One year ago one of my best perfoming websites took a hit from Google, meaning that it once featured on page one for some nice keywords and then suddenly no more. Some kind of penalty hit (I think because someone hacked into blog and added Pharma links!) and the site was gone, even when you entered the exact domain in google.
So I could have abandoned this site but it only costs around $10 a year to keep the domain name registered and much less than that to host on a ‘no limit’ hosting package.
I didn’t abandon and I am happy to say that the site is alive again and is creeping back to it’s former glory. The money generated from the site in the last few days has already more than covered the costs of hositng, domain and my time keeping it updated.
Here are five things you should do to help get your site back after a penalty.
1. The number one recovery strategy from any Google penalty is to familiarise yourself with Google Webmaster Guidelines and then act upon them. Look and see if your site is following the guidelines and remember the golden rule of making a website for the human visitor, not the google bot!
2. Check for duplicate content around your site and most importantly do a search to see if anyone is stealing your content. If you find someone has copied you then put a complaint into google and email the site owner threatening to do this.
3. Now check to see if Google has blacklisted your site as unsafe for browsing. Go to
www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=xxxxxxxxxxx.com with the domain you suspect is being penalised.
4. Correct the problem and then apply to be re-included in the Google index by submitting a re-inclusion request from your Webmaster Tools account (you should all have a webmaster tools account).
5. Now the important bit, you should keep your site going, even if it involves a fair bit of work to keep it updated. Do not let it sit and rot! Keep applying it with good content that can attract links, all the usual stuff.
If you follow this then there is no reason why your site shouldn’t claw back it’s rankings. It has happened to me more than once and I have always managed to get the site back into google. Never give up!