Like penalties in football, penalties in SEO are there to ensure fair play, but you could still be caught out by them even if you’re trying carefully to play by the rules. If Google appears to have just penalised your site, however, keep away from that panic button and follow these steps instead.

Investigate whether the penalty was algorithmic or manual

Fortunately, it’s easy to pick up on a manual penalty, as you will be notified of it in your Google Webmaster account. There, Google will even explain how you can rectify your site before submitting a reconsideration request, allowing the search giant to assess your site afresh.

However, if the penalty has arisen due to Google updating its algorithm, you could be in a tough spot here, as Google is thought to often release updates without publicly confirming them. Hence, you might have to do a bit of detective work to trace the source of the SEO wrinkle.    

Have you been blighted by a Panda or a Penguin?

In case our capitalisations here haven’t given it away, we are referring here to two main algorithmic Google updates: Panda and Penguin. The former punishes sites for content that is poor quality or duplicated, as well as issues – like excessive ads or irrelevant content – that hamper the user experience.

Meanwhile, Penguin is a rather backlink-focused update, as unnatural backlink profiles and excessively optimised anchor texts can both make sites vulnerable to Penguin-delivered punishments. Both Panda and Penguin are frequently tweaked, but our SEO gurus can inform you of changes.

If you call us on 020 3070 1959, those search engine optimisation experts could also help you to find the offending backlinks. You can then, with our help, attempt to remove those problematic backlinks and, with ones you can’t delete, disavow them instead.