There are must-do steps to follow after the link audit and the actions performed to enable a website to recover from a manual penalty. Google Google Webmaster Tools contains the following note: Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.example.com/,
We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://www.example.com/ for compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Previously the webspam team had taken manual action on your site because we believed it violated our quality guidelines. After reviewing your reconsideration request, we have revoked this manual action. It may take some time before our indexing and ranking systems are updated to reflect the new status of your site.
Of course, there may be other issues with your site that could affect its ranking without a manual action by the webspam team. Google’s computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users. If your site continues to have trouble in our search results, please see this article for help with diagnosing the issue.
Thank you for helping us to maintain the quality of our search results.
Google Search Quality Team
It is a pleasure to receive such a note, which is a sign of appreciation of the hard work and effort exerted to deliver recovery from manual penalty. It also indicates that in Google’s opinion, the webmaster has risen to the level where he should be given a second chance. On the one hand, that is good news, and on the other, it should mark a new stage in the manner in which to approach Internet marketing.
The Situation of Lifted Penalty and No Change in Rankings
Many people get surprised when a penalty has been removed but there is no resulting change in the rankings. It is known that although Google puts in use over 200 different signals in order to determine SERPs, it is the links that have the paramount importance.
When a site has been punished because of unnatural links and they have been removed just recently or have been disavowed, these bad quality links still retain their detrimental power and it takes some time before the website gets rid of the pre-penalty situation and the lack of online success.
The Google Paradox
Here it is worth remembering what Albert Einstein, a universally recognized genius, said: insanity consists in doing the same things, unchanged, for many times in a row, and yet expecting to get different results. Luckily SEO does not abide by that rule. Some of the activities that were responsible for soaring to first positions in SERPs can also be the culprits for manual penalties. Which means that in practice doing the same thing for many times in a row really does and is proved to lead to DIFFERENT results.
That seems paradoxical, and it is a stumbling block for webmasters who stick by Einstein’s theory, and that is why they cannot believe that abandoning their spammy practices will remedy their rankings. They have seen their old methods yield results, and now it is hard for them to grasp the fact that the very same links have plummeted them to online misery.
The online situation has changed, so it is time webmasters realized that the choice is no longer mostly up to them. The requirements have changed, and the strict adherence to webmasters guidelines is mandatory rather than just recommended.
The Arduous Path to Recovery
What matters most than everything else to get a website out of a penalty situation is a firm and clear promise to adhere to the Webmaster Guidelines set by Google, as the almighty giant descends its harsh punishment on those who err and break that promise.
To put it in other words, after the emergence of a penalty, a site is like a Delta in the period of double secret probation. Any shortcuts can be perilous. The realities of the current year towards which all marketing efforts have to be geared include fair SEO and not spammy tactics.
Step 1: Inspect The Foundation
Just like real estate developers who look at the foundation of buildings to judge their qualities, modern SEO has to look at the foundation, the architecture of a website. And the good news is that website architecture foundation is much easier to repair than real buildings’ foundations.
The good foundation of a website should start off with a clean source code. Those who are interested can find out the reasons why source code matters. After securing the clean code, it is the turn of on-page SEO site audit. There are an impressive array of opportunities for on-page optimization.
Step 2: Panda-Proofing the Website
Before Panda emerged, a website could be stuffed with keywords, secured with the needed links and achieve first page ranking for “name any keyword”. But that has become difficult to achieve nowadays, and the quality of content reigns supreme thanks to Google’s algorithm. The steps to be undertaken to Panda-proof a website include the following:
- Eliminating of duplicate content.
- Eliminating low-quality content.
- Thickening up all thin/low-value content.
- Regular development of relevant, highly useful, high-quality content.