When SEO Fails: How Do You Get Back on Google’s Good Side?

Posted on March 1, 2011 • Written by Brad Anderson

On this blog, we talk a lot about how to boost your SEO, and a lot of the tactics we talk about can be used in different ways. You can use them responsibly, or you can be irresponsible and go the extreme, trying to “trick” Google into thinking that your site should be the number one search result for just about anything. You know the kind of tactics I’m talking about. Usually, these are called “black hat” SEO tactics. But to the novice SEO explorer or to the small businessman who doesn’t know any better, these can be nasty traps to fall into. And they can land you in hot water with Google and other search engines, getting you penalized by ranking very low or being removed completely from the search engine index.

If you have, by accident, fallen into one of these spammy, black-hat practices and have been removed, you can work your way back into Google’s good graces. Just keep in mind there are two types of penalties, and there are two ways to fix them.

1) Algorithmic penalties

These penalties occur when the Google spiders suspect your site is up to no good, whether it be keyword stuffing, suspicious javascript, spam, and other red flags. These penalties are created automatically, and they can be removed automatically when you fix your site and clean up your act. When the Google spiders no longer suspect that your site is up to no good, then your site will start to rise in the search engine ranks again.

2) Manual Penalties

These penalties are a little more serious. They occur when a user had submitted your site to Google for malicious behavior. For example, you could be optimizing your site for “children’s games” and then fill your site full of porn. Or Google could catch you in the act of some serious violations of the their web master policies, like JC Penny found themselves in not to long ago when they were part of a paid-links scheme. When you are guilty of these types of violations, your site is removed from the Google index for an unspecified period of time. The amount of time depends on how serious the violation is.

However, under either of these circumstances, if you have cleaned up your act and stopped all of your black-hat SEO practices, you can send Google a Reconsideration Request to get the ball moving a little faster. The Reconsideration Request is basically a request telling Google that you have changed, asking for reinstatement or fresh start. This may work, it may not. It depending on the seriousness of the violation.

However, the best way to avoid having to go through either of these processes is to never get penalized in the first place. Practice “white hat” SEO tactics to help grow your search engine rank naturally. If you do, you’ll see organic SEO growth and significantly lower your chances of being banned from Google.

Brad Anderson

Written by Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.

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