Google penalties can definitely be a nightmare in the making, and cause quite a setback in the process. Don’t lose hope! With the help of a few tools that will aid you through this process, you can regain your position and traffic. It is imperative that you take swift action to recover your organic ranking and get your website back on the track it should be on.
If you’re struggling with a penalty, you need to be aware that recovery can take time – often a matter of months. However, with the appropriate tools and measures taken, you can not only recover from the hit, but you can also KEEP yourself out of the penalty box in the future.
1. Majestic SEO (https://majestic.com/)
First of all, when confronted with Google penalties, a deep understanding of your link profile is very beneficial. Tools such as Majestic serve the purpose of analyzing your link profile. Not just of your own profile, but you competitors’ profiles as well.
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A common reason for many Google penalties is bad backlinks. Majestic SEO is extremely helpful when you are trying to clean up your website’s backlink profile. This tool will also give you the ability to run a detailed report on anchor text, showing red flags for over-optimization and other, closely related problems. After all is said and done, and you determine your trust rating, you can begin to move forward and take the necessary steps to improve and maintain it.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Think of Google Webmaster Tools as the eyes of the search engine. It gives you the capability to know exactly how Google sees your website. Needless to say, this makes it an extremely vital tool.
What makes this tool especially valuable? It will give you notifications whenever Google slaps you with a manual penalty. If you happen to have any manual penalties, it’s not the end of the world. But at least with this tool you can discover when it’s time to put in work on cleaning up duplicate content, broken links, spam backlinks.
3. Copyscape (http://www.copyscape.com/)
It’s not just backlinks that can cause issues. Google penalties can also occur when you have duplicate content on your website. Even when it may be accidental, Google is just as harsh with manual penalties, and will treat your site as if you committed plagiarism intentionally.
If you find out that a manual penalty is holding you down for duplicate content, you will want to look into using Copyscape. This tool can analyze URLs and let you know if your website contains content that duplicates other items from around the web.
Now a down side to Copyscape is that can only run an individual URL at a time. This aspect makes it a bit less convenient. Nevertheless, the tool is cheap and quite simple to use.
4. Fetch As Google
Within Google Web Master Tools, you will find this nifty tool named “Fetch as Google.” It allows you to simulate how Google crawls your website, or renders a URL from your site. Once you’ve done this, you can add the URL to the index.
With Fetch as Google, you can even work with different bot types. These include Mobile(Smart Phone) and Desktop. After you have chosen the bot that you will be using, you can take the URL and then Fetch and Render it. You will then be given information such as the URL’s HTTP responses and page download speed. You can also see how Google views your page, rather than how a browser views it.
“Fetch as Google” can be quite a valuable tool, while being simple and quick to use. You may find that your server’s response time is too long, for example, and tasks such as finding basic errors become much easier.
5. Screaming Frog Web Crawler (http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/)
Screaming Frog Web Crawler can be extremely helpful, especially for the early stages of recovering from a penalty. Your first thoughts when trying to recover from a penalty would be to determine what caused the penalty, and where you should begin to look. This is exactly where Screaming Frog can help.
If you notice that you have been hit with a penalty from Google, the first step that you should take is to get a good spider to crawl your website, before you start making changes. While this tool is not free, investing in such a crucial portion of this process is completely necessary to ensure you have the right data to resolve the issue at hand.
Screaming Frog Web Crawler has the ability to crawl through large websites, and seek out internal redirects, duplicate content, dead ends, thin content and other common issues. It is favored by many SEO professionals to make the early stages of penalty recovery less of a headache. While it is possible with very small websites to check pages manually, as the size of your site increases, the manual process becomes more and more impractical.
6. Fruition Penalty Checker (https://fruition.net/google-penalty-checker-tool/)
This tool works hand in hand with your Google Analytics account. Fruition Penalty Check will work out the odds of whether or not your website took a hit from of a particular update. The updates will list traffic changes, and are plotted on a graph as well.
Taking full advantage of this tool, however, will require a little bit from your pocket ($20.00 a month for a plan). With a plan, you gain full visibility on the most recent updates.
7. Link Detox (http://www.linkdetox.com)
The Link Research Tools team has a very good reputation; their Link Detox tool is very powerful. It will point out your toxic links in a very in-depth manner. It also takes some weight off of your shoulders by creating your disavowal document.
It surely doesn’t hurt that a lot of big name brands have gone to Link Research Tools when they have had an issue with Google updates! Link Research Tools has also put out several case studies to prove the success of their work with those brands. Needless to say, they’re a very promising provider if you’re looking for a tool with heightened accuracy in this field.
Hopefully, by keeping some of these tools in mind, and utilizing them properly, you can look forward to getting a manual penalty off of your shoulders in a non-migraine inducing manner!
Written By: Zack Rivera – Marketing Coordinator