Help! My Rankings Dropped, How Do I Recover?

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If you hired a SEO agency to build links for you, you better check your search engine rankings.

What happened?  Google recently handed down their strictest punishment yet.  And they are not done going after the bad guys.

The Warning

Google has been warning SEO agencies for awhile to stop trying to manipulate search rankings by fabricating external links that point to your website.  Instead of listening, a lot of SEO agencies just alter their link building strategies to look more natural.  Oh, yeah that’s smart… try and trick Google.  Guess what? Google is 100 times smarter than any SEO professional.  Those days are long gone.  And if your SEO agency is still using these strategies, despite their claims of “white-hat” seo, they should be gone too.  If your SEO agency doesn’t disclose their strategies, please succumb to the red flag and fire them.

The Punishment

Charts showing company growth and debt

So what is the punishment for such crimes?  Well for starters, a drop in rankings.  The severity of the punishment can be measured by the depth of the drop.  You can probably still find your website when searching by company name, but can you find your website when searching for your products or services?  Did you used to be on the first page and now you are buried in a cyberspace black hole?

If a drop in rankings isn’t punishment enough, here is the brutal reality of the rest of the story.  You now are black-marked in Google’s book.  They know you were cheating them and they aren’t happy about it.  “Well” you say, “I had lower rankings before and got back to first page”… um, probably not recently.  This time it’s different.  You can’t just “trick” them with another strategy to counter balance the crime.  That doesn’t work anymore.  No more tricks are left.  You are in the jailhouse and the keys aren’t around.

Recovering From Your Google Penalty

So what can you do besides licking your wounds from Google’s wrath?

The first thing is to do a link analysis so you can evaluate the damage.

We recently wrote an article called “Assessing Your Link Damage”, to give website owners insight into what they were paying their SEO company to do for them.  Review this article and put your website through the link analysis and see what you find.

The only way to recover from link building damage is to take down the links that got you punished.  I would suggest having an ethical, professional SEO company compile a list of all the links that might be harming you.  Then the tedious task begins of trying to find contact information for all those websites with damaging links to you.

Once you find the contact information you must reach out to the website owners and request they remove the link.  You most likely will need to make repeated attempts to get them to answer.  If they do even respond, they might want compensated to take the link down.

Developer coding website for Google

You must log all this information and keep a journal of all attempts of correspondence for each bad link you have.  If you are unsuccessful in your attempt, log the result and keep working through your list.  When you are all done, you can properly format this report and submit it to the Google disavow department.  Google warns that this is serious business and not to be taken lightly.  You are basically saying to them that you acknowledge you were being bad and asking them to not use these documented links against you.  You can also follow that up with a reconsideration letter pleading for Google to reinstate your website and remove the penalty and to accept your forgiveness with your promise to never do it again.  Then you are done. Sound like a lot of work?  Fortunately for you, we have a 90-day link detox program where we provide this link removal service for an affordable rate. There is nothing more except to wait and see if Google will respond to your requests.

The crime you (or your SEO company) committed was harsh, therefore Google’s punishment was mutually severe.  There are no guarantees of reinstatement.  The above steps are a last ditch effort to remove penalties in an attempt to regain rankings. The honest truth is you might never regain what you once had. I’m sorry I don’t have a happier ending.

The purpose of this article and most the blog articles we write is to educate and inform you so you can make the best decisions for your company.  We at WebTek will do everything we can to help your company recover.  We offer link detox and link damage control services and can do a quality disavow submission and communicate reconsideration requests to Google. You can also enroll in our integrated marketing solutions or on site seo strategies.