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The power of internet search engine giant Google is hard to ignore for any business seeking to improve its search rankings and ultimately its revenue. Google, however, has developed its own opinions and criteria on how it ranks a website, and it chooses to change its mind whenever it sees fit, using seemingly innocuous update names such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird as examples. All of this can have a big impact on a business, and any organisation that doesn’t comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can be hit with penalties that can see their search rankings, brand reputation and income suffer considerably.
Knowing how to protect yourself from getting an algorithmic penalty in the first place, and what to do to get a Google penalty revoked, requires skill and knowledge. At Search Creative, we have specialist SEO expertise to protect your site from getting penalties and we can also clean it up to maintain your brand’s reputation.
Over the past number of years especially, Google has regularly rolled out amendments to its ranking algorithm and performed many algorithmic updates as it aims to serve the most relevant and high quality sites that matches an individual searchers criteria. As a result of this, it is imperative that we understand what all of these individual updates are, what they utilise as a ranking signal and how to resolve any issues that may be holding a site back from ranking prominently. Below is an overview of some of the latest Google algorithm updates:
Google Panda: Launched on 23rd February 2011, Google Panda (or as it was originally known ‘farmer’) is an algorithmic update that was implemented to reduce the online visibility of websites with low quality or thin content. The aim of this updated algorithm was to increase the visibility of high quality, informative and authoritative websites that provide answers and valuable information to searchers. It is now imperative that websites provide unique, keyword rich and user friendly content within not only a select number of pages within a site, but the entire domain.
Google Penguin: Google Penguin was first rolled out on the 24th April 2012. The algorithm was developed to decrease the rankings of websites that violated Google Webmaster Guidelines in relation to ‘black hat’ offsite SEO tactics including the creation of unnatural and low quality back-links. Detailed analysis will be performed to remove or disavow low quality and manipulative back-links that could damage the credibility and trust of a website within the eyes of Google.
Google Hummingbird: Google Hummingbird was released on the 30th August 2013 and was a major change to the way Google serves relevant results through its search engine. Hummingbird has been implemented to more accurately judge the context and/or intent of a search to determine what a searcher is trying to locate. Unlike other historic algorithms, Hummingbird is taking into account every word within a search query, ensuring the whole sentence is taken into account and not just an individual phrase.
The first step of recovering from an algorithmic ‘penalty’ is to identify which individual or combination of updates your site was negatively impacted by. Thorough in-depth analysis will be performed into Google Analytics to see if we can mate a decrease in traffic to a particular period close to an algorithm update, additionally forensic analysis will be performed on-site, on-page and off-page to identify any aspects of your online profile that no-longer complies and conforms to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Once the issues have been identified we can devise and implement a strategy to ensure that your website ticks all the right boxes to ensure that your website is viewed as a high quality, trust worthy and authoritative website in the eyes of Google.
Although other forms or manual penalties are imposed on websites by Google, the most common penalty relates to unnatural back-links created to manipulate the search engine results. If you have been punished by Google for using unnatural links, we can offer a rigorous assessment of your site’s links, working towards an unnatural link penalty recovery strategy. We can also establish whether a Google manual action penalty recovery procedure needs to be carried out. These processes involve disavowing poor-quality backlinks and ensuring the site appears as natural as possible to the search engines. It’s a crucial step to regain Google’s trust in your site again and boost your search rankings.
How do you know if you have been affected? If you notice your traffic numbers have plummeted and you have lost rankings for important keywords, then you may have been fallen foul of an algorithmic update or manual action imposed by Google.
If you feel you site may have fallen foul of a Google manual action penalty or seen a decrease in rankings due to an algorithmic update content us to discover how we can help your site to recover.
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