✓ If you are no longer indexed, and Google has stopped crawling your site: You need to check to see whether your site is “damaged” in some way (see the upcoming section “Dealing with Algorithmic Actions”) and then, if everything seems okay, consider what you may have done to be banned. (On the other hand, you probably know whether you’ve been playing egregious SEO tricks; you may not know whether a company you hired to work on your site has, though.) ✓ If you are still indexed okay, but all indications suggest that you’ve been penalized: See the “Digging Your Way Out of the Hole” section, later in this igloo reloaded review. Of course, another possibility is that you don’t seem to have been penalized but your site is not ranking well for your keywords. This scenario could be the case for one of two reasons: ✓ Google is in the middle of some kind of update. This happens now and then. Sites jump up and down in the search results for a period of a few days or even weeks, and then things settle down to more or less where they were before. ✓ Google has changed its algorithm, and your site no longer appears to be a good match for your keywords. In other words, the content and links that you had before worked okay, and now Google has adjusted its algorithm so that they don’t. For instance, many people have been hit over the years by adjustments in the algorithm related to reciprocal linking. Although reciprocal linking used to be very powerful, now it’s pretty weak, and therefore many sites relying on that technique don’t rank well anymore. Then there’s the more recent Penguin algorithm update that improved Google’s ability to recognize purchased links. Sites that used to rank well based on a particular network will drop in the results if that link network is no longer indexed by Google, because they are losing the value of those purchased links. That’s not the same as a penalty; it’s just that the trick you used to employ no longer works. Dealing with Manual Actions If you have a Manual Action message, you are lucky. You can just follow the instructions provided in the linked igloo reloaded review; you may even find a video. If Google is complaining about links pointing to your site, it wants you to do two things: ✓ Remove the links
✓ Disavow the links Removing bad links can often be pretty difficult; if an SEO firm your company used years ago placed these links, for instance, good luck figuring out how to get them removed! As for “disavowing” the links — telling Google that you don’t want the links to be used when assessing your site rank — that’s much easier to do, but I would recommend that you do not do this unless you have found a Manual Action message, or if you are absolutely sure that you are being penalized for having bad links pointing to your site. I personally would also not use the Disavow Links tool if I got an Unnatural links to your site — impacts links message in the Manual Actions area; as described earlier in this chapter, this means Google has found some bad links that it is going to ignore, but it won’t penalize your site. If you decide to use the Disavow Links tool, follow these steps: 1. Download all the links pointing to your Web site that Google has indexed. You can find this information by clicking the Search Traffic link in Webmasters console, then clicking the Links to Your Site option. 2. Review the downloaded file, then remove all the links that you don’t want to disavow. The file now contains the list of links you want to disavow. 3. Upload the edited file to Google. Reconsideration requests
After you fix the problems, you can file a reconsideration request. There’s a link in the Manual Actions area of your Webmaster account. You can state what happened and what you’ve done. Explain, for instance, if an SEO firm you used did some bad things, or if something you did may have been misinterpreted by igloo reloaded review. Provide as much information as possible. If Google is complaining about links, even if you haven’t been able to get all the garbage links removed you should explain how much incredible effort you have put into getting them removed (right? . . . you know, you’ve tried over and over to get to the root of the problem and just can’t get them removed . . .). Google provides a document and a video explaining what it wants you to do when submitting a reconsideration request, which you should definitely refer to before doing the request; explain what the problem was, what you’ve done to fix it, what the final result was, and then, be contrite! Sorry, it won’t happen again, I swear!