As a consultant here at TechWyse I field calls from all sorts of businesses that are now saying “My website is penalized by Penguin 2.0 and I lost my rankings, can you help me?” In some cases it’s “We had a great SEO company, but now we don’t show up anywhere, how much do you charge for SEO?”
Sometimes the consumer knows what’s up and sometimes they have no idea that their previous SEO strategy was as good as steroids were to Lance Armstrong. It worked well and definitely paid off in the short term, but now you’re caught and it is possible that things may never be the same again.
Sometimes a website’s previous SEO strategy is so bad that we don’t want to work with a site that can’t be risen from the dead. These sites are quite simply stuck in ‘Google Hell’.
Indeed, the new Penguin 2.0 updates mean that your backlink profile has to be cleaner than ever, and now the short cuts some companies made are coming back to haunt them in a big way. Unfortunately for the losers of the update, those backlinks you had are no longer propping up your site, but are instead pinning it down. Event worse, you have no definite way of identifying which ones those are… although some instances are quite obvious.
After all, if you’re a local based business in North America with thousands of links coming from a few domains that end in .ru, the chance that those sites lent you their authority on their own accord for the great service or content pieces you offered is highly unlikely.
So what do you do? How can rankings be restored to where they were in the golden days? How do you find your ways out of the dark ages?
Well, the truth is that your rankings may never return ever again, even with great effort. You might be better off to trash your old domain and start fresh. That can be costly, and even worse, the business owner in most cases isn’t at fault. They just happened to hire a company who produced results the cheap way and had no idea that were using the industry equivalent of steroids that is now feeling the side effects.
So how do I know a website is worth taking on? I just ask our SEO Guru and he’ll look into:
- Is there a warning in Webmaster tools?
- If so, is it a fully or partial penalty?
He will then check the backlink profile to see if it’s even salvageable. If so, we need to understand how many hours it’s going to take to clean up the mess your old SEO company left behind. Why? Because disavowing or getting rid of bogus backlinks requires a lot of time in identifying, reaching out to those websites and/or proving to Google that you gave it your best shot.
We have to take the time and care to build good quality links and content.
What does this mean?
It’s probably going to cost you a little more than you’re used to. While your past SEO company’s rates might have been nice and cheap… it was like hiring a low quality contractor. You’re going to need some good help to fix the errors and reinforce the foundation of your online marketing strategy.