SEO Guide – How to Identify Link Penalties?

The year 2012 has been passed as too chaotic period for webmasters and SEO experts with a series of sophisticated penalties such as Penguin, Panda, etc. Many websites have encountered an important and surprising fall in SERPs when Google has started penalizing them. Recent Penguin update has penalized certain manipulative links and this has made some to seriously think about giving up the affected website and developing a new one. But, some of the search engine penalties are not permanent and so, you can do something to restore your previous ranking and reconstruct your site’s flow of natural traffic.

Here we discuss about how to identify link penalties and the ways to easily recognize penalties.

link penalties

Keep reading reliable SEO blogs for latest Google updates

There can be times when your site receives penalties but they are actually not penalties at all. You have to first determine if an algorithm change is the reason for your decreased search results. You can identify it by visiting some reliable SEO blogs such as,, Google Webmaster Central blog, SEOMOz Blog, and other SEO Webmaster Forums like V7n. Besides, you have to also check out for data regarding potential penalty rollouts.

Search for notifications from your Google webmaster Tools Account

This is one of the easiest methods to identify if your site is penalized. Google will inform you that your website has been penalized for manipulative links. When you notice such a potential search engine penalty, you have to log into your webmaster tools account and check your message page from Google. Generally, Google will send a message to your webmaster tools account whenever there is an automatic or manual penalty. The message will include the particular rule behind the penalty. Surveys say that around 25000 webmasters have already got similar notices in the year 2012.

Determine the reach or coverage of penalty

When you check your Google webmaster tools account and read reliable SEO blogs for data regarding what leads to your search engine penalty, you need to be evaluating the reach or coverage of the penalty’s impact as well. You need to check a few things such as;

  • Find if your site is still indexed: Type into Google’s search bar for checking whether or not your site is still indexed. If no results appear in the search bar, then your site has been deindexed by Google.
  • Determine the extent of the changes of rankings: Check if all your keywords have been diminished in rankings. Find out if your website traffic is decreased drastically or lost a small volume only. If you determine these things, you will be able to check whether your site has got a wide penalty or complete ban or a small penalty that affects a single keyword.

Correct and enhance your SEO strategies

If you identify any weak areas in your website or choose poor link building strategies, then you have to first fix them and enhance SEO tactics. Though these steps may take a lot time and effort as well as patience to complete, you will worth all of them in the long run when Google will honor sites that give best user-experience for their readers.

Do a review of your site against Search Engine Terms of Service

No matter what is the scope and size of your search engine penalty but, you have to review your backlinking and website practices against the Terms of Service issued by the search engines.

Once you identified the link penalties, you can do follow certain methods to get the penalization revoked. Here are some ways to get out of the penalties by Google.

Build a bundle of links pointing to your website

This is the starting way in which you need to create a list of links that are pointed to your website. This is an easy and simple way to execute. You need to login to Open site Explorer, Google Webmaster Tools and employ other websites. Gather a bundle of URLs and Anchor text pointing towards your website and ensure that you have almost branded anchor text than non-branded. If you check the Google Panda updates, then you will understand that why you have been encountered with a penalty.

Write high quality content

Ensure that all the content on your site is superb quality, up-to-date and motivating. Change and improve the poor quality content and show your readers that you are a reliable site. Create social media accounts, get involved in community sources, etc to naturally clean and promote your brand image.

Remove the links

Though removing links is not simple, you have many sites to help remove links from your sites but, it is a quite slow process.

Use Google Disavow tool

When you fail to remove links, you can use Google Disavow tool but only if it is necessary.

Reconsideration request

Google is being received hundreds of reconsideration request every week. Instead of sending in a paragraph, tell them what you have done wrong in the most honest manner. Tell Google why you think you have been targeted, things you have accomplished to rectify it and how it will not occur again. Express regret for the mistakes and admit your mistakes. Put the details from Google Docs to display what links you have removed and let Google know why you are worth it.

Don’t get into the top position

You have to first clean up your website’s rankings in the top position and so, don’t get into that position till you clean up. You were first targeted due to a bad choice of anchor text. When you were targeted, you had to ensure that you were highly clean before the penalty revoked. Follow the ethical link building practices and continue to Google’s good side.

In conclusion, once you worked on the above mentioned tactics, you will be finding your site is gradually getting back to its top position in search engines and your website is receiving the organic flow of traffic.

Author bio: Lucy is a SEO expert who works in a reputed SEO firm. In her free time she also loves to write at her blog about blogging and SEO tips. You may visit her blog to know more about the SEO, link building, mistakes done and how to find the link penalties. Users may take the advice to make their blogs better and search engine friendly.