Google in its constant endeavor to provide relevant search results is always looking for ways to refine its algorithms. It follows a set of well-defined guidelines to deter websites from using spams, unnatural links and toxic domains. It continuously makes updates to punish sites and pages that have been spamming and using techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, back-link building software tools, etc. So, if your site has been negatively affected by a Google algorithm update, it could possibly mean that Google has penalized it.
Meaning of Google Penalty
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In simple words, Google penalty means lowered rankings, reduced web traffic, and very less search visibility thus negating all SEO efforts that you have put into strengthening your web presence. For instance, Google’s Penguin Algorithm update has been one of the primary reasons behind a drastic fall in rankings for countless number of sites in the time period between April 24, 2012 and October 17, 2014.
In fact, over the last two years, Google had been very regular with updates in its algorithms, with some releasing every 6 weeks. Most such updates were released with two primary objectives – first to fine tune the rankings criteria for improved relevance and second to penalize the sites that were incorporating techniques violating Google’s guidelines. In order to understand what techniques are working against your website, it is first important to keep a close tab on your site’s rankings. Unless you identify the penalty, it is difficult to recover your site from it.
There are several companies offering affordable website SEO services that also include monitoring your website for any such penalty.
Tools to Check Google Penalty
SEO companies make use of several tools to effectively check for Google penalty for their clients’ websites. These tools strive to offer a complete overview of any negative impact on your site following Google’s updates. Some of these tools are discussed in this section:
Google Analytics is a free service available that offers several features to monitor your site’s traffic and ranking status. Regarded as a primary tool, it provides a quick glance at the changes in your organic traffic and provides you an idea of when the traffic began to drop.
Google’s Webmaster Tools is also available for free and offers a number of ways to monitor your website closely.
Moz Rank Tracker is an effective tool for tracking rankings over a period of time for pages and keywords on all major search engines. However, it is not free and requires one to subscribe to it. With the help of this tool, you can closely monitor the efforts that are making an impact on rankings and also sign up for notifications on rankings updates.
SearchMetrics is another effective tool for getting a clear picture on your sites’ search visibility over a period of time. The free version of the tool allows you to see the trend over past few months. However, if you go for paid subscription, you can see the trend for a much longer period of time. The tool clearly pinpoints the peaks and lows in search rankings and the changes occurred around those times.
Seositecheckup.com offers a host of free SEO tools to help you check for all those factors that could send a signal to Google. This could be undesired links, inappropriate tagging, and many such on-page issues.
With so many effective SEO tools and affordable website SEO services available, monitoring and optimizing your website has become easy and therefore should not be missed.