Imagine your website having a decent amount of traffic, then suddenly, that traffic is gone. I know how it feels given the amount of work you put into it to acquire traffic and ranking. Just like other site owners who were hit with the penguin penalty, you would probably think it something temporary, until you start seeing your traffic dropping lower and lower in the SERPs. Good news - recovering your site’s traffic lost after Google's Penguin update has penalized you is difficult, but not impossible. This is how I recovered from a google penguin penalty.
- Find all your backlinks
Creating a list of all your backlinks is the first step to performing penguin penalty recovery. There are many different tools that you can use to build this list, including Google Webmaster, Ahrefs, and many more. If possible, draw your links information from three tools so that you can compare your data. This will ensure you are not missing some links.
Most of these tools have an export option. So, to stay organized, export this list to a spreadsheet. This list will not only be useful now but will help in the future to monitor your backlinks to ensure Google does not penalize your site again. Hoping you understand and differentiate between a useful link and a bad one, you can then go to the next step.
- Analyze your links for quality
Do you know why you were penalized? Here is when you get the answer to that question. The reason why you are penalized is likely because you have a lot of unnatural links pointing back to your site. However, this doesn’t mean that all your backlinks are bad. By analyzing your link list, you should be able to determine the good links and bad links.
Pluck out all the links coming from spammy sites. These are some of the links that Google tend to scrutinized, and that should be removed from your list:
- Links from websites with low page rank
- Links from non-indexed sites
- Links from irrelevant and untrustworthy sites
Depending on the number of bad links, this process can be time-consuming. Once you have the list of links that need to be removed, you have to contact their webmasters and ask for link removal. To automate the process, you can use tools that can find email addresses of each domain’s webmaster and contact them for you.
- Disavowing Links
The process of contacting link webmasters does not bear much fruit, as most of them may end up not removing their links. And other links cannot be removed manually. Fortunately, you can use the Google disavow Links tool to get the remaining links removed. All you need is to create a text file with all bad links and submit it to Google webmaster tools. When your site is re-crawled, Google will know to ignore these links, and gradually regain your ranking.
This process may take longer but will help you with penguin penalty recovery. Once you recover from the Penguin penalty, it's essential to make sure you don't get hit once again by actively keeping track of your links.