Lost my Google Rankings!

Why did I Lose my Google Rankings!

Lose your website rankings?  Have you been reading all the information available regarding Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms,  web spam, lack of content, link spam and don’t quite know what to make of it?

I see this daily in the Search engine forums, Google has been warning web site owners for a few years now and that gauntlet has finally come down. I’ll try and explain what happened to your site if you ranked well in the results and then…poof it was gone.

According to Google, if your website lost its ranking around April 24th of 2012, it’s been hit by the new “Penguin algorithm” that Google rolled out that week.  The Penguin algorithm’s objective is to target link spam (and schemes) and webspamming.  If your site lost ranking prior to April 24th, the “Panda algorithm” probably effected your website and it targeted little, poor or duplicate content, hidden text and keyword stuffing.

If you received a message from GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) about unnatural links, your site was manually evaluated, and it may not be found in the SERPs (search engine results page).  If you did NOT get a message from GWT about unnatural links and still lost your ranking, your site has an issue relating to the links contained therein.  This might be a good time to get a professional to evaluate and eradicate the problem.  Your site can recover if you didn’t get that dreaded unnatural link message from GWT.

If you were having problems prior to April 24th of 2012, it’s more than likely “Panda” that had an effect on your rankings.  The Panda algorithm covered website content (which includes little, poor or duplicate content), hidden text, keyword stuffing and a few other things Google wants to eliminate.

(the information below has been updated)
Here are your options:

(originally posted 7-3-2012)
1
)  If your site was hit by “Penguin,” and you received the dreaded “unnatural link message,” you’ll need to get rid of the bad links Google found and considered as “webspam” and then ask for re-inclusion through your GWT account.

(updated 7-15-2013)
1-a)  Many top SEO professionals no longer think there’s a need to disavow poor links that reside in your back-link profile.  IMO, you shouldn’t use the disavow tool at all.  Why? Because it tells Google that you think you’ve created web spam to get a ranking advantage…it’s like telling on yourself:  “Hey Google, I know I’ve been cheating, so here’s a list of links I’ve used to cheat with!”  You’re doing their spam work for them…smart move by Google, No?

(originally posted 7-3-2012)
2
)  If your site was hit by “Penguin” and you did NOT receive the “unnatural link message” but still lost ranking, it can be fixed by us or you (if you prefer to do it yourself) which will restore your rankings usually within about 2 to 3 months or maybe longer, depending on your particular problem.  Email us to ask for a free quote and site evaluation.  If you’re interested in fixing the problem on your own, check your inbound links (as well as your internal links), link structure and the links themselves.  Fix the problem and wait for the next Google refresh, which usually happens every 4 or 6 weeks.

(updated 7-15-2013)
2-a)  The only remedy to this is to replenish the ranking juice your site lost from the links you had that were devalued in Google’s Penguin web spam algorithm. Yes it’s that easy. But they need to be good links or you’ll just be repeating the process.

(originally posted 7-3-2012)
3
)  If you don’t have a Google Webmaster Tool account (so you don’t know if your site has been singled out or not) and lost your rankings, you can simply sign-up for an account, but this still may not tell you if your site was targeted or not!

(updated 7-15-2013)
3-a)  The above is still true; however, I’ve come to the point that I don’t trust these “free tools” offered by Google to web masters.  I think it’s an eminent front (yea…it’s a put-on!) to get you to put Google’s code on every page of your site and to verify that you’re the owner of the site with another code so you can see the performance of your site.

What Google doesn’t tell you is how they sort this data that you so freely give them and which is tantamount to giving Google permission to gather information about everything you do with your site.  Think about this…who would want Google tools in the way Google advertises them…people who want their websites to rank well with-in Google, by changing this, adding that, copying that, linking here, getting 500 links for here…you gave google the code to watch what your doing..  It’s what you signed up for!  You’re probably kicking yourself in the butt right now if you’ve been using these tools.  What I don’t know is whether or not it’s too late once you’ve given them that kind of access to your data…I just don’t know…it might be too late! I’m fairly confident that, if deleted, any future techniques or information Google could use against you won’t be seen by them.

My advice would be not to sign-up for any of Google’s “free tools” and, if you’ve “been there, done that,” I would delete and replace them with a 3rd party analyzer, which gives you more information anyway.  If you go this direction, be sure to make a copy of your back-link profile, as long as the data’s there..

(originally posted 7-3-2012)
4)  If your site was hit by “Panda,” check your site’s content . . . is it original content . . . or is it copied-and-pasted from another website?  Do you have hidden keywords or little (or poor) relevant written content?  There’s always room for improvement as far as “relevant content” on an Internet website.

(updated 7-15-2013)
4-a)  The above still holds true and I’ll elaborate a bit more.  Titles are still influential in ranking, along with the site structure.  And, when adding content, try to make it something your audience will want to read, not just a bunch of garbage.  In this regard, a professional writer is a great asset to have when your object is adding good quality content to your site.

 

If your website was hit by both Panda AND Penguin, you’re going to be busy.

Good luck and Happy Ranking.

About DSB

Legal secretary for 15 years, SEO content specialist trained in accuracy in written documents, including grammar, punctuation and syntax.
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