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12 Steps to Recover from a Google Penalty

12 Steps to Site Ranking Recovery

by Erik Freeman on July 10, 2014


Had the fine idea to use the 12 Step program model to describe the current search landscape but of course it’s already been done. I’ve decided to post it anyway.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Google—that our site had become unrankable.
  2. Came to believe that an SEO greater than ourselves could restore us to our former ranking.
  3. Made a decision to turn our website and our analytics over to the care of our SEO as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our back link profile.
  5. Admitted to our SEO, to ourselves, and to Google the exact nature of our spam tactics.
  6. Were entirely ready to have our SEO remove all these defects from our site.
  7. Humbly asked Google to remove our penalty.
  8. Made a list of all sites we had bought links from, and became willing to to have them taken down
  9. Made direct outreach to such sites wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take content and linking inventory, and when we were over-optimized, promptly corrected it.
  11. Sought through Social Media and Content Development to improve our authority with Users as we understood Them, paying only for knowledge of their will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a traffic improvement as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other site owners and to practice these principles in all our online affairs.