Ah, hell is not reserved for the afterlife if you are a site owner that's displeased Google. Hell lies right in your website analytics. One day you're swimming along with plenty of site visitors pouring in from Google searches and the next day poof they're gone. I've seen this happen time and time again to businesses, especially after the Panda algorithm change. They lose a major amount of traffic and lose their sales.
Google doesn't send everyone to the deepest circle of hell, though. There are six circles reserved for people who displease the Google bots. The seven circles of Google hell are:
- Google never liked you. Your site has never had great traffic from and you can't figure out why.
- Your traffic is slowed to a trickle over time.
- There is a sudden drop in traffic
- Google stops all your traffic.
- Your site isn't even being indexed anymore.
- You've lost your AdSense account.
Don't lose hope if any of these Google penalties have happened to you. There are several things you can do to get back in Google's good graces.
Check Your Links
Some of the latest Google algorithm changes deal with linking. Google hates these types of links:
- Broken links
- Spam links in forums and comment sections
- An abundance of sponsored (paid) links
Sweeping your site clean of these linking offenses can really make a difference in your Google ranking. No need to go it alone. There are many websites and plugins that can make the task easier. I use the Broken Link Checker plugin for broken and redirecting links and it works great.
Stop Your Stuffing
Panda really put the smack down on sites that keyword stuff and yet I still see people doing it religiously. They didn't get the memo, so I'm leaving one here:
DON'T USE A KEYWORD MORE THAN TWO OR THREE TIMES IN ONE ARTICLE.
Better yet, just write the darn article and don't think about how many times you use a keyword. To get Google to love you again you will also need to go back and keyword de-louse old articles.
Once upon a time you could throw anything up on a site and it would get traffic. Not today, my friend. Your content needs to be chock full of useful information and interesting visuals. There has been a lot of research that points out that the longer your content is the better Google likes it. Of course, your readers will sometimes prefer shorter content because, well, no nobody has time to slog through a 2,000 word article. Just be sure to keep your article over 200 words because anything less is usually deemed as "thin" by Google bots.
If your traffic has slowed to a trickle over time, that usually means you need to beef up your content posting and keep it steady. It's simple. Your content slows down, you traffic slows down.
Cut Out the Stealing
If your site isn't even being searched by Google bots anymore or you've lost your AdSense account, you may have been pinged for plagiarism. Remove all of the content you got from somewhere else and apply to have your site re-indexed.
Start off with these tactics and I assure you that your site will start getting more traffic again. It will be slow, but have patience. This Google penalties hell is escapable.
Photos edited from these Creative Commons Images: Westboro Baptist Church Protest and Counterprotest via photopin (license)