Has your organic traffic suddenly decreased? Did your website disappear from the top Google rankings for your target keywords? If you answer yes to both questions, then your website may have probably been hit by Google Penguin update. If you are not sure whether your website got affected by the recent Google algorithm update or not, below is a list of signs that will tell you that your website have a Google penalty.
Look for a sudden drop in your organic traffic
Check your analytics data and traffic graphs, and see if there is a sudden drop in your organic traffic. Moreover, check if this drop in your analytics coincides with the date of the Google Penguin update announcement.
Investigate which keywords got affected
Google Penguin involves keyword-specific algorithm, hence, you will see a percentage drop in traffic for keywords that you may have been over-optimising. In your analytics account, investigate which keywords have been affected by comparing organic results weekly, and make necessary changes on your website.
Check your website’s indexed pages
On Google, type site:<your website URL> and see if it ranks your site domain first. The site: command lists most of your website’s indexed pages on Google, and your homepage should most likely be ranking on top. If your homepage is not even on the first page of the results, then your website has definitely been hit by Google penalty.
Seek the help of online tools
To confirm that your website indeed has a Google penalty, there are online tools that you can take advantage of. First is your Google Webmaster Tools. Check your accounts’ Manual Actions to see if you have been given a manual link penalty. Another is Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker tool which performs statistical analysis on your Google Analytics data and determines the type of Google penalties you may have been hit by. Finally, try Link Detox, an online backlink profile evaluation tool that diagnoses if your site is likely to have a link penalty.
So, you’ve been hit by Google Penguin. What should you do?
Remember, Google Penguin is an update that penalises websites having unnatural link profile created through spam strategies and black hat method, including keyword stuffing, cloaking, and content spinning. To recover from a hit, it is important to reevaluate and clean your back links, focus on referral traffic, build up a strong following, and streamline your website’s SEO structure to weather any storm. For SEO consultation, drop us a line and we will be happy to help.