Kelly Breland
Jun 28, 2016 | 3 min read

Getting penalized by Google is a website owner’s worst nightmare. It usually takes a while before one can rectify the issues of the penalty and it takes months or probably years before a website can actually recover its lost search rank.  We’ve collected some explanations and tips for recovering.

Google’s Matt Cutts explained in his video How Can You Tell If Your Site Is Suffering from An Algorithmic Penalty that it is often difficult to determine what causes the Google penalty that may hit a website.It could be an algorithmic penalty or it may actually be due to the poor content published on a site.

Holistic thinking

Cutts communicates clearly that the Google algorithms are quite numerous, interacting altogether when assessing the value of a website for search ranking. It is often quite difficult to draw the line whether the change of a website’s search ranking is caused by an algorithmic penalty or by poor content.

The Google team develops codes that are tailored to improve the quality of websites within their channels are not too focused on algorithmic penalty. In general, the team is more concerned about building holistic ranking within their search engine platform which involves the amalgamation of different algorithm codes that will determine the quality of websites for search ranking. Since 2012, there were already 665 algorithms that Google unleashed that caused significant search engine ranking casualties among websites.

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How to tell what causes your website search ranking changes

Cutts suggests that in order for a webmaster to tell what actually causes the changes in their search ranking, visiting the Google Webmasters Tools and creating an account in order to review the analytics results of a website will help shed light to this concern. While it may be tricky to find what actually cause the drop of a website search ranking, the tool can give better insights whether your site receives a penalty notification or when there are crawl errors listed on your site. It is also possible whether manual actions on your site also cause the changes in your website performance on search.

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Redeeming your website from Google penalty

Cutts emphasizes that algorithm changes in Google are not meant to impose a penalty to webmasters. It is more of improving the holistic values of websites. Google uses the algorithm mainly for the purpose of search ranking of websites and any drop of a website’s ranking on the search engine should not be viewed as a penalty.

Any website that has been inflicted with the algorithmic changes in Google has the chance to redeem itself. Publishing high quality content and improving the value and relevance of your site will help your search ranking. After all, ranking on the Google search engine is algorithmic and you can always improve your search ranking once you adhere to the quality that the Google algorithms are looking for when ranking websites for search.

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