In today’s online world Google is pretty much the epicentre of everything. With almost any question you ask in the real world you can count on the answer being ‘Google it’, meaning having your website visible in Google is more important than ever. That, though, is easier said than done. There are a number of major algorithms to beat, not to mention the hundreds and thousands of sites competing with you to be on that first page.
With current talk in the webmaster world of more Google algorithm updates in progress I thought I’d round up some of the best tools to keep on top of the Google Penalties as well as some tips on how to ensure your website stays within Google guidelines.
How Do I Keep Up With Google Updates?
There are a whole heap of tools which monitor Google’s activity, tools such as Algoroo will monitor changes with top Google listings to determine any algorithm changes. As you can see below, yesterday there was a spike, and many webmasters are reporting changes with rankings and traffic losses.
Mozcast is another tool which uses a temperature based rating to determine Google activity, as you can see the 17th October was another date which has a particularly high temperature, again, more webmasters reported changes with their websites rankings.
So, there are tools out there monitoring Google activity. And we know that these recent spikes in activity are looking to be associated with the current roll-out of the latest Google Panda update which targets thin and poor quality un-engaging content. This current update has been rolling out for the last couple of months and is something that we actually wrote about back in July.
How Can I Diagnose A Penalty On My Own Website?
But if you want to monitor your traffic gains and loses directly against then what do you do? This is where the Panguin Tool comes into play. The Panguin tool will import your Google organic traffic and plot it into a graph with the dates of Google Algorithm updates, making it easier to diagnose any potential penalty.
If you were to see any big permanent drops in traffic that correlated with one of the Algorithm update markers then you can be quite certain that you have been penalised. Another Google Penalty which can be a lot more severe is the Manual Action penalty. This is where Google has manually looked at your website and decided the quality is too poor. If you are subject to this penalty you will receive a message in your Search Console (Webmaster Tools) Account.
How Do I Recover From A Penalty?
If your website is under a Google Penalty you must clean up your website and get it back to how it should be. The biggest problem with websites today is that many are built to please Google, not the user. This is something that Google has picked up on and we have seen many updates relating to website structure and usability.
If your website has been affected by the Google Penguin update then the first thing to do is an analysis of your backlink profile. Have a look through these websites and any that look like they are spam websites, poor quality directories or generally don’t look like a website people use then compile a list of these. Once you have analysed all of your backlink profile you can then request that the webmasters of the poor websites to remove the links to your website. If you have no luck with this then you can use the Google Disavow tool which tells Google to ignore these links to your website.
Unfortunately Google Penguin is not yet a real-time algorithm, although the current reports state that a real time algorithm is a matter of months away. So once your disavow has been submitted you must wait until the next Google Penguin Algorithm update which can be many months apart.
If you have been hit by a Google Panda update then there is a lot more involved with getting the website back up to standard. As I mentioned above, Google Panda targets poor, thin and unengaging content. Many webmasters simply remove the poor pages from their website, but Google has recently said this is a bad move. Instead of just removing the pages you should be ‘beefing up’ this content and making it useful for the user reading the page. Make the site engaging and sometimes re-structuring the site to make it a lot easier to navigate and use. Again, any changes won’t take effect until the next Panda update which may be a month away or it may be 12 months away. This is something Google has come under scrutiny for and is why they are pushing to develop real time algorithms where once you’ve improved your website you can quickly be reinstated in the search results.
If you have a website under penalty then speak with the team at Anicca on 0116 254 7224. Our team have a wealth of experience in dealing with all manner of websites and can advise you on the best action to take.