SEO Case Study – Fixing Google Penalities

Client: McKinley Elevator Corporation

Company Background: McKinley Elevator is an Irvine, California, provider of accessibility products for home and commercial use, including home elevators, and wheelchair lifts. McKinley sells, installs, and services products that are manufactured by a diverse set of nationally recognized brands to provide top-of-the-line accessibility solutions in each category. The company employs a staff of highly trained technicians that serve customers across California, Arizona, and Nevada, with showrooms conveniently located in Irvine and Hayward.

Why McKinley came to FRUITION?

A director at McKinley came to Fruition® with the desire to develop a better website, to increase web traffic, and to rank higher in search results for their main products, like home elevators and stair chairs.

Tools that Fruition uses to analyze Google Penalties

When McKinkley first came to Fruition® our math PhDs were working to perfect a proprietary SEO tool called the Google Penalty Checker (“GPC”), which reviews a website’s performance over time and attributes increases or decreases in the quality of a website’s traffic to relevant Google search updates—most notably, Penguin and Panda.

In April 2012, Google rolled out Penguin which penalizes websites that engaged in nefarious link-building tactics that were intended to manipulate rankings. Penguin decimated many websites and severely hurt the business of many others. McKinley was one of the websites that had a significant impact.

The Google Penalty Removal Process

Fruition’s experts thoroughly reviewed’s performance history. At its peak performance, the website was garnering about two times the number of unique visitors per day than it was post Penguin. Initially, penalties due to the first Penguin update appeared to be the primary culprit for the decrease in rankings. Thus, the first step was removing backlinks using Fruitions’ link removal team and disavowing links that we could not remove.

Continuing the analysis by using Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool, our team could see that although Penguin had indeed affected website traffic, the biggest negative impacts with traffic were actually caused by Panda updates. Google’s Panda updates address website quality issues and penalizes websites with poor design and/or content.

At the time, McKinley’s website design was outdated, especially compared to its competitor’s websites. Worse it didn’t reflect McKinley’s reputation for providing exceptional accessibility products for over six decades. It was clear that a website redesign would be critical not only to overcoming the effects of the latest Panda update, but to achieve the company’s ancillary goal of improving conversion rates, lowering bounce rates, calling attention to key product offerings, and creating a more welcoming environment for website visitors.

Google Penalty Removal Strategy

Although improving link-building techniques and completing general website design improvements can almost always improve a website’s traffic and rankings, the use of our Google Penalty Checker Tool was instrumental in allowing our SEO team to follow through with one of Fruition’s guiding principles—to allocate our clients’ budgets to the efforts that will most explicitly increase their return on investment. In McKinley’s case, the Google Penalty Checker results left us with clear direction on what needed to be done to improve their rankings quickly and cost-effectively.

Google Penalty Removal Results

After working with the client and implementing our recommendations for improving site quality and content, we launched with a redesign. Intuitive navigation menus, improved text content, and updated photography greatly enhanced the website’s aesthetic appeal and thus, user experience.

In addition to a site revamp, we kicked off a comprehensive social media strategy for McKinley—including the debut of McKinley Elevator products on the home improvement site—and gained media attention through press releases.

Immediately following the launch of the redesigned website, the website’s traffic and usability flourished. By undergoing a website revamp while simultaneously improving link-building techniques, we were able to return site visits to pre-penalty levels. Overall leads have improved after undergoing several conversion optimization strategies, and has once again achieved credibility in Google search results.

The following image shows what a website’s profile that recovered from a Google penalty looks like in Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker.
seo case study

Next Steps for your Website

If your website was impacted by a Google penalty we can help! Contact us today.