If you are visiting this page you are either curious about Google penalties or you are in the position where your website may have a Google penalty but you are not sure.
If you are not sure you got a Google Penalty on your website consider the following questions:
- Did you lose ALL of your rankings all at once and has it been more than 2 weeks since it happened? If so, this is a very good indicator that your site has been penalized.Why 2 weeks? Well rankings can fluctuate out of the blue and come right back, as strong as ever, in a couple of weeks so it is best not to act hastily.
- Check your Google Webmaster Tools page and look for any messages direct from the Google Webmaster Team. Personally I have not seen this yet but I understand they occasionally notify a webmaster if a penalty has been applied and why. I imagine this would only happen, however, if your site looked to be mistakenly (NOT purposely) treading on Google’s Guidelines.
- Are your key rankings fluctuating substantially (pages up and pages down) all of a sudden? I consider this a great indicator that either a penalty has been applied OR the online version of the canary in the coal mine; fix whatever you did wrong ASAP!
- Sometimes, but not always, the PageRank meter on the Google Toolbar indicates when a web page has been penalized. For example, if you were caught selling links you may find your rankings have started to fluctuate slightly but more notably your PageRank went from a solid 6 to a 3 or 4. In that situation I would clean house as quickly as possible and get your website into tip top shape (that means stopping with the paid links – YESTERDAY!)
If you have a unique situation where you are still not certain what has happened with your website rankings please contact us or request a some consulting hours. Often, in just a couple of hours we can get to the bottom of the situation while providing proven advice for getting your site back on top of results.
Ross Dunn, CEO