Understanding Google’s latest Core Algorithm Update (Aug 2018)

Google makes so many updates every year. In fact, they are refining their search algorithm daily to improve and refine their search results. Some changes are barely noticeable but others, like the one we have just had in August has made a huge difference to some websites rankings. In fact this is the biggest core algorithmic roll out this year according to Google: see below from the twitter feed.


For those of you that do not know what a core update is. It’s a change to the core algorithm. The algorithm has between 200-500 variables that go into determining the value of a web page and therefore where it will sit on the results. A core update affects the most important variables. We do not know which ones ( because Google never details it’s secrets) but we can generally take an educated guess based on what websites were affected and which ones survived.

The team here at SEO Sydney Experts believes that the health sector was affected quite heavily. This has resulted in the algorithmic update being labelled the Google Medic update. Other sectors that seem to be affected were: vehicles, personal care, hobbies & leisure, entertainment, electronics & sports to name but a few.

There are a few on page factors that Google is watching and these include:

Website speed – is the website loading quickly? There are far too many websites that still take ages to load and are therefore deemed by Google as offering it’s users a ‘poor experience’. The best way to measure this is to open your website and time how long it takes for the home page to load. If it’s more than 3 seconds this is definitely an issue.

Content and on-site linking – this has been documented heavily where Google wants to see quality on page content and how your site links internally. Poor on page copy is one of the worst things you can have on your site. Google will devalue your sites score if the content is poorly written or is too thin.

Mobile first Index – this means that Google will display results from your mobile site for both mobile and desktop versions in it’s featured snippets. This can be quite confusing so it’s best to give me a call to go over this. For more information from more geeks at Search Engine Land you can read this.

Google has stressed that if your site has been impacted there is not much you can do about this. Meaning they have identified your site and it might be penalised for a while. Obviously, we disagree and if you can see that your site has been adversely affected we would love to hear from you. You have to remember that the first thing you should not do is panic. Keep a cool head as it may be a quick fix and your rankings might be restored in a matter of days.

We have seen algorithm changes come and go and have been able to help many businesses survive this and in many cases get them out of a Google penalty.

10 reasons why your website will be Penalised by Google

Google is on the warpath and is out there crawling the web for websites that deliver a poor user experience, are weak on content, have little or no value to the end user and are graphically flawed. Google, as we all know is constantly tweaking and refining it’s algorithm to deliver top quality content so that it’s clients (that’s you and me) have the very best results when searching.

Far too often businesses will try to get their websites higher up the search results by being non compliant and the downside to this for these businesses is a Google penalty. It’s fair enough. After all, why should Google display pages that don’t give us the correct data. Hence, and rightly so, they get penalised.

Sometimes these penalties are well over due for these spammy sites. If you know your trying to SEO the hell out of your site and manipulate the rankings then probably your website is going to cop a penalty. So, I thought that I would list 10 tell tale signs that your likely to be on Google’s radar and are next in line for a penalty.

Firstly, what is a Google penalty?

Google has an algorithm that is forever crawling the web and ranking sites based on their authority. This authority is made up of many building blocks and is basically a well kept secret. Essentially, at the end of the day you have to play by Googles rules and strict algorithmic ranking requirements if your website is to remain compliant and avoid a penalty. If you site is deemed not to be playing by the rules, like any other game, there are consequences and in this case it’s a penalty.

What happens, here is that the particular page on your website which is in violation of the rules gets either de-indexed, so that it no longer appears in the search results or it simply drops from wherever it was down about 10 pages. This happens all the time and is common among businesses that are trying far too hard to push their rankings inorganically.

Related article: What is a Google Penalty and How Long Does it Last?

Best way to check if your site has been penalised by Google

To check if you have received a Google penalty all you need to do is type your brand name in the search and see if it appears in the results. If nothing shows up, where previously it had, then you have more than likely received a penalty. This is really the best litmus test as you should be ranking for your business name.

Why has Google penalised my Website?

Google will never give away it’s trade secrets but following are my top 10 reasons why your site could have been penalised.

# 1. You have bought links from someone advertising these online. Easy enough to do and the sale of supposed high value links online is rampant. What ever you do, never engage with link vendors who claim that buying links from them will elevate your rankings. Google is all over this and will pick up on this type of activity immediately. Do this at your own peril, but you have been warned.

# 2. Plagiarism. That is, copying content from someone else’s site and passing it off as your own. Google wants your website to tell the readers something new and if you have ripped copy off another site it’s in violation of one of their main rules. If you are guilty of this delete or amend those pages you have copied. If you have taken information from another sites as a reference you have to make mention of this.

# 3. Slow loading websites. Heavy images and outdated software can make sites extremely large and deliver a really bad user experience. If your site is not quick to load then don’t expect Google to rank it. There are programs out there that can reduce image size and load times. Use them and then test your site constantly so that it’s loading quickly.

# 4. H1 tags. These are the bold text you use as headings to tell Google what the page subject is about. If you structure the content of your page correctly there should only be 1 x H1 tag. Over use of this can seem as though your trying to push keywords and you are not only appearing inorganic but the web page will look odd. Not a good experience for the user and hence a penalty for that particular page. Remember, Google wants their readers to view informative, well structured copy. So to avoid any type of penalty you need to abide by this.

# 5. Exact match domains. This is a relatively new penalty but well overdue. Let’s say you are trying to optimise a keyword that is the same as your domain name and you do this repeatedly then you will receive a penalty. As an example, let’s say your domain name is ‘rubbishremovalsysney.com.au’ and your trying to optimise the keyword ‘rubbish removals sydney’ this could be an issue. In the past this was a popular way to pass rank. All you needed to do was register a domain name with the keywords you wanted to rank for and use these keywords as anchor text. You can forget about doing this now as it will result in a penalty.

# 6. Black Hat SEO. I could go on about this forever but far too many businesses will engage SEO companies purely based on the cheapest price. These SEO agencies will engage in black hat SEO strategies. Watch out for agencies offering cheap SEO packages with unrealistic ranking results. A recipe for an ensuing penalty. Only reputable SEO agencies that you can actually meet in person and do not offer these types of fake promises should be used.

# 7. Forum participation. Yes you can get on forums and engage with others but don’t use your website as a signature and link back to it. Same goes for comments on blog sites.

# 8. Landing pages optimisation. This is creating a multitude of single page websites all linking back to your main site. You can do a couple of conversion focused landing pages if your running an Adwords campaign but not for the intent and purpose of any SEO strategy.

# 9. Have a few outbound links. Google wants to see that you are referencing other similar sites. A few are fine but don’t over do it. It shows that you are happy to direct readers in a natural manner to other sites which if implemented properly is organic. Remember, you are writing for your audience and if you do it in a manner that benefits them you will stay well away from a penalty.

# 10. Lastly, it’s if your website has been hacked. Google will immediately take it away from the search results till you can shown them that the offending code or malicious script has been removed. Ideally, you should be checking your website daily to see if it’s still indexed. Hacking is really common and you should be updating your site regularly with the latest plug ins, especially if you have a WordPress website that has WooCommerce as a plug in. Hackers are out there 24/7 looking at ways to penetrate your site. Ideally you should have a professional team monitoring your site for any suspicious activity. This is a really important point and should not be taken lightly. You do not want your website penalised by Google and de-indexed just because someone has hacked it.

If you feel as though your site has been penalised by Google and your freaking out, why not give us a call here at SEO Sydney Experts on 02 9360 8514 and we’ll fix this problem asap.

Website penalties and the best way to avoid them

Getting your website penalised by Google is now a lot more common than you think. A Google penalty is when your website has been singled out by Google for either non compliance issues or for spammy , inorganic SEO practices and this has resulted in your website loosing it’s ranking. It’s a horrible position to be in and when it happens to you the feeling you have is utter sickness.

If you are like the rest of us and rely on Google for your website rankings, then you MUST take necessary steps to avoid this ever happening to you. If you follow these then you should be fine for now. Remember Google is always updating it’s ranking algorithm so you need to always be on the look out for compliance issues. What is working today may not necessarily be working for you a year later. Unfortunately, the goal posts are forever shifting. This creates a massive challenge for SEO agencies like us that need to protect our client’s online position.

Lucky for those businesses that engage our services because we make sure we are always compliant and on top of any future algorithm updates.

Be on page compliant: make sure you have all the correct titles and descriptions and ensure page download times are kept to a minimum. Lengthy size load times will not only harm any rankings but it also aggravates people.

Write loads of content: Google loves content. You have to make certain that all your pages on the website are descriptive and quite lengthy. Short 2 sentence pages are really going to harm your rankings so be prepared to either write a lot or hire a copy writer.

Blog away: As per the above point, Google will index pages that are informative and are on topic. Blogging is a top way to get your message out there to prospective clients, plus it builds your websites authority. So make sure you post between 1-2 blogs per month. I know this may seem like a hassle but you have to do it. Either blog away or get someone to do it for you.

Unique content: You have to write copy and make certain that you have not plagiarised anything from any other website. Sure you can reference a website or link to it, BUT NEVER copy content. It will kill your rankings very quickly.

Make sure the site has no dead links that go no where. This can easily happen if you are migrating an old site to a new site. You would have to implement 301 redirects and if this is not done properly you can loose rankings.

small biz

Probably the last and most important tip in not getting a Google penalty and I really want to emphasise this point is that you cannot engage the services of SEO agencies that:

– offer any type of SEO guarantee – this is a complete scam and a fraudulent attempt to get your business. These operators are nothing short of con artists that are out there to rip you off. Guarantees cannot be given as you are trying to rank on Google and this makes it impossible to offer certainty as Google is not a constant. I cannot tell you how dangerous this is and to believe them is internet suicide. These are the companies that will end up getting your website penalised as they are there purely to make money for themselves. Roughly 40% of all the work we do is helping poor businesses get out of penalties because of shody SEO techniques.

– are not able to rank organically for themselves and have to spruik their services through Adwords. All you have to do is Google the words ‘SEO Sydney’ and you will see what I mean. There are heaps of ads up there all promoting guarantees and try before you buy – AVOID THESE AGENCIES LIKE THE PLAGUE!!! This is a massive warning. Why? Because SEO is all about organic rankings and if they are unable or incapable or ranking their own website for a service they are offering, how are they going to rank yours? See what I mean. It’s a big scam and the links these guys will give you are horrendous. Make sure you choose your future SEO partner wisely!

If you follow these tips (especially the last 2 points) you will be well on your way to staying out of Google cross hairs and less likely to incur any penalties. If you feel like you have been bad in the past and feel like you may be heading towards getting a penalty( you will know if you have done anything dodgy OR used a bad agency), then it’s time to take action and speak to the best SEO agency in Sydney – as of today the 2 March 2106 we are sitting at position # 1 for the keywords SEO and SEO Sydney. That is how good we are. So please get in touch with us to help preserve your rankings. But, if you have noticed a drop in business and think you’ve copped a penalty please give us a call on 02 9360 8514

Lost SEO Ranking? Don’t Panic, We Can Help.

If you have lost your SEO rankings and what I mean by this is that your current rankings have absolutely tanked, the trick is not to panic. Why? Because we know how to get those rankings back to where they were.

But, before we go down that path you have to ask yourself how did I get my website and business into this situation. Again, don’t feel to bad about this as around 40-50% people who call us up are in this predicament. It’s not a one off scenario. You might feel like you have been singled out and picked upon by Google, but I promise you haven’t.

rankingsdownSo now you know you are not the only 1 out there suffering, let’s analyse why you are here.

The reason why you have lost your SEO rankings is that the SEO agency you are using has implemented ‘black hat’ or really dodgy SEO. This is so common it’s incredible. I hate to say this but most SEO companies have no clue about what they are doing and are just really sales machines to get your money.

They use all these types of incredible far slung, fraudulent sales techniques, to try to trap you into signing up with them for a minimum period of 12 months.

You will know what I’m talking about if you are the victim of one of these scams. Phrases like: SEO GUARANTEES or NO RANK NO PAY or TRY US FOR 1 MONTH FREE OF CHARGE AND SEE IF YOU LIKE US should sound really familiar.

It is these types and kinds of statements that have lured and suckered many really well intentioned businesses into their pit of depravity and their scams are designed to prey on the naivety of the innocent. Basically this is why your rankings have vanished. The SEO agency who sweet talked you over the phone with the promises of seriously unrealistic rankings are now the ones to blame. Essentially your SEO agency has left you in a complete mess. It’s now time to ditch your SEO company and look at a solution. This is where we can help.

Basically, they take your money and do as little as they can with the funds as they use this to refinance their Google Adwords campaign to trap more suckers like you. If any work is being done it’s simply off shored overseas and put in the hands of some novice. This is why your websites rankings have tanked.

I could go on about all the over reasons such as your websites on page content and graphics being non compliant or that you have ripped content off from someone else and basically plagiarised their website but this list is far too long. I prefer to concentrate on the main contributing factor and that is cheap / nasty / dodgy / scam focused SEO cowboys that have no business ethics. I am amazed at the bravado and front that they put on. You can see it on their websites in plain sight. They are screaming guarantees and promises of ranking 20% of you keywords on Page 1 of Google within 90 days. They even have videos of themselves selling their services and fake offerings. Be warned guys ….

OK, so what can we do to help you get out of this mess and stop the panic.

Well, let me begin by first stating that the process is not quick it can take a couple of months but at least you can be safe in the knowledge that everything done in terms of your SEO campaign moving forward from this day onwards is going to be completely compliant. Unlike your past practices we will abide by the laws set out by Google including removing your penalty.

Essentially, what we have to do is conduct a full back link audit and loo at ways of getting rid of these toxic links. Once we have proved to Google that we have made a serious and realistic attempt at this we can then look at what’s called filing for a request fro reconsideration. From this point onwards we are in the hands of Google.

BUT, I want to reassure you folks reading this blog who do find themselves in this precarious and terrible situation. We have been able to help companies before so please stop worrying. We will clean this mess up for you and restore your business and website rankings.

All you need to do is get in touch with us on 02 9360 8514 and we will take immediate steps at reversing this Google penalty.

Google Penalty – How to get your Google Rankings back.

Google Penalty – Let us help you get your Website Back On Track!

If your website has been penalised by Google, then you are in a real mess. Your business is tracking along quite nicely, you are sitting high on page 1 of Google and then boom, all of a sudden you rankings are gone. This is an absolute disaster and this happens all the time to websites that have violated Google’s strict SEO guidelines. Welcome to the land of hell, known as the Google penalty. It’s a bloody nightmare, and can spell the end for many businesses that rely on Google to generate sales. But, all is not lost. There is light at the end of this dark tunnel and we are here to help you recover from a Google penalty.

As Google continues to fine tune, tweak and modify it’s ranking algorithm, many SEO agencies are finding it harder to rank their clients websites. Even worse, there are a whole heap of ‘so called’ SEO agencies out there running rampant; offering crazy cut price deals with unrealistic SEO ranking guarantees and pay on performance SEO, which all leads to 1 thing; a Google penalty.

seorankingsbackMany businesses, in a hurry to get their website on page 1 of Google, often align themselves with SEO agencies that sell their services based on fabricated promises of miracle rankings in less than 90 days. These SEO cowboys are like sharks circling poor unsuspecting, naïve business people who believe the hype and end up paying for their ignorance by being stung with a Google penalty.

What happens then?

Your once loved SEO company will deny all knowledge of this and absolve themselves of all responsibility and you are left swinging in the breeze without any one to help you out. Well, this is where we at SEO SYDNEY EXPERTS step in and are able to rescue you from this catastrophic situation. If you are one of the many businesses out there who are suffering because you have been lied to and completely ripped off by your current SEO provider, then give us a call on 02 9360 8514 – we will turn things around for you and get your rankings back on track. This is what we do best and we have helped and resuscitated the dismal rankings of many businesses throughout Australia who have been smashed by Google.

What do you mean by a Google Penalty?

A Google penalty is when Google has indexed your website, taken notice of all the internal back links pointing towards your website as well as all the non compliant ‘on page’ work and has deemed it to be ‘black hat’. That is, the spam team at Google ( and yes there is a massive team who are watching every move you make online), feels that your site is trying to manipulate and artificially fabricate your websites online rankings. There are literally hundreds of ways that you can do this, but all you need is to cross the line once and you are going to be penalised.

What happens is that your website will either be taken out of the rankings where you will not be able to find it, or dropped down 4 or 5 pages. This situation WILL NOT improve or remedy itself unless you take action in repairing the damage. Again, this is where we step in and fix the mess up. A word of warning here: do not attempt to do this yourself and take matters into your own hands. This will just makes things worse. You have to leave it to a team like SEO SYDNEY EXPERTS that knows what to do in this situation and the steps involved in getting out of this penalty.

How to spot a potential Google Penalty.

This can be a lot harder than it looks but in my opinion prevention is far better than the cure. If you can spot a few of these techniques going on with your SEO company and if any of these methods have been implemented on your website then it’s time to hit the panic button.

The over use of directory link building – it’s OK to have a few links on the most popular recognised, legitimate directories but if you think placing your website on hundreds of dodgy directories is going to help, then think again. Google has completely stamped this kind of practice out and will know if you are doing this. There is no hiding from their spiders and they will detect too many directory listings. Get your SEO company to show you all the back links they are doing and if the majority of them are from weird directories it’s time to get the hell out of there, and FAST!

Commenting on other websites blog – a massive no-no and this will have absolutely no impact on your rankings. One or two appropriate comments on separate websites are fine, but go over board with this and watch out.

Repetitive over optimised content – people often think that if they repeat their main keywords in their content it will help with the rankings. This just looks overly dodgy, will annoy anyone visiting your website and this contravenes all Googles ranking laws. Forget about spammy content, write naturally for your market and you will be fine. You might find that if you have employed a SEO company to write content for you and they are doing it on the cheap, they will outsource this and this is where the issues begin. Poor content written by amateurs is the surest path to a penalty. You will see this immediately when you look at your blog posts or web content.

Having the same anchor text – Look at your in bound links. If you don’t know how to do this, then ask your SEO team. If all you see is the same keyword for your business being optimised, then you are going to get a penalty. This is a certainty. Even worse, if these anchor texts are always pointing to the home page. Google wants to see a natural and balanced looking link profile and if your website even slightly looks like it’s trying to scam the system, them its all over. This is the most common cause of a penalty so be on the look out for this.

Many SEO agencies are working on very thin margins. The way they work is they offer you low, cheap insanely unrealistic offers just to get your business and guess what? To make any money they either do absolutely nothing or if they do something it’s really bad, low quality work. If you have been persuaded by these guys to sign up with them cause the rates were just way too good to refuse then it’s likely you will suffer a penalty in the next couple of months. Even if they swear to god that you will never get a penalty and that none of their clients have ever suffered this fate, YOU WILL. This is part of their sales lies and this is why you are heading for a CRASH – you have been warned!

If any of the above points look remotely familiar then your website is in violation of Google’s guidelines and its time to mitigate any potential problems. If your site is still ranking, then you still have time to correct the situation – if it doesn’t happen today then it may next week or next month. You just don’t know – so my advice is to radically shift your SEO focus at this stage to correcting all problems before you even consider any future rankings.

There are 2 SEO Penalties You Should Know About

Google is always refining it’s ranking algorithm, performing minor tweaks and adjustments here and there that by in large will not affect too many websites. However, there are 2 extremely vital SEO penalties that took a chunk out of the rankings of many sites and shifted the way search engine optimisation companies performed their business and looked at the way they implemented their strategies. Google effectively drew a line in the sand and said ‘ enough is enough’. From this day onwards if you in any way contravene any of our guidelines your site will be penalised.

It’s really easy to avoid these penalties. Just play by the rules, use only ‘ white hat’ SEO techniques and stop looking at those cheap SEO players that are the real cause of these issues. Be realistic when it comes to your rankings, and for gods sake spend the appropriate amount of money to get the best people working for you.

SEO Penalty # 1: Penguin

This massive update cleaned up the whole outsourcing of SEO to the third world, where one could buy backlinks for next to nothing. A new website could miraculously appear on page 1 within a few months and all they had to do was pay a small fee for this. It became a joke when companies had millions of back links and it was a matter of the more links the better. Quality was not an issue. Websites of real dodgy businesses were able to out rank legitimate operations by merely obtaining more links. Penguin was the saviour to this and immediately punished websites that not only had too many low quality back links, but also punished sites that were over optimising anchor text keywords.

In a matter of a day, it turned the whole ranking ideology around. Quality became paramount and link quantity became voodoo. This was implemented with very little warning and well known household names were smashed by Google. The focus is on SEO agencies finding only premium back links that are relevant. One link from an authoritative website will out weigh thousands of links from poor sites.

SEO Penalty # 2 Panda

In a one –two knock out punch Google released Panda and this looked at everything to do you’re your website. Surviving the first algorithmic tsunami was not enough. You then had to wait for the after shock of Panda that looked at your website and anything non compliant was punished without impunity or exception. BOOM – there goes 15-20% of websites world wide that had websites that were visibly delivering a poor user experience. These include: incorrect titles, on page website content, page load speeds, relevant content, graphics, the list goes on and on. Websites that were old, out dated, copy poor and particularly offensive got hit by the Panda.

How do we fix this for you?

Fixing a Penguin Penalty: Let me first begin by saying this is not easy. It’s a long and in some cases a difficult road but what we have to do is look at both ‘on and off page’ issues. The very first thing we do is to get access into your web master tools account and look at your back linking profile. If there is a message from Google telling us that there are ‘too many in bound unnatural links’, then we have to go and delete each and every link ever created. Yes you heard this right. This can be an absolute nightmare depending on the number of links you have. Imagine going about and deleting 20 000 links. We have to contact all website owners that your links are on and beg them and in some cases you have to pay them, to get rid of the links. The point to make here is that you cannot go about this in a half-hearted manner. You have to show Google that you have made a very concerted effort to reduce your link profile. In some cases they will except your efforts and in other they will want to see each and every link removed. This can be an issue as some website owners may be reluctant to be cooperative. In this case after we have exhausted all avenues we can then put these links aside and use the Google disavow tool. A bit complicated I know, but this is the process.

Fixing a Panda Penalty

In regards to all on page web issues hit by Panda, this is a lot easier and we can tackle this via designing and building a new website or simply fixing the issues that we can see. A relative quick fix and way easier than getting hit by the Penguin

How Long Does it take to recover from a Google Penalty?

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question, I would be wealthy. This is definitely the most common question we are asked and unfortunately I cannot provide an accurate time frame. It depends on many factors and varies based on how bad your SEO company was. Some agencies are that bad and did such shonky work that it can takes months to fix the issue. If I had to give you an answer I would average it out and say anywhere between 3-6 months.

Removing and pruning your back links is the real time issue. Be prepared to stick this out for the long haul. In so far as fixing any on page issues, all we need to do is get in there and wait for Google to re-index your site and this should see a remarkable turn around. I have seen penalised websites come back to page 1 within a couple of weeks after making 1 or 2 slight alterations.

Cause we are relying on Google, who can only be contacted via email, we must be patient. Pestering them with emails will have zero affect and may make matters worse. Accept the fact that you are in a penalty, let the professionals help you get out of it and cop the punishment. After all, you are there cause you made the wrong choice to begin with when going with those crappy SEO cowboys and no one is to blame except yourself. Google is looking to see that you are contrite when communicating with them and will want to see a marked turn around in your online behaviour. I know this sounds a bit like school, but this is how you have to play the game. You are penalised for a reason and they want to see an improvement in your behaviour and an end, a stop in your dodgy ranking practices.

As you can gather from the above article SEO penalties are a nasty business. They are a real issue that needs someone with previous ‘get outta penalty’ experience. It can be a long labour intensive process that can take up a considerable amount of time, nerves and money. Some people opt out entirely and may decide to scrap their website and start again, whilst others that have an established brand and well known website name may need to go through this process. In any case, if you are stuck in a penalty and let us know and we will be more than happy to help you out.


What is a Google Penalty and How Long Does it Last?

A Google Penalty is when your website has been penalised by Google for inorganic or unnatural activity such as over optimisation of keywords, spammy back linking activity, thin website content or dodgy SEO practices.

Basically, you website can be ranking one day right up there on page 1 and the next day it’s completely gone. We see it happen all the time and it’s complete hell for all business owners that rely on Google for generating their new business leads. and the worst part is that it’s not their fault. The blame lays with the search engine optimisation or SEO company that got them into this predicament. The poor business owners won’t know what hit them, perhaps even after a few weeks, when they notice a massive drop in business. There is however some hope when it comes to getting out of a Google penalty and most penalties can be reversed if action is taken.

Google Penalties or Manual actions can last for many months

If you Google your business name and it’s suddenly not there then your website has been penalised. Simple as that and all I can say is that I feel your pain. Especially if you had nothing to do with it. So, what do I mean by this? Well, in many cases where a Google penalty has been imposed, this is generally due ( as stated above ), by the work or SEO techniques that you entrusted your SEO agency with. Most people we come across who are under a Google penalty, are basically clueless when it comes to SEO and have put all their trust, faith and hope that their SEO team will do the right thing.

Let me take a step backwards here. Before businesses actually give their work to the SEO company, they do the ring around and unfortunately go with he company that offers the best deal in terms of pricing and ranking guarantees. This is the BIGGEST mistake you can make when it comes to your SEO and is the catalyst for the Google penalty. They sign up thinking they have done the right thing, but because the SEO company is on such thin budgets and margins they basically end up doing nothing. PLUS they generally don’t know what they are doing and have no idea about how Google works. Hence, you suffer a penalty Essentially, and I hate to say this but it’s your FAULT for thinking you could pay next to nothing and rank on Google. Im sorry that I say this but the buck stops with you; the decision maker and boy o boy did you stuff up here!

Google Penalties can take a long time to get out of or have them reversed so it’s really important that you know what is going on and how you are going to get out of this. I am going to give you as much information as I can here but if you are still confused and want to speak to someone I am more than happy to chat with you anytime.

What is a Manual Action? – It is a Human Imposed Penalty

Login to your web master tools account in Google. If you do not know what it is, just Google’ web master tools’ and use your Google gmail logins and that will get you into this. From hit the message button and see if there are any messages from Google. If there is a message saying that ‘ that Google has detected unnatural link building’ or something to that effect then you are the lucky ones. Although, you are unlucky in respect that your website has tanked, the lucky component is that Google has contacted you and you are now ready to address these issues in a positive way. Get cracking on this slowly and make sure that you do NOT do this yourself. If you want to reverse the manual action you need professional advice and help. having a DIY approach to this for the inexperienced, simply wont work and you may make matters worse. Remember, you have woken the Google gods ( the spam team) and they are watching you. The best thing moving forward, is not to piss them off even further. Do it properly or don’t do it at all. You will have to ditch your web URL and start all over again.

Believe it or not a manual action has been imposed by a human. yes! An actual person has physically gone to your website from Google and they have deemed that your site does violate their guidelines when it comes to search. They can tell immediately that your website has have SEO work done to it; either ‘ on page’ or ‘off page’ and it does not comply with their ranking guidelines. So they are going to take your website and put it aside and not show it in the search results until you fix each and every issue. An I mean FIX THEM THOROUGHLY.

If you think that a couple of fixes here and there are going to cut it – then think again – you are going to be in this for the long haul ( and this can take up to a year in some extreme cases) before you are released. So buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life that you will never want to go through again! On the other hand if your penalty is the result of a few back links then getting rid of these quickly will get you out of the penalty box.

There are now 2 ways that your website can be Penalised for Unnatural Links the recent Penguin algorithm update plus Manual Actions

Let’s start with the Penguin update as I feel this is the trickiest one and possibly the hardest one to deal with. Basically, the Penguin algorithm update detects unnatural or over zealous link building. This used to be real common in the past where people thought that the best way to rank was to build more and more links. Doesn’t matter where they came from or how many you got, the name of the game was link building to the MAX. Try this now, even to a small extent and the Penguin update will trigger an alert within Google and you are going to see the damage this will do. You are going to get slammed in the rankings BUT the worst part of this is that Google will not tell you about it in your WMT account. You wont know what’s happening or what’s going on. But all you can do is tell from your rankings that have plummeted that you have been hit by Penguin. Again, this is probably the fault of your SEO company but you are to blame cause you decided to go with the dodgy cheap and cheerful option  – Im constantly amazed when I warn people about this and they still don’t believe me. They much prefer to save a few hundred dollars on their SEO and all I say when they ring me up a year later in real trouble; ‘ hate to say I told you so…’

Anyway going back to Penguin the way out of this is to try to delete each and every bad back link then let Google know about your best intentions through their disavow tool. The worst part is that yo have to wait until Google’s next algorithmic update before you can tell if you have been successful. What a hassle and a complete nightmare. I absolutely hate this as it’s purely a waiting game. Meanwhile your business is in dire need of sales and you are not getting them cause your site has tanked. Google has made this process completely automated so there is no way to deal with this via Googles’ request for reconsideration. Hence all you have is 1 disavow tool. Again a real nightmare and unfortunately, you only have yourself to blame as you did choose the wrong SEO company!

The best of the worst is a manual action rather than a Penguin penalty for your unnatural links. At least you can go about removing and pruning as many toxic links as you can and keep on filing requests to be allowed reinclusion. Essentially, you have more control over the situation as you can contact the Google spam team – cause you received the message in your WMT.

Issues with removing toxic back links

Penalties for spammy links are extremely common. In fact, more common than you would have thought. The process to remove the penalty is quite simple; get the links removed and let Google know about this. However, like with anything there is a catch. That is; it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of these links especially if they were done on your behalf by and SEO firm. It’s a horrific process and speaking from experience, having successfully helped businesses in the past get out of a penalty, this takes and enormous amount of time and effort. Image trying to undo 2 or even 3 years of linking work. There could be thousands of these all over the internet, all owned by different people who can be extremely difficult to reach.

Related articleHow to Protect Your Site From Google Penalties

What is the Panda Penalty?

This was a great move by Google in it’s attempt to clean up websites that were basically thin on content. You know those sites that had a couple of paragraphs on each page and really didn’t light up the sky with anything important. Some sites were even built with content that kept on repeating main core keywords in the hope to accelerate rankings. Im sure you have seen these websites with really nasty content that basically told you nothing about what they did or what they offered. Anyway, the Panda update got rid of these websites and replaced them with well worded sites that communicated genuine, legitimate content.

Panda also went about by penalising those sites for plagiarism. Any form of copying was dealt with harshly by the Panda beast. Think you can copy content from a competitor and get away with it…think again.
So there you have the penalties: Penguin, Panda and a manual action. In any case the way to deal with all of these is to become search compliant. You cannot tip toe around this! You must be 100% compliant in the eyes of Google or you are going to get hit by a penalty. There are so many areas regarding compliance that it’s best left to the professionals. This is why I really stress to potential clients that call me up of the dangers lurking out there for any ‘monkey business’ or any non compliant activity. It only takes one foolish move and you are going to get busted.

Related articleIs quality content good for SEO rankings?

Finding The Cause of Your Penalty

It will be impossible to recover from your penalty if you do not know what the root cause is. I can bet almost anything that the cause is from way too much link building by SEO agencies that are absolutely clueless when it comes to link activity. All they have done is build links randomly without and strategy or game plan – hence the penalty. Go back to them and see if they can help you determine the issues that are hindering your SEO campaign. My guess is they will be very unhelpful cause these SEO companies are strictly out for themselves and no one else and this is why you are in this predicament. Move on and this time pay the right and fair price for SEO and let them help you get out of the penalty.

Unfortunately, for many people who are reading this blog, the horse has bolted so to speak. They are here cause they probably Googled ‘ google penalty’ or something similar as they have already been penalised or have noticed that there is an issue with their rankings. This blog is intended to help these businesses BUT it probably won’t help those people that are about to embark on an SEO campaign. These people will probably make the same mistakes that are very common when choosing a SEO supplier. That is, all based on cost and crappy guarantees. These business owners WILL unfortunately have to go through the process of copping a penalty before they find out about this blog. I want to add here that a hell of a lot of people don’t  even realise that there is such a thing as a Google penalty. Realistically, why should they? It’s not their business to know about these things and this is where so many issues begin. Being naive and uninformed is a real issue and I personally do not see it improving. Cheap SEO options that promise immediate rankings are just far too tempting to refuse. Oh, well it’s a matter of live and learn for most people.

Negative SEO can Affect your Online Rankings

People get jealous of your success online. Simple as that. Google has no way of determining the reason why you are getting links. All they are concerned about is the nature of these links. Cue, negative SEO. Malicious intent by competition to destroy your rankings through harmful back linking is now common practice and a factor that could trigger Google to impose manual actions or penalties. Anyone who knows a little bit about SEO can start a campaign of destruction against a competitor. I have witnessed companies rankings severely hampered due to this kind of attacks. This leaves you vulnerable and open to all sorts of aggression from rivals. The best prevention is being alert and on the look out for this type of increase or spikes in link activity.  Keep an eye on your analytics as this will have all the data you need to gauge what’s happening. Be vigilant and always checking your web master tools account or analytics for unknown, foreign, or unaccountable links. Make a list of these and then use your disavow tool  ( through Google) to let them know that these URL’s are not to be considered as part of your profile.

WARNING: you have to do this before Google imposes their penalty on your site for these links. Quick action will result in you keeping your rankings. It’s a pain I know, but you have to be always on the look out for ruthless people trying to harm your business. It’s plain bad luck if this happens to you if you are trying to do the right thing in regards to SEO. But this is the internet landscape and Im afraid in some cases it’s not very pretty.

Be Up to Speed of all Changes

Let’s be honest here, all businesses rely on Google to a certain extent, some more than others. This is why businesses need to remain current and up to speed with the latest changes implemented by Google. If, as a business owner you are too busy or simply are uninterested in this sort of thing THEN YOU MUST BE WORKING WITH AN SEO AGENCY that can do this on your behalf.

They will know whats going on and can make minor tweak or adjustments to your website and your linking profile to ensure that you do not lag behind. You don’t want to be put at a disadvantage by not remaining current. Remember, your competitors might be doing what’s right online and this over time will harm your position. What might be working today might not be enough to achieve superior rankings in the future. And, it is always a lot hard to play catch up with your competition. A point to note here; Google is always wanting to deliver the best search results for their customers, so your website better be the best it can be in terms of user engagement, content, graphics, conversion rate optimisation. Once all these factors are working in harmony, your website will rank highly – and this needs a professional SEO company that has web experience.

I know this is hard to find but all I can say is give us a call here at SEO Sydney Experts on 02 9360 8514 and we will be able to help you not only get out of any penalties and restore your rankings.

6 Tips for Getting Your Google Manual Penalty Overturned

Having a Google penalty is essentially the death of your website unless you take steps to get this penalty over turned. If you don’t attempt or try this then you might as well delete your website as staying in the penalty will mean that your site will never even rank. Getting the penalty overturned is the best thing you can do for your website BUT make no mistake, getting out of this penalty is no easy feat. Google want to teach you a lesson to make sure you never violate their guidelines again and once penalised I can make a bet you are never ever going to want to be put in that situation again. It’s an absolute nightmare and is going to put a hell of a lot of stress on you and your business.

googlepenaltyoverturnLink penalty or Google penalty recovery does take time, effort and a lot of patience, and a commitment to be seriously devoted to getting out of this penalty. Why? Because you are going to have to invest heavily in your time to get out of this penalty by doing many tasks and following is a list that will help you address this penalty and eventually get it over turned. Remember there are absolutely NO SHORT CUTS to redemption – it is unfortunately the long haul.

A few companies over the last couple of months have approached us to help them get out of this penalty and all I can say is that there is GOOD NEWS – we have been successful and we have been able to get the penalty revoked. I’m not saying it was easy BUT I am saying it is very possible and it can be done.

If you follow these golden tips, you’ll have a much better chance of recovering from this Google penalty.

1. Remove All Links and I mean ALL LINKS!

Why did I make this number 1? Cause it’s the most important and most time consuming task. If you are under a manual penalty for over optimisation of links or unnatural link building, then Google is going to want to see that you have made an attempt to delete all of these links. If you have been using a SEO company that has got you into this situation then you need to make sure they are able to delete all the links they have created – this is going to be a big ask. If they are based in Australia this will make the task a lot easier than if your SEO was carried out by an off shore firm. I really want to emphasis the point here that ALL LINKS must be removed. I’m serious when I say this – you cannot leave 1 link up there. You can go into your web master tools to check the amount of in bound links you have to monitor the progress of this job – but if there is even 1 unnatural link remaining Google may not release you from this penalty. If you can’t delete the link see if a ‘no follow’ attribute can be placed on the link. In any case this is a big uphill slog so be prepared – DO NOT under any circumstances contact Google until you are confident that you have done as much as you can to address these inorganic links.


2. Be Overly Attentive in this Delinking Process.

The bigger the effort you make in trimming and culling these links, the more chances you will have in getting your website off the hook. This may take months in some extreme cases – in fact I have recovered websites under a manual action that have had well over 100 000 links – it took a few months but it was done. The effort you put in will be rewarded – this I promise. Make sure you keep a detailed list of all the links you have culled so you can file this later when you finally get in touch with Google.

WARNING!! – there are scam companies out there promising that they can get you out of a penalty in 2-3 days – this is a scam and you need to stay well clear of these people – they will only get you into more trouble!!


3. Some Links are Actually Good.

When I say be thorough about the trimming of links I need to put a clause here saying that some links you might have attained over the years are in fact good and should no be touched. These are the natural links you have probably acquired over time and are OK in the eyes of Google. These could be from credible associations or partners or suppliers that you may be in touch with. In any case these should remain as part of your back linking profile. These natural links have some authority and will help you recover your rankings once the penalty has been lifted. I have seen companies request links be removed from really awesome high page rank websites which is a big mistake. So be careful ( and I know this may be hard) when killing off all those links.

4. Don’t Be Aggressive with your SEO Company

Yes these guys got you into this situation and yes you are really angry and looking for a fight, but you have to be level headed at this stage. There is no point flying of the handle and burning all bridges. You are going to need them to help you get out of the penalty. They are going to have to help you get these links removed. And the bad news is they are probably going to charge you for this! Don’t loose your cool – stay on top of your emotions as you will need a lot of perseverance, composure and fortitude before this battle is won. Remember, be nice especially if you have to speak to website owners in the hope that they will remove links. These guys are probably bombarded with requests all the time so a nice polite email will go a long way. If when speaking to webmasters about getting links removed you get the cold shoulder and an abusive reply, don’t worry – all you need to do is make a note of the URL, and you can submit it with your request for reconsideration later on – all is not lost!

But, if you have lost all confidence in them (and I probably don’t blame you), then get in touch with us here at SEO SYDNEY EXPERTS and we will help you get out of this manual penalty – in a very Google compliant manner. Call 02 9360 8514

5. Only Contact Google When Ready

There is no point contacting Google daily or even weekly until you are 100% sure that you have done everything in your power to eliminate these harmful links. Once satisfied that these links are completely gone; and you may want to use other software tools just to be on the safe side. Then and only then can you submit a request for reinclusion – this is done through your web master tools account and has to be handled and written in a very professional manner. A clear detailed list of links you have had success in removing along with links that you were unable to remove should be sent through to then in a spread sheet.

6. Front Up, Be Honest and make a Firm Promise that you understand the Penalty and are Sorry

The Google web spam team who are responsible for initiating this penalty and who have the power to release you want to see 3 points addressed – they have made mention of this so IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THIS.

  1. Be honest and explain how you got the Google penalty – if you have to point a finger at someone do so. Remember if it is an external SEO party then Google should know about their behaviour and dodgy performance.
  2. Explain in detail how to have attempted to fix al the issues – be really detailed here and tell Google the effort you have gone to in order to delete these links.
  3. You may like to add a paragraph where you explain to Google how sorry you are and that you are aware of why you received this penalty and assure them that this will never ever happen again. Be very contrite and to the point – we can only assume that this will get read by another person and if you have shown contrition, shown that you are remorseful and shown that you have culled all the links, then there is no reason why you should not have your penalty overturned.

On occasions, penalties do get overturned and Google will let you know that there is still work to be done. Whilst they will not detail this, they will let you know that there are still far too many inorganic links and that these need to be attended too. This is where the hard work really begins and the late nights spent speaking to webmasters, perhaps in different time zones, that hold the key to deleting these links. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for a few dollars in advance to get rid of them – in my opinion its worth every cent. What ever you do, if you have to pay say $10 or even $20 to kill the link, then do it! Being frugal at this stage is simply a waste of time as this ‘spammy’ link MUST be deleted.

If you have just found out that you are facing a manual link penalty or you are a little bit suspicious that there is a penalty lurking in the background or you have looked at your link profile and are worried that is appears unnatural and all this is having an affect on your then speak with a team of professionals who have seen all this before and know exactly what to do to get you out of this very tricky situation.

Penguin and Panda SEO Recovery Agency

penguincoveryOnce your website has been penalised by the Google Penguin and Panda update, the issues that will arise for your business are quick and immediate. That is, once your website has disappeared from the search results, it is more than likely that sales and revenues are going to start to fall. This is catastrophic for all business owners that rely on Google to generate website traffic. Penguin and Panda penalties are the most common penalties and businesses all over Australia are getting smashed by them because of the really bad and overly dodgy practices of their SEO providors.

At SEO Sydney Experts we can ( once your website has been hit), implement a SEO Penalty Assessment Plan of Action aimed at firstly identifying the type of penalty you have and secondly the steps involved in eliminating the penalty and restoring all your previous rankings.

Restoring your rankings post Panda / Penguin usually takes anywhere between 8-12 weeks and will involve in depth reporting as well as constant communication between yourself and our company.

For more details on this Assessment Program please call us at 02 9360 8514



  • COMPLETE IN BOUND LINK ANALYSIS: This is such an important part of the process cause it’s usually the over optimisation of links that has got your website hit by the dreaded penguin / panda. We use very sophisticated tracking tools to find out where these links are coming from and them look at ways to immediately solve the problem of too many inorganic links. Essentially, what we need to do is get these links removed ASAP – they have been used by your dodgy SEO company cause they really do no know what they were doing and they felt that any link is a good link – this is not the case and Google has clamped down heavily on this type of activity. This is really the end result of both Penguin and Panda – identifying over ‘spammy’ links is the job of these algorithmic updates. Most of the links are from really bad sources and our job as penalty recovery experts is to clean this serious mess up!
  • We contact the owners of the websites that these links are on and ask them to be removed. In some cases this is a quick process, but and I hate to say this, in many other cases it is a long and arduous task as these web masters are difficult to get in touch with and often demand payment to have these links removed. Luckily, we know what we are doing and are able to really push this process along. Removing these in bound links are going to appease the Penguin and Panda algorithms.
  • We check all your on page Panda / Penguin violations and correct and web pages that do not adhere to these guidelines. Often this is a matter of addressing titles and descriptions, but there are others like; page speeds, download times and content duplication. Once we have clearly identified the areas of concern, we are very quick to make the necessary amends. Duplicate and thin on page content is a real issue with many websites – so we really hammer home this point with our penalised clients.


Panda and Penguin Repair Services

Once we have identified all issues we are then ready to apply our services to help repair the damage. Once we have made a legitimate attempt to get rid of each and every inorganic back link, and once we have made every conceivable effort to clean up the actual website we are then ready to email and file for a request for reconsideration. This is a technical task and should never be undertaken by a person who has no experience in such matters. Google take these request extremely seriously so you DO NOT WANT TO STUFF it up and make a mistake.

The filing is quick, but Google on the other hand can take several weeks to get back to you. It’s a nervous anxious waiting period, but as in the past, most of the consideration requests we have filed have been successful. Why? Because we are extremely thorough, methodical and clinical in our approach to Penguin and Panda recovery.



Unfortunately, like with SEO, there are companies out there that will prey of innocent business owners who are frantic and extremely upset because their website rankings have gone. Desperate people wanting quick fixes are an easy target for these scammers and you really have to be on the look out and on high alert for these people. Here are some of the scams and tricks they use to get you to use them for your Penguin and Panda Penalties:

1) they get you to sign up with them through a contract and make sure you commit to using their services for an extended period of time.

2) they are not locally based and probably somewhere offshore. Overseas costs may be cheaper and because your income has dropped the temptation to save money now can be a great lure – NEVER and I repeat NEVER go offshore for this – you want a local provider that you can meet regularly to discuss strategies and options. REMEMBER, it is these type of cheap, bogus operators that got you into this pickle in the first pace – Learn the lesson and move on!!

3) they are advertising on Adwords that they can get you out of the penguin and panda penalty – these are the worst kind of crooks and will usually just take your initial payment and do a runner. You will have no course of action as they are based overseas.

To really get out of these types of penalties, ideally you need to be working with a company that you can PHYSICALLY VISIT and discuss a long term strategy not only for your immediate ranking recovery, but also for your POST search engine optimisation. That’s right. Once you are back you are going to need a good team ( this time) to handle your SEO – not a bunch of hoons who are out for a quick buck!

You Can’t Spam Your Way to the Top of Google

If you think that you can push your SEO campaign to turbo charge mode in the hope of getting your website to the first page of Google, then you are mistaken. SEO is a lengthy process, a time consuming, labour intensive campaign that can take may months ( up to a year in some cases) for it to play out. So, if you are wanting best practice SEO and want to rank on Google in a compliant manner then you simply cannot spam your way to the top of the rankings by building back links quickly.

Why is Spamming your way to the top a bad idea?

seo-spamGoogle expects to see quality, organic search engine optimisation happening on your website. If they detect or see any unnatural linking or a spike in inbound links then they are going to respond to this with what is termed a ‘Google Penalty’ or at least a manual action. Yes, that’s correct. You site will be manually inspected by a Google employee and they will let you know that your site is penalised and will remain so until all those links have been removed. A lengthy and in some cases impossible task. The question is; do you want to risk it?

Google has clearly documented this and it’s well worth reading this before you start pressuring your SEO agency ramp up the inbound linking: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2604824?hl=en

As a business owner in Sydney you want to see your website rankings shoot up to page 1 very quickly. Any delays or fluctuations (especially drops) are cause for concern and are the things that can keep you awake at night. I totally understand that you want to rank really quickly and get your service or product out there and start selling ASAP.

In a perfect world, this would be possible. But, unfortunately we no longer live in an environment where you can rely on traditional media to drive business. Now, all we have is Google and they dictate precisely what is needed to be done to rank a site. They are without doubt, the judge, the jury and the executioner. They have the final say the final word on who will be on page 1 and as a SEO company all we can do is play by their rules.

Many business people who I speak to think that we can move mountains and somehow have an influence on the way Google ranks a website. The answer to this is YES, we do have an influence to a certain degree, but there is only so much we can do. What we can do to help your rankings is to implement a SEO campaign that is Google compliant. If we defy any of their rules they will immediately see this. Their latest algorithm can detect link building immediately and in real time. Known as Penguin 4.0, Google has become very adept and picking up spammy links and immediately penalising those sites. I guess the good news is that because it’s in real time as soon as you remove the links the Google filter will notice this and release you from the penalty. And, its not site wide. It will only affect that specific page that these spammy links are pointing to.

Our core principle when it comes to SEO, is to work in as natural and organic fashion as possible, this is the only way your site will have any chance of getting to that coveted top position. If you feel that this ranking can somehow be manipulated by doing SEO in a speedy, accelerated or hasty manner then Google is one step ahead of you.

If you can take anything away from this article, I would say that if you are prepared to stick it out for the long haul and are not expecting instantaneous results then SEO is the right path forward for your business. Realistic timings are really the key here to achieving your long term goals online. If you are operating a business that needs instant results then we suggest that you run other online campaigns in tandem with your SEO . Look at other platforms that will generate leads such as Facebook’ LinkedIn or Instagram. If you have extra marketing dollars then Adwords is probably the best way to go as it’s instantaneous and does produce fantastic results.

When it comes to your website and the online space you have to understand that although Google does deliver incredible results, you have to earn your place on the search engine. You have to prove that your site is trustworthy and authentic.  This takes time, lots of effort and constant attention to your site. Then and only then will you start to see your rankings rise.

3 ways to improve your websites authority

  • The best thing you can do is add rich content to your site. This is done through your blog or your news articles. Constantly add towhees and always make sure that you are writing for your customer base. You can even add videos if you like to improve these experience. All of these small things matter as Google looks at how long people remain on your website. Keep the content interesting, unique and informative.  This is one of the best things you can do to boost your sites authenticity.
  • As per above need rely on the over use of in bound links. This will have an extremely negative effect your website. If you are going to get links make sure they are from trustworthy sources or brands.
  • Make sure your site has been professionally designed with a strategy in place; not only for SEO but for the user experience. Your site has to offer people a first class experience and if it doesn’t they will leave very quickly. Known as excessive bounce rates, Google will pick this up and it will have an impact on your websites over all quality score. Looks at your page load speeds, graphics and the content on the page.Make it very specific to the topic of that particular page.