Have you been penalized by Google? Need help recovering?
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Why Has My Website Been Penalized?
There are several different reasons that may have caused your law firm website to be hit by a Google penalty. Most lawyers in penalty would have noticed a rapid decline in website traffic following one of Google’s main algorithm updates or following a manual penalty applied by Google.
The famous panda and penguin updates targeted specific actions that SEO companies had been using to try and manipulate search results. Google Hummingbird was a major algorithm update designed to deliver better search results.
Main Reasons For Penalty
- Google Webmaster Guidelines – Non Compliance
If your website does not comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines you can be hit with a penalty. The penalties can range from minor to severe.
There are many reasons your site may not comply with Google Webmaster Tools. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Duplicate pages
- Duplicate content
- Duplicate page titles & meta descriptions
- Keyword stuffing
- Bad site / URL structure.
This is a relatively easy penalty to fix as you have complete control of your website. You can therefore fix all of the outstanding issues so your site is in compliance with Google Webmaster Guidelines. You would then submit a reconsideration request and ensure your site remains in compliance moving forward.
Estimate time frame for recovery is 2-4 months.
- Bad or Over Optimized Links
Your backlink profile consists of bad or over optimized links. This can be a minor or major issue depending on the number of backlinks that are considered low quality, spam or over optimized.
Recovery from this is a slow and time consuming process as you need to contact all of the webmasters who link to your site and request that each link that is considered bad, be changed or removed. You then may need to use Google’s Disavow Tool to request certain links be ignored. Lastly you may need to submit a reconsideration request.
Recovery could take anywhere from 3-12 months depending on the severity of your issues.
First Step To Recovery – Identify the reason for the penalty.
This is done by conducting a complete audit of your firm’s website, back link profile, Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.
Often websites in penalty are referred to as being in Google’s sandbox.
Google penalty recovery can be a slow and painful process; however if done correctly your website can make a complete recovery. Alternatively to trying to recover a penalized website, some lawyers prefer to start from scratch with a new website on a new URL. Both approaches are valid and the reason and severity of your penalty should assist you in deciding which direction to take.
Want Best Case Media To Determine The Reason For Your Penalty?
What Were The Main Targets Of Each Google Update?
The Google Panda update was initially released in 2011 and targeted sites with low quality, thin or duplicate content.
The Google Penguin update was initially released in 2012 and targeted sites that used keyword stuffing and content that was written to manipulate search results. It also targeted sites that had low quality back link profiles, which consisted mainly of spam type links or over optimized anchor text.
Google Hummingbird is a new search algorithm that was released in 2013 and designed to give users more accurate search results. The hummingbird algorithm can understand synonyms and the context of particular searches.
We can help.
Regardless of your Google Penalty, Best Case Media can help. Have one of our SEO experts complete a free audit of your website and identify the reason for your penalty. Start the road to recovery!Contact Us Today!