Google has released a few updates over the last few years that have upset a few people (to say the least). They have resulted in thousands of websites being purged from the Google index, and potentially millions being ranked down in the search engine results page (nobodies counting). But, what do you do if you are the one who is caught by the Google update? Do you give up and try again? Well, sometimes you may have to, but before you do, try a few of these tips.
Try to identify what you are doing wrong
If you are signed up with Google analytics and Google webmaster tools, then you may have already received some sort of message telling you. If you are not signed up with them, then maybe you should. However, if you have not, then it may be faster (at this stage) to use a PageRank or website audit tool. There are a lot of them online and a lot of them as Smartphone apps too.
Be careful which one you choose because there are a lot of poor quality PageRank and website audit tools out there. Use a reputable tool/service, which you are probably going to have to pay for. Take a look at what it says you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.
What if I cannot see what I am doing wrong?
If you use your PageRank or website audit tool and still cannot see what you are doing wrong, then there are a few reasons. The tools you are using may be poor quality, or you may have been sandboxed or purged from the Google index and the tool is not sure what it is reading. Alternatively, you may not actually be doing anything wrong.
What if I am not doing anything wrong?
It could be that your ranking has slipped down slowly over time and you have just not noticed. Or, it could be that you are doing everything right but a bunch of other people have slipped in ahead of you (it is a little bit like a race after all). Each update causes a Google dance, where website rankings are shuffled around. You may not have been penalized in any way, but that shuffle may have left you further down the Google search engine results page.
If your blog does have problems
Obviously, you need to fix these problems as quickly as possible and as diligently as possible. If you have been put Into the Google sandbox or purged from the Google search engine index, you need to contact Google after you have made your changes and ask them nicely to reconsider you. Do not (repeat–do not) try to contact them until you have fixed every problem and every gray area on your website. They get thousands of messages of from people who are outraged at being penalized and they have no incentive to help these people.
They are going to be more amenable if you are clearly dedicated to change, to quality, and if you can list and show all the positive changes you have made. It makes the Google administrators jobs a lot easier because all they have to do is take your domain off of the blocked or sandboxed list, whereby you may have to resubmit an XML to them again via the Google webmaster tools.
Choose to rewrite instead of delete
There is a chance that you have been punished for your blog content. A few people are going to tell you to remove the pages (the URLs), in the same way that you cut cancer from the body.
But, this is a short sighted method. Your pages may have backlinks pointing to them, and people may have bookmarked the pages, or have the pages on their favorites bar. They lose contact with your website if you delete the page. So, all you need to do is rewrite the page content and make it high quality. This may take more time than simply purging your worst offending pages, but it is a far better long-term strategy.
If your problem is more to do with spammy backlinks, then purging the URL may be the only option, but at least try to remove the backlinks first before you go to the measure of deleting the URL. Use a backlink checker to see which of your backlinks look spammy, and contact the webmaster with a request to remove them. Again, this is a better strategy than simply deleting them.
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