Google Penalty Recovery Case Studies – Is Google a Hypocrite? [+Examples]

Google Penalty Case StudiesGoogle Penalty is the worst nightmare for anyone who’s heavily relying on organic traffic. Here you will find 6 Google Penalty Recovery Case Studies to help you prevent organic traffic losses.


One of the main goals for webmasters is to increase website traffic and rank their website for certain keywords in search engine results.

Search engine traffic is the easiest type of traffic to tap into. It’s free but not simple.

Today it’s a must that you understand how to rank a website properly.

There are a lot of search engine optimization techniques out there that used to work several years ago but don’t work anymore.

Unfortunately, a lot of so-called gurus continue to spread outdated information and many people are wasting a lot of time on useless techniques.

It’s important to recognize these techniques in order to progress with the development of your website.

In this article, you’ll learn about 5 search engine optimization techniques that you need to stop just so you don’t become part of these Google penalty recovery case studies. Or NOT if you are a big brand.

First off, have a look at these guidelines.

Link schemes Webmaster Tools Help

Let’s now go to the post.

1. Spammy Guest Post Penalty

Guest posting can be termed as another type of article marketing. It has been spammed hugely to increase website rankings. But Guest posting is a blessing to marketers who create quality content. If you have quality content, then you will not become a part of this Google penalty recovery case studies.

What does bad quality imply?

Re-writing the same article thousands of times and then trying to get the spun versions published on thousands of low-ranking websites.

If you have been trying to get a backlink on every website imaginable there’s a good chance that Google will label your website as spam.

The best way to guest post is to find the largest blogs in your niche. Write one unique high-quality article, and submit it for approval.

One top-notch article on a famous blog is a thousand times more useful than hundreds of spun articles on small websites.

However, as of late Matt Cutts has ordered the SEO community to stick a fork into and let it die.

One of the Google Penalty Recovery Case Studies were Ann Smarty’s Myblogguest platform and that of Doc Sheldon whose entire site was penalized for one guest post.

(See Guest Blogging Strategy Post Apocalypse)

What’s interesting is that even though big sites like BBC news have received similar penalties, they were all targeted to single pages and not site-wide.

Guest posting was one of the innocent ways in the hands of bloggers who were afraid to build any other kind of links.

As Google’s continuing policy of instilling fear into the hearts of everyone who does SEO, the guest posting had to go.

Guest Posts Ain’t All Bad

Nenad SEO on their blog post (4 things huge sites are allowed to do but you’re not …because you’re a small player) covered how big sites are being allowed to play a dirty game while the little webmasters and small business owners have their ass handed to them.

One of the most interesting Google penalty recovery case studies was about ElephantJournal, a particularly big site in the Spirituality/Health niche which openly sold Guest Posts for $2500 to $10000.

What’s more is that they are ranking for over 15000 terms.

In the last 12 months their traffic, rankings, and earnings have only gone up.

google penalty recovery

2. The Red Light – Buying Backlinks in Bulk

Most people fall for this offer because of how the service providers advertise it.

Google loves backlinks, right?

Therefore, if you pay someone to create a bunch of backlinks, your website will increase in search engine ranks, right?

Unfortunately, Google does not place the same amount of value on each back-link.

You could have a hundred thousand backlinks pointing to your website and not get anywhere with SERPs.

Buying bulk backlinks is a bad idea and most of the time the service providers use bots to create the links.

If you are reading this – that’s exactly what you did and you need Google penalty recovery.

Although, of course, there are decent service providers out there but the point is to avoid buying backlinks in bulk. Google will eventually find out and you can kiss your rankings a goodbye. Hiring an SEO company to help with your business is not bad. But you have to be careful regarding the techniques they use.

These are the things that we are supposed to believe, but that’s not the case in real life.

I covered in great detail the story of three sites which used to rank for highly profitable terms like Hostgator coupons, acne treatment, Bluehost review etc with the help of pure spam.

(See The link Building Strategy that Screws You)

One site built 72k links in the span of a few months and ranked for over 7 months.

While you may say that the ranking is short termed, they can always come up with another site, do link building in scale and go home rich.

While there have been many changes to the algorithms, the SERPs are filled with spam for every competitive keyword out there.

google penalty recovery

3. Link Exchange Penalty

It’s acceptable to exchange a few links on your website and maintain a blogroll of favorite websites. On the other hand, if you attempt to abuse the idea, it will get out of hand and soon your website will be flagged as spam. Don’t build a blog-roll for the sake of building links. Don’t exchange links with hundreds of people. It won’t work out for anyone involved.

But who would believe that a site as big as TechCrunch would be involved in link exchanges?

Nenad SEO also covered about how the Japanese version of TechCrunch offers link exchange widgets to its readers.

You get a link to your site which is nothing more than a trackback if you give three do follow links to TechCrunch.

And according to Google, they weren’t supposed to work either.

4. Anchor Text Optimization Penalty

Several years ago one effective strategy to optimize anchor text was to hyperlink the keyword that the article is targeting. However, like many search engine optimization strategies, it quickly became saturated and is now considered spam.

Avoid hyperlinking keywords, instead hyperlink a naked URL or a sentence. It is not longer important to hyperlink keywords.

But if anchor texts don’t help you rank then how did David McSweeney find that a site was ranking for SEO on Google.co.uk with nothing but spam, over-optimized anchor texts and SAPE links which were supposedly weeded out of Google’s index.

(See How To Break Every Google Guideline Going (And Rank For Insanely Competitive Keywords)

The anchors were not only in the most unlikely of places like footers and sidebars but also were off topic mostly.

It is easy to avoid this penalty by monitoring your anchor text distribution to avoid this.

anchor text over optimized

off topic anchors

5. Penalty from Hiding Keywords in Widgets and Website Content

One technique that a lot of webmasters assumed was quite clever and effective was to hide certain keywords into the text of widgets and website content. For instance, writing one article about a keyword, and then including a list of keywords at the end of the article in an invisible font.

Some programmers might claim that their widget will guarantee increased ranks and therefore more traffic but that is never the case. Don’t fall for tricky advertisements that promise to make website development easy. Google does not like tricks and their incredibly complex algorithm can detect the slightest signs of foul play. Google hires the smartest people in the industry and utilizes the most complicated programs in the world. It’s not wise to attempt to trick them.

And their site too says something like this about link schemes.

“Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites, for example:
Visitors to this page: 1,472
car insurance”

 

But the smartest people on the planet cannot see that Symantec optimizes its anchor texts as “About SSL certificates” or “About Trust Online” and have first page rankings for all these terms.

Prior to that Godaddy ranked for these terms and when Glen Alsopp wrote a blog post about that they were sent to the second page.

The average webmaster would face a de-indexation.

One more Google penalty case study to see

I am not done. Let’s see one more Google penalty recovery case study.

While a lot of SEOs chimed in with their opinions here’s something by Marie Haynes who’s an expert on penalty removal.

penalty reasons

But if that’s the case then why are sites like these not penalized?

fiverr selling links- link scheme

Aren’t such gigs on Fiverr promoting ways to game Google and Fiverr is not the only one which does this.

Do they escape because they are big brands?

So in conclusion, remember that search engine traffic is important if you want a website to grow and turn into a business.

Depending on Google to land you business would be trusting a bad tooth which gives way during times of trouble.

Josh Bachynski wrote an interesting article(See Kings of the Internet | Confessions of a Black Hat) on why Google doesn’t have the moral authority to be punitive to site owners- black hat or otherwise. Just like Google, they are trying to make money.

A Google venture invested startup RetailMeNot ranks for thousands of retail keywords. Back in 2010, they paid people to have anchor text optimized; add do follow widget links on their sites and so on.

These sites were never penalized because their daddy was Google.

Now it’s your turn to share the tale of your Google Penalty Recovery

So what now? I would  rather quote Glen Alsopp as he sums it up perfectly:

“Continue to focus on what you find is working, rather than what any organisation (e.g. Google) or SEO claims to be the strategy to follow. Never jeopardize a client for the sake of a quick win. The people who thrive in this business are equal parts testers and equal parts action takers. You can’t use one part of that equation properly without the other. Don’t think about what I would do; do what you think is right.”

I hope these Google penalty recovery case studies can help you to get through tough times or prevent from falling there. Make sure to share your experience with Google penalty recovery.

Let’s help each other.

& don’t mess with Google!!

 

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