10 Steps to Overcome a Google Penalty

by Marcela De Vivo on May 30, 2013


Yes! You can overcome a Google search penalty.

Google has recently started to penalize sites that use SEO practices that go against their Terms of Service. By using algorithmic filters, Google looks for sites that are artificially building links by using a variety of different methods, and penalizes them so that these sites do not rank well in the Google search results.

If your site was formerly at the top of a search page, you may find that your site is toward the bottom or not even on page one after receiving a penalty from Google.

If you’ve been penalized by Google, it doesn’t mean that you should just forget about your site and move on. You can overcome a Google penalty, but it will take a little bit of effort on your part.

Step 1
Check your backlinks and use linkdetox.com, Google’s webmaster tools, ahrefs or Majesticseo to look at all of the sites linking to yours. Make notes of any backlinks that you think could be the reason you were penalized by Google.

Step 2
Check the quality of your links and make sure that those links are ranking well in Google. Note whether or not these links are strong links or ones that could be interpreted as spam.

Step 3
Check your anchor density. You need to find out what the anchor density for your money terms is. If it’s higher than 20-percent, that could be why you were penalized.  If your anchor text is high, add new links and dilute the anchor density by using different anchor text.

Step 4
Check your link ratios to make sure they aren’t skewed. If you have too many links from directories, that could be problematic. Too many links to your home page can also result in penalties being handed down by Google.

Step 5
Contact the sites that link to you that are of low quality or appear to be spam. Ask them to remove links to your site, and make sure you document your efforts clearly.  We use Google Docs to track where all our links are located.

Step 6
Start building high quality backlinks with natural anchor text. This is essential for SEO success without receiving penalties from Google.  Use Brand terms as well as Fluff terms such as “click here” , “visit my site”, etc.

Step 7
Disavow the low quality links. To do that, visit here.

Step 8
File a reconsideration/reinclusion request with Google if you don’t see any improvement after disavowing low quality and spammy links. Do that by visiting here.

Step 9
Continue disavowing low quality and spammy links. If you do not see improvement results, file another reconsideration/reinclusion request. In some cases, it may take five or six attempts for Google to respond to you.

Step 10
Build high quality, unearned, natural links through high quality content assets. This will help to raise your Google rankings and undo some of the damage done by the Google penalty.  As you will have disavowed many of your spammy backlinks, you need to replace those links with high quality ones.

Over time, you should see an improvement in your Google rankings.

A Google penalty can seem like a death sentence for your site at first, but it is something you can bounce back from. Many sites have been penalized and many of them have regained their high ranking by following these basic tips.

It does take some effort on your part and the process of disavowing low quality links and filing reconsideration/reinclusion requests can be trying, but it’s definitely worth it. It will certainly be effective in the long run.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

This post was written by...

– who has written 1 posts on Hello Bloggerz.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing professional from Southern California. Her expertise is in SEO, in particular social networking, search marketing and web analytics. She works with several businesses and web host providers. She is on Google Plus here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sagar T Rajan May 30, 2013 at 7:34 am

For a week I’m looking for these types of tips to overcome Google penalty. Thanks!


Emma June 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

Hey Marcela,
Great tips. Thanks.


Alex July 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Very interesting article, thank you.


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