Google Penalty Comprehensive Guide

Google Penalty Recovery Services: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Getting hit by a Google penalty can have a significant impact on your brand’s online presence and the effectiveness of your website’s SEO strategy. It can reduce sales and leads, and overnight, you can go from ranking on page one for several keywords that drive revenue and leads to being wiped off the face of the search engine results page.

Luckily, with Embryo’s Google Penalty Recovery Services penalties and drops in rankings can be rectified. With time, a considered technical SEO plan, and the utilisation of our experts we can turn your online presence around and create a long-term strategy that not only rectifies the original penalty but ensures any future issues are avoided.

Below, we’re going to break down Google penalties, the different types, how to identify one and how our services can help your brand.

In a congested online market, any knockback can see you lag behind your competitors which is why Google penalty services need to be enacted as soon as possible. If your rankings and traffic have taken a hit then get in touch today to speak to our SEO team by phone at 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

Been Hit With a Google Penalty and Don’t Know Where to Turn?

At Embryo, not only can we help you turn around your website’s performance in the short and medium term, but our team of experts can ensure your brand’s long-term online visibility is secure.

To learn more, get in touch today with us by phone on 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

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By far the best agency I have ever worked with! Every single member of the team is a pleasure to deal with. They're absolutely brilliant at what they do! Highly recommended.

Ryan Robinson, Hairshark

What is a Google Penalty?

A Google penalty is the search engine giant’s way of punishing websites after they have made tweaks to their algorithm. Also known as a manual action penalty, they are often metered out by human reviewers at Google to examine websites and determine whether it has complied with their ‘Search Essentials’ checklist.

There are numerous reasons why a website can be punished and, whether you think it’s fair or not, web owners can be penalised whether they knew they were carrying out nefarious techniques or not. Said techniques are often called Black Hat SEO tactics.

5 Common Reasons Why a Website Might Be Punished by Google

Knowing the reasons why your site has lost traffic is vital if you want to find an effective solution to fixing it. As an agency that offers premium digital marketing services, we’re well aware of manual action penalties and the most common causes behind them. While they can have a serious impact, the solutions behind them are not impossible to enact. Here are five of the most common reasons why you might require Google penalty recovery services.

  • Slow Site Speed

    1. The Website Has a Slow Site Speed

    In recent years, Google has been placing emphasis on site speed. A slow site that fails to load information and content in seconds is going to frustrate users which Google, despite owning the entirety of the search engine market, wants to avoid at all costs. Therefore, it’s going to punish websites which fail to ensure their website passes Google’s Core Web Vitals check. Our tech SEO team will comb through your website and optimise it so that it loads in seconds.

  • Keywords Overuse

    2. Overuse of Keywords

    This is a very common cause and is often carried out by people who may not be aware of the dangers of ‘keyword stuffing’. Essentially, this is where writers fill a piece of content with the target keyword in an attempt to emphasise what keywords they want that page to rank for. The problem with overusing terms is that it looks spammy and doesn’t benefit the reader to see the same term 9 times in the first 100 words of a blog. Our content writers have decades of collective experience and are experts in striking the balance between helpful long-form content that is optimised for search engines.

  • internal linking structure

    3. Poor or No Internal Linking Structure

    Having a strong link architecture is essential to a successful SEO campaign but too many poor quality, irrelevant links to and from websites that have no relation to your brand is going to lead to Google punishing your site. It signals to Google a lack of effort in acquiring higher quality links from sites and publications which relate to your industry. Our in-house link-building team will create bespoke strategies for you that focus on the type of link, not the number.

  • unique content

    4. Lack of Unique and Helpful Content

    Good content is king and an essential pillar of SEO. Google takes content seriously so if you haven’t got unique, richly optimised content on each page, and instead opt to duplicate work across multiple pages, you can expect Google to send a manual action penalty after the next algorithm update. Our content writers only create unique content for each page on your site, since we were founded in 2015 Embryo has never used duplicate content as an SEO tactic.

  • Outdated Sitemaps

    5. Outdated Sitemaps

    This is slightly more technical but no less important. When Google indexes and scans your site it needs to be able to find the right information and understand its structure. If it’s outdated it will get the architecture wrong and will be inclined to think that this is a website which isn’t maintained and thus not good for users. This, inevitably, leads to penalties and decreased rankings.

Revive Your Online Business with Our Algorithm Recovery Services

With our help, we can help put your website back on the path to stable, long-term organic SEO success. Our tech SEO team, alongside our content writers, can help your brand determine the problem and then create a custom strategy that, over a period of months, will turn your website around so it is something that will be rewarded the next time there is an algorithm update, as opposed to being punished. 

Our team of experienced SEOs have their finger on the pulse and are able to adapt and create a versatile strategy that ensures your website remains profitable and isn’t negatively impacted by changes in visibility. We know how important it is in this world of algorithms and ranking factors to be aware of how changes will impact your business, we know it is important because we’ve seen the effects penalties can have on ranking, traffic, and revenue.

Algorithm and penalty recovery services

Algorithm and penalty recovery services

The Google penalty removal service we would carry out for you would depend greatly on the type of recovery your website would require. Whatever recovery you require, though, our team will use the most sophisticated SEO tools and all their experience to work backwards to find the source of the issue and rectify it.

Here are just a few types of recoveries we can help you with.

Broad Core Algorithm Recovery

Broad Core Algorithm Recovery

Broad core updates are rolled out by Google multiple times a year, some SEOs can even predict when they might fall. These updates deal with Google’s overall search algorithm, filtering out any websites that fail to meet a large chunk of their 150 ranking factors.

We don’t get a lot of information about what these updates reward/penalise, however, we know that Google has been focusing on improving the E-E-A-T ranking signals in recent times.

This means that sites will likely have been rewarded if they have:

  • Quality content that is helpful to users and not just sales-driven
  • A good page experience, with a good content format, quality images and a clear purpose
  • Experts within the industry/on the topic associated with the content
  • Good reviews and clear proof of value added to customers
  • Proof signals of trustworthiness

The best way to avoid being hit by a broad core algorithm update is by following the latest best practices both on and off-page.

Manual Action Penalty Recovery

Manual Action Penalty Recovery

Manual actions involve penalising, knocking down or even completely de-listing websites from Google’s search results if they are found to be violating their Webmaster Guidelines.

Unlike standard algorithmic penalties, manual actions require a human reviewer to apply the penalty. Google employs a team of human reviewers, often referred to as quality raters, who assess websites based on a comprehensive quality rating document and the Webmaster Guidelines. Websites with manual actions taken against them are therefore raised by reviewers through algorithmic detection or the submission of external spam reports.

The Webmaster Help Centre page includes 12 manual actions that could be applied to a website:

  • User-generated spam
  • Spammy free host
  • Structured data problems
  • Unnatural inbound links (such as link buying)
  • Suspicious outbound links
  • Thin, duplicate or invaluable content
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Spam content
  • Cloaked images
  • Keyword stuffing
  • AMP content mismatch
  • Sneaky mobile redirects

Recovering from a manual action penalty requires rectifying the violation promptly. Google provides specific guidance for addressing different penalties on their Help Centre. Some penalties result from honest mistakes and can be resolved by undoing the error. The recovery process varies for each penalty, and some may be more complex, which is where our SEO team expertise would come in.

Losing Revenue Because of a Google Penalty Can Be Disastrous

We know what can be done to reverse the damage of a penalty. Using considered, white-hat SEO strategies we can help your brand.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help. Call us on 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

The Inn Collection Group

The Inn Collection Group

  • statistics arrow 87%

    Increase in conversions

  • statistics arrow 166%

    Increase in clicks (265,300)

Types of Google Penalties

The penalties that Google meets out to sites that flout its various checklists can range from punishing one page/URL to removing an entire domain from its search engine (i.e. it won’t show up at all for users).

A keyword penalty may see you lose all ranking positions for a few terms that you once ranked for but the page itself can still be found via Google. A URL level punishment affects all the ranking positions for that one page and then finally a sitewide penalty means a great deal of keywords on a domain will all positions and a desilting will see your site removed from Google’s index, essentially rendering it null and void.

Even if just one page is punished the effects can be huge, especially if it is a pillar page or a piece of content that leads to sales or leads. Needless to say, the effects of having your entire website de-indexed by Google are pretty catastrophic.

How Does Google Implement These Punishments?

Well, there are two ways you can be punished – one is via the latest algorithm update. These punishments are automatically applied after new filters are applied via this update to all websites.

Two significant updates – Google Panda and Google Penguin – are great examples of algorithms metering our penalties and rewards to websites which abide, or not, by these new changes. Often, we’ve seen direct correlations between update X affecting website Y almost immediately.

The second way they punish sites is manually. Essentially, a Google employee will review a website if they suspect it is flouting guidelines and, if they feel it necessary, will punish the website accordingly.

Our Team

Meet Your SEO experts

  • Senior SEO Account Manager, Jamie Beatty

    Jamie Beatty

    Senior Organic SEO Account Manager
  • Embryo's Organic Lead Amy Leach

    Amy Leach

    Organic Lead
  • SEO Executive, Alisa Thorley

    Alisa Thorley

    SEO Executive
  • Technical SEO Adam Chapman

    Adam Chapman

    Technical SEO
  • SEO Executive, Klaudia Kubica

    Klaudia Kubica

    SEO Executive
  • Senior SEO Executive, Ryan Jones

    Ryan Jones

    Senior SEO Executive
  • SEO Account Manager, Ben Carter

    Ben Carter

    SEO Account Manager
  • SEO Assistant Paulina

    Paulina Wisniewska

    SEO Executive
  • Head of Organic, Dan McCartney

    Daniel McCartney

    Head of Organic
  • Zuzanna Krüger

    Zuzanna Krüger

    Senior Organic SEO Account Manager
  • Claire-Marie Wilder

    SEO Account Manager

How to Recover From an Algorithm Update: Google Penalty Recovery Strategies

Once you’ve discovered the issue that caused the punishment now comes the Google penalty removal process. 

While the effects of an algorithmic or manual action can be reversed, it takes time and a realigning of SEO priorities and methods. The worst thing you can do is undergo a Google penalty removal only to go back to the methods that caused the issue in the first place.

The strategy your brand creates to combat the drop in rankings, be it alone or with Embryo and our Google penalty removal service, will all depend on what caused the dip in the first place.

It is vital you create and follow a bespoke plan. Why? Because the reasons behind the penalty will be different from website to website. A custom recovery plan is the fastest and most effective way of recovering lost online visibility. 

The steps to creating a recovery plan begin with discovering what is wrong with the site. Which black hat methods were used that Google felt merited a punishment? Once that has been established a strategy can be mapped out and work can begin on fixing it.

In terms of strategies, there are two categories – on-page and off-page – that, in which, house a multitude of tactics and techniques.

  • Continuous Monitoring of Algorithm Changes

    There are multiple ways you can attempt to prepare and stay ahead of updates. Whilst you may not always have full intel on the proposed changes, staying up to date with search engine news and trends should put you in a strong position to implement changes or improvements ahead of time. 

    1. Setting up alerts for Google algorithm changes is a free and easy way to monitor movement. As they say, it’s better to hear it from the horse’s mouth! You’ll receive insights from the Google team including estimated times for updates and information once the update has been completed. 
    2. Follow industry leaders on LinkedIn to track major changes and gain expert insights from the big names in SEO. We personally recommend John Meuller, Moz and Search Engine Land. 
    3. Keep your eyes on Google Analytics. Big dips and waves in data are a big indicator of motion in the SEO ocean. You’ll begin to understand your usual patterns, so any strange data should be a big indicator of algorithm changes. 
  • on site content audit

    On-site Content Audit

    As we’re now seeing, most (if not all) of Google’s updates are focused on improving user experience and providing the best of content to searchers. A huge part of combatting a drop in rankings is staying on top of content performance and optimising existing pieces. 

    A site audit of your content will reveal a few major findings that you can take action from: 

    1. Trends in existing high-performing content
    2. Opportunities for improvement 
    3. Low-quality content that can be removed or re-directed 
    4. Gaps when content is missing 

    It’s best to conduct an SEO site audit at least twice a year. This allows you to spot any low-performers and further enhance your content for usability, engagement and conversion. 

  • mobile seo optimisation

    Optimise for mobile

    Optimising for mobile is an absolute necessity in today’s world. Over 55% of web traffic comes from mobile, and Google wants to ensure each website is accessible to those users.

    Here are a few quick tips to make your content more mobile-friendly:

    1. Use headings and subheadings for readability
    2. Be aware of F-shaped or triangle reading patterns to make the mobile-viewing experience easy
    3. Make sure content is the same on both desktop and mobile by using a responsive design

    Be mindful of the purchasing journey on all devices when it comes to CTA placement and site navigation from a holistic perspective.

  • Competitor Benchmarking & Reporting

    It’s super important to watch what your competitors are up to. Sites like AHRefs can help you assess estimated organic traffic and backlinks, these insights are invaluable. If your site takes a hit after an update, it’s likely your competitors are stealing a bigger share of traffic.

    Always report monthly on your progress and check that your competitors aren’t filling content gaps that you’ve not yet thought of. Similarly, watching your competitors through SEO tools will help you suss out if the entire industry has fallen behind after an update.

  • Diversify Your Digital Marketing Efforts

    One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to diversify your marketing campaigns. Build a brand SO good that you don’t need to solely rely on organic website traffic and conversions.

    By collaborating with DPR for brand awareness and a social media team to reach new audiences on different platforms, you’ll essentially future-proof your brand.

Don’t Let Algorithm Updates Slow Down Business – Embryo Can Help

If you’ve recently been hit with a penalty, or your site has lost a lot of traffic recently and you’re struggling to understand why, our team of problem solvers and strategic experts are on hand to help. 

When you work with our digital marketing team, you’ll gain insight and knowledge about Google updates. Most importantly, we’ll tell you how to thrive through them and strengthen your website so big algorithm changes don’t touch you.

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Paid marketing channels are crucial to The Range’s online success so finding an agency that understood that and would have the tools in place to take it to a new level was critical. Not only are Embryo incredibly innovative and knowledgeable, but they used all that to tell a story about how their interpretation of PPC and paid social would be ideal for The Range.

Jamie Messham, Chief Financial Officer, The Range