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    What is a Google Penalty?

    A Google Penalty is where a website is penalized for undertaking practices which Google considers against its webmaster guidelines. This is often referred to as “black-hat” tactics.

    Some black-hat tactics websites can be penalized for include:

    • Blog comment spam
    • Directory link building
    • Over optimised anchor text
    • Too many ads featured on the website
    • Large number of backlinks on low-quality websites

    These penalties can often result in a website being removed entirely from search results, or drop considerably in rankings. This will have a negative impact on the traffic flow to a website, and how much business a website will generate.

    Google’s algorithms are constantly updating, and scan for clean, optimised websites, as well as any positive or negative patterns of use. Algorithm updates Google has introduced include:

    • Panda caused mayhem for millions of websites, if you were one of them, you were super unlucky or your website just wasn’t up to scratch in the eyes of Panda. However, fortunately, our SEO and Web Team at Matter Solutions are highly experienced and qualified in developing strategies to recover from the wrath Panda unleashed.

      What is Panda?

      Panda was a programmatic update implemented to Google’s search algorithm in February 2011. It centered on filtering the quality of results produced by Google’s search engine. Ultimately, it improved Google’s service by ridding it or pushing down in the rankings, search results of low, untrustworthy quality and optimising higher authority, trustworthy, quality websites.

      Why did Panda effect your website?

      If your website was of low quality, but ranked well due to dubious SEO practice, you were first on the Panda chopping block. There are a few things Panda would identify as reasons to disband your website. If your site was poorly created, with replicated or automated content, it was considered low-quality. Depending on the genre or category, if your page lacked credibility or wasn’t deemed trustworthy, it too saw the door. An alternative name given to sites Google was targeting were known as thin affiliates; sites that don’t produce what Google considers to be valuable online content. Panda gave preference to websites with a higher domain and trustworthy authority over sites with little to none. Unfortunately, some smaller websites, albeit even sites of legitimacy, were caught in the crossfire.

    • Did your website suffer penalties from Google’s Penguin? Did your page lose rankings? Did it get pushed down into the abyss of search results?

      What is Penguin?

      The introduction of this algorithm in 2012 caused a major change to the SEO industry. This update not only looks at how many backlinks a website has, but the quality of those links as well. Users will be penalised if there is a high number of backlinks on low-quality websites and directories. In 2016, Google announced Penguin is a part of its core algorithm, and it evaluates websites in real-time.

      Why did Penguin effect your website?

      Penguin targets websites that undertake black-hat SEO techniques, mainly link schemes. Essentially, websites spam search results by buying links, or obtaining links through link networks aiming to boost Google rankings. A second update to Penguin also targets users with too many ads, or too little content displayed above the fold. If your website is seen to be spamdexing or link bombing, it will receive a penalty.


    • Google recognised the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices, and released the algorithm update, appropriately named Mobilegeddon, in April 2015.

      What is Mobilegeddon?

      Mobilegeddon gives priority to websites that are appropriate optimised for display on mobile devices.

      Why did Mobilegeddon effect your website?

      Users who don’t have a mobile-friendly version of their website would receive a penality that decreased their search engine ranking results.  You need to ensure your website has a mobile friendly width, fonts are formatted correctly, images are high resolution, and there is a fast load time.

    How can we help?

    Having your rankings snatched away from you is a tough pill to swallow. Panda, penguin, mobilegeddon – it’s not easy to keep up with the changes Google makes.

    We’re here to help.

    Our comprehensive rankings recovery strategy allows your website recover form the ravages of a Google algorithm update – and protects against future ones. If things are really dire we will give you the honest answer you need.

    At Matter, we pay attention to Google. We know what works and what doesn’t. It can seen overwhelming at first and climbing back to a good ranking in Google can be daunting experience.

    Our Process

    • We gather data and review your link profile in considerable depth. We use third party research tools and ask you to consider anything you can provide, e.g. past SEO reports. Anything we can get our hands on link wise we want to see it.
    • We look at your website, the analytics, the code, its history, i.e. what changed and when?
    • We undertake a detailed analysis combining this data to pinpoint risks and triggers
    • These research and especially any triggers are compared with chatter in the SEO community about Google’s Algorithm Updates, such as Moz, MozCast and Search Engine Land’s Blog (and forums etc).
    • Once we’ve identified likely culprits for the penalty we can make clear recommendations for resolutions.

    Need help ASAP?

    Contact us to discuss how we can help get your business back online.

    If you’ve been hit with a Google Penalty, we are here to help. One of our experts will carry out a full assessment of your backlink profile, analysing whether your site has been hit by a penalty or is at risk of being hit by one in the future. We can then report back on any issues and detail what is needed to help your site recover.

    If you have been penalized and want to improve your website’s ranking, contact a specialist at Matter Solutions today.