Opening thought: The risk is now so high to employ an ‘SEO’ – businesses should really consider who they are getting these services off and what ‘SEO’ they are actually doing.

Every agency and SEO will ‘promise’ they adhere to guidelines that the search engines set. The truth is, 95% of the agencies and services available online are not. To truly select an agency to raise your brands profile and rankings in the engines, we would recommend advice from a trusted source that can really examine the results and output of  services they provide.

One reason this happens is the greed we all have as business owners and the pressure to deliver results on the people we set these tasks.

Real SEO takes time and an advanced level of strategic planning.

The panic hit hard

We receive a lot of emails from panic stricken business owners that have been really hurt by these updates. This is understandable too, it’s peoples livelihoods – Months after the launch of Google Penguin, I EVEN remember seeing suicide becomeing a blog topic and a public forum discussion

SCARY DATA: Only 9% recovered in a survey conducted in 2013 after Penguin 2.0, this site is widely used by SEO’s as a daily resource. So if you think about it, these are the guys you’re hiring to help you recover and they struggle to fight of the update themselves!

So you’ve been hit by a Google update, what do you do?

SCREAM AND RUUUUN!!!! …No… I’m joking, you need to GET A GRIP. Make strong, educated decisions on what needs to be done to recover from this and what help you need, panicing and chopping away and grabbing random services can do more damage.

  1. Fire your SEO: They got you there, get all the historic reports of links and contact details you can from them as they’ve been working on the project until now. Then have the chat.

  2. Audit the problem: Find a resource online to perform a link audit and discover the depths of the inbound link problem your site has. A good audit will identify the problem areas from mutiple link sources, provide contact details and highlight your key focus areas (particularly bad links in google webmaster tools being a start point)

  3. Is recovery the right option? You must be able to accept the damage that has been done, could the issues be fixed and how old / valuable is the site? Is it easier to flip the site to a new domain extension like site.co.uk to site.com? By doing this you lose all the links, but if the bad outweigh the good, would it not be easier to contact the good links and get them switched to the new domain? Chances are these links will be easier to transfer as they will be from real sites with real people behind them who linked to your site because they liked it in the first place.

  4. How long will it take to recover? It can be easy or it could take months and multiple reconsideration requests and submissions of a disavow file. A good, in depth audit should be able to provide you with an outline of toxic link deletion attempts and reinclusion request attempts.

  5. What resources and budget can you apply to it? This is for you to decide… How much traffic have you lost, what resources and expertise do you have internally. It’s possible that more updates to the Penguin algorithm could knock you down further. In every case you should throw the kitchen sink at this whilst exploring alternate traffic method to maintain profits.

  6. How much are you losing a month, how long can you survive? You should work out the monthly losses created by the Penguin update and decide if there are any changes to be made internally to ensure your business has a survival plan while the fixes take place. It may be the case that many of your competitors are hit also, assigning a budget and team to recovering quick could put you in their old positions and actually increase profits.

Resources to clean up your site?

You can use a full service to take command of the whole process or take it into your own hands using advice on the internet and Googles own guidelines.

Follow Google updates from the blogs and head of search:

How to recover from a Penguin update?

Be as brutal as possible getting rid of the links. The phrase Google use is “don’t use a toothpick, use a machete”.

  1. Get your backlinks from the following sources to merge together. Remember to focus on Google Webmaster Tools for the recovery but all links deemed bad should be removed as they could get indexed at any time and cause more problems.

  1. Find out which ones are spammy links via any of the guides on the internet (there are 100’s). this one is my favourite

  2. Email, fill out contact forms, phone, tweet and try any method you can to get in contact and remove the links. BE POLITE AND HONEST! These website owners get messages all the time, pretending you don’t know how links got there or threatening will get you no where, nor will sob stories. Be sincere and willing to negotiate fees they may request as well as offer fees from the outset to sites will huge volumes of links to your site.

  3. Record any attempts for the reconsideration request. I take a note of dates and how many times I send emails, I screen shot contact forms and even replies. This will help the reinclusion request.

  4. Create a disavow file of all the bad links you have AFTER trying to remove. You need to show you made an effort to remove them first. Find out how to format your file here and watch this video. Make sure you use the DOMAIN:badwebsite.com function of the disavow, it’s priceless.

  5. Submit a reconsideration request, read this post here on advice in terms of formatting your request

  6. Be a better SEO, follow guides like this to find out what you should be doing, also this video is amazing for people to see how real SEO’s do it and have businesses that actually last the storms

  7. Repeat, repeat, repeat if you get knocked back. Find what you missed, be more brutal, keep emails going out to remove bad links even if you recover. Clean up your act in general

Hopefully this advice will let you know an overview of what needs to be done to recover from a site, any further advice or consultancy please feel free to get tin contact with us or try our own service (shameless plug) which has put real businesses back on track and removed over 500,000 bad links.