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Google Penalty Help

August 9 2012

Has your Google ranking suddenly dropped or disappeared? Are you completely stressing out cause you can’t find your website on Google? Have all your rankings just disappeared? Has your SEO company gone missing and is not answering your desperate phone calls and emails? Has the phone stopped ringing? Well then it is more than likely that your website has been subjected to a Google penalty or rank suppression. Don’t stress out too much as following are some points worth reading about how this could happen to your website and what steps you should take to get out of this penalty. Trick is, don’t panic. If your website ranking has fallen call us here at Hopping Mad Designs on 02 9360 8514 and we will help you fix this situation FAST! We have been helping businesses get out of those nasty Google penalties for years.

Has your website been penalised? Have you lost all your online rankings? Are you finding it hard to get a straight answer from your current SEO agency?

IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE RECEIVED A GOOGLE PENALTY  CALL 02 9360 8514

We  are able to help you get your GOOGLE rankings back by cleaning up your SPAMMY backlinks & quickly correcting any Google Penalties your website has in a 100% completely Google compliant manner. This is a very serious business and if your website has been subjected to a Google penalty then you need to act quickly.

What is a Rank Suppression or Google Penalty?

Search engines maintain a set of guidelines for use. These guidelines, when followed carefully, will prevent your website from falling foul of the search engine itself, in terms of its filtering and categorising tools that essentially decide whether or not your website is a legitimate website, which they are happy to include in their search catalogue.

Businesses have come to recognise the importance of search engines as a means of obtaining new business. Where telephone directories were once used, search engines now are; especially Google. But unlike their predecessor, your listing does not simply appear in a search engine in alphabetical order—it all depends on your SEO.

A great looking  website, with careful attention to the principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), will assist the search engines in correctly identifying and indexing your website, so that when users search they will find appropriate and legitimate websites that respond to their search query.

BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT SEO COMPANIES – THERE ARE HEAPS OF THEM OUT THERE!

Unfortunately, there are simply too many SEO providers who don’t ascribe to such ethical practices. If your SEO provider engages in practices that are outside the official guidelines supplied for the use of search engines, your website may achieve high-rankings to begin with, but when the search engine becomes suspicious it will suppress your ranking, and in so doing making your business invisible to searchers.

 

IF YOUR WEBSITE HAS SUDDENLY DROPPED THEN YOU HAVE PROBABLY RECEIVED A PENALTY

How do you know when your website has been penalised?

There are two ways to find out whether or not your business is subject to a rank suppression or Google penalty. The first indication is a significant drop in your ranking, which can be measured by looking closely at your website traffic statistics.

If there is a sudden or noticeable drop that remains consistent, this can be an indication that such a penalty has been applied. If your drop in ranking is gradual, or there is evidence that it is temporary (meaning you drop, but later regain, traffic) it may just mean that the search engines have altered how they categorise your business, or it may be time to review your website content for freshness of material.

The second indication is receiving a communication regarding a penalty. If you’ve received an email to your Webmaster tools with words to the effect of: “We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.“—You can be fairly certain that your website is in trouble.

The key is to act fast. If you have received this email, or a similar communication, and you remain unsure about its authenticity, our team can assist you in determining its legitimacy and directing you towards your next steps.

Why has my business been penalised?

When it comes to manipulating search engine results, businesses are becoming more active in their SEO. When this activity crosses the line between what we call ‘healthy’ optimisation, and ‘unhealthy’ optimisation (or cheap tricks that fall outside the search engine’s guidelines), the search engines themselves will respond by suppressing your ranking or by applying a penalty.

Like all forms of online strategy, SEO is an evolving art. As the search engines get wiser to SEO techniques, they respond with better monitoring. Unfortunately not all SEO providers are as quick to adapt; leaving some whose practices may have been acceptable in the past, now veering dangerously towards suppression penalty territory.

How could my SEO have caused this?

The fact of the matter is that many SEO companies still use out dated SEO techniques  – they are not up to date with the latest Google algorithm changes, and this is why your website has been penalised – simple as that. Dodgy back linking practices are one of the main reasons your no longer ranking. In our experience I would say that roughly 50-70% of SEO agencies still implement out dated, non compliant techniques.

While many businesses desire to engage the latest forms of marketing, sadly there are those, like in all areas of business, who operate SEO services without due regard to the guidelines. The guidelines that apply to search engines are there to prevent illegitimate companies and websites from achieving high rankings. If your SEO supplier has failed to comply with these guidelines, your legitimate business may be deemed to be illegitimate or ‘spam’, and will be treated accordingly.

Many SEO providers have short-term thinking. SEO has become a hot area for online marketers, and as such has attracted with it the good and the bad. The shape of SEO is also constantly evolving, and while the best providers will stay ahead of these changes, many are left operating as before, and hoping their clients won’t be the first ones to be penalised.

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The SEO Culprits

In order to achieve rapid results with little cost, many SEO companies engage in the following techniques that can be highly detrimental to your website and make you a penalty target:

Link Schemes
Search for websites that are willing to sell ‘links’ and you will find many—none of them reputable or the type of sites that you would like your business associated with. As your SEO company may have told you, increased links to your websites from other sites will improve your rankings, but if the sites and volume of links is suspicious, Google and others will regard it accordingly.

Ask your SEO provider whether links have been purchased for your website. If the answer is yes, ask them for an audit of the websites currently carrying your links.

Over-Optimisation
SEO has taught us many clever tricks to achieve higher rankings, but take those suggestions to the extreme and again you will be deemed suspicious by the search engines. The aim of SEO is to make your site easily identifiable by search engines. When the steps taken to improve the ease of this classification begin to manipulate such, trouble becomes inevitable.

Search Engines provide a great service. But part of their business model is to ensure that the end user is able to obtain the most relevant results from their search. If SEO is causing these results to affect the correct identification and ranking of a website, then the Search Engine’s reputation is going to suffer.

It’s about finding a balance between what will reasonably assist the search engines regarding the ranking of your site, and what will cause them to wonder whether the content is legitimate.

Duplicate Content
When it comes to maintaining your search rankings for a sustained period of time, updated and fresh content is king. But the content must be unique. If your SEO company has purchased content for your site, that has also been sold to hundreds of other sites, it is likely that the search engines, such as Google, will regard this duplication as a clear sign of foul play.

To avoid content duplication, all new content for your website should be written in house or by a professional copywriter, who can provide unique content that is relevant to your business. To ensure you are getting this, ask your SEO provider to provide you with copies of any articles written on your company’s behalf, and search key paragraphs to check that the content is unique. If you find your article elsewhere, or in multiple places, you can be pretty sure you are being sold duplicate content.

Hidden Text
One of the older tricks in the SEO book is to include ‘hidden text’, or text that is built into the background or non conspicuous areas of your website. Typically done during the design phase and brimming with your key words, this type of practice is frowned upon by search engines and sits well outside their guidelines. What was once considered a clever way to exploit the system is now a quick way to find yourself excluded. Talk to your graphic designer about whether this has been included in your website design. Sometimes SEO providers might make such requests to your graphic designer, and like all areas it’s particularly important that you are communicated with.

Keyword Stuffing
Your content should be rich with relevant key words in order to assist the ‘crawlers’ or ‘spiders’ (the little guys from the search engines who rank websites) to correctly identify and categorise your website. But like most things, there’s a balance between content rich in keywords, and content that is stuffed to the brim with keywords, making it unnatural and suspicious. Apart from the damage such content may do to your brand and reputation, it is a quick way to attract the wrong side of Google.

While you might think the more the better, it is often the placement of keywords that is ultimately more effective. Your website copy is also an important opportunity for you to reflect and build your brand, leave an impression on potential customers, and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Automated Redirections
A simple way to achieve hits that enhance the perception of your website as a popular site is automated redirections. While redirections are an effective tool for user navigation when applied appropriately, if these redirections appear unnatural or are there simply for the purpose of elevating the popularity of your website (on false pretenses), don’t expect that Google and the like will
view your popularity with the same degree of kindness.

As with all areas in business, we have to be careful that as business owner practices reflect the integrity we want associated with our brand or product. Who we select to work with in new areas such as SEO can be challenging, but the same degree of research and accountability should apply.

If your SEO provider is reluctant to share their strategy with you, or to make you completely aware of what they are doing to enhance your rankings, it’s a good indication that they are not being entirely forthcoming for a reason. Google, Bing, Yahoo and the like, are world leaders in online technologies, and if they haven’t already, they will soon find ways to counter each less-than sound SEO practice. The benefit of being listed on a Search Engine far outweighs the risk of attempting to unfairly rig the system.

Suspect you’ve attracted a penalty…What can I do?

It’s important that you address your ranking suppression as soon as you can to limit the damage a low-ranking search can have on your reputation. The first step is to review your SEO practices. Contact your SEO company and let them know that you are concerned that you may be subject to a Google Penalty or Search Engine Suppression. How they react will give you the first indication as to whether their practices may have had something
to do with the penalty.

What happens if your SEO Company is at fault?

If your SEO company has been using practices that have increased your chances of attracting a penalty, we recommend you cease your contract with them immediately, request a refund and engage the services of a more reputable provider. This has to happen fast – the more they continue to work on your website, the more damage they can do.

Can I get my money back?

While we can’t give advice as to what legal recourse may be available to you or your company, as each situation is different to the next, we would suggest locating and reading the terms of your SEO agreement, or consulting a lawyer to find out whether your circumstances give rise to a cause of action against the SEO supplier.

How can I avoid dodgy or risky SEO companies?

If you are yet to engage a SEO company, it is important to do your research. We recommend you visit the company or provider to ensure they operate a legitimate business. Ask for a complete SEO strategy report for your approval, which will state how they aim to achieve your rankings.

Pay a fair price. SEO can be a highly effective form of marketing. It’s worth investing in if you want your website to be found online. Like all quality forms of marketing, it will require some financial investment, so be prepared to pay and demand transparency from your provider. Don’t ever go with the cheap n cheerful option – yes, it is highly tempting BUT this is probably the main cause for your SEO penalty.

Please note this: Any SEO company that promised guarantees or pay on performance gimmicks, avoid them at all costs. These are the very worst type of SEO companies and are there to just scam you out of your money. If you want to avoid really dodgy SEO agencies avoid these people at all costs.

Rectifying the Damage – WE CAN HELP!

The quickest way to stop the damage caused by a penalty is to engage an expert to assist. At Hopping Mad Designs we have helped businesses throughout Australia get out of their Google penalty. In some cases this can take a few weeks – but be prepared to wait at least a couple of months – this will depend on the severity of your penalty and the damage caused by your previous scam ridden SEO provider – so if you are in penalty get in touch with us now so we can start the process for you.

What we offer:

Our services include penalty determination and cause assessment, assistance with your application to be reconsidered by the search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing) as well as post penalty SEO assistance. We have done this for many businesses in Sydney and throughout Australia – AND OUR SUCCESS RATE IS NEARLY 100%

Penalty Determination
Our team will examine your current SEO practices and identify areas that fall outside the search engine’s guidelines, or are likely to place your website at risk. This includes assessing your ‘link profile’, website content, back links and other factors that may be influencing how the search engines are characterising your business. Once identified, we can work with you to ensure these practices are ceased immediately, and provide a report to that effect in support of your reconsideration application.

If you have received any notices regarding a penalty, we are also able to confirm these notices and assess their authenticity. What you may first consider to be spam may in fact be an official warning and the best opportunity to act.

Application to Reconsider
Our team can assist you by documenting the steps you’ve taken to address your penalty, and by preparing your application to be reconsidered. We have a thorough understanding of what the search engines require to feel confident that your website is legitimate and that you’re willing to comply with their guidelines.

If you would like to prepare this application yourself, we offer the following advice:
• Be honest, succinct and transparent: Google and the like do not view kindly those who endeavor to shirk responsibility or conceal questionable practices.
• Provide a summary of the actions taken to correct the problem, including the names of websites and dates that links have been removed, changes in your website content or graphic design elements, copies of notifications sent requesting the removal of automated re-directions; give complete disclosure on your SEO supplier and provide easy and reliable contact details should they need to confirm anything.
• Be patient. Google and other search engines have many applications to process and will likely take some time getting to yours.

Rebuilding your SEO Strategy

Once you’ve overcome your penalty, you will no doubt be keen to regain a high SEO ranking. By engaging our expert SEO service, not only can you be confident that you will remain within the guidelines (and away from search engine penalties), but that you can achieve great SEO results without compromising them.

Like all business products, your SEO is a valuable tool that requires professional guidance and implementation. While we’re sorry you have fallen victim to unethical SEO practices in the past, we hope that by working with us, we restore your belief in a quality SEO product.

Let’s Repair the Damage

If you believe a Google penalty or Search Engine Suppression Penalty has happened to your website – get in touch with us now on 02 9360 8514