure that they follow these major Google SEO rules. Only a trustworthy and optimizer who has already launched some successful link building campaigns for other clients should be taken into consideration.

Even though they’ve proven their expertise, you should still supervise their work and stay involved in the entire SEO and content building process. As a website owner, you’ll always have some specific ideas and requests pertaining to the online showcasing of your business.

Also, if you’ve been penalized by Google for bad SEO strategies or duplicate content, make sure that the new optimizer is provided with all the data they can use for the recovery of your website. Therefore, give them everything, from the report you‘ve received from Google to the results of your own research after the penalty.

This is where all the knowledge you’ve gathered after the penalty will be more than helpful.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to take part in the recovery procedure and learn something new about future online acts.


Being penalized in any field of work isn’t a comfortable experience. Still, you shouldn’t get too excited or worried if such a thing happens to you in the online environment. The Internet market is huge and Google often changes some parts of its algorithms. Because of that, you and your optimizer can’t always predict whether a certain way of building your SEO status might soon become outdated or banned.

While you should do everything you can to comply with the newest rules, getting a penalty can actually help you improve your website and learn a lesson for your future work. Applying the guidelines analyzed in this article during the recovery process will help you reach those goals in a faster and more efficient manner.

AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.