How to recover from Google Penguin update penalty?

Is your website penalised by Google Penguin updates and your website lost traffic? Are you looking for ways to recover from the Penguin penalties and get back the original traffic in Google search results? Read this article to find some tips on recovering from Google search penalties.

Is your website affected by the Google Penguin update penalties? Accept the reality. Google made the algorithm changes in the good faith belief to reward high quality website and punish the bad guys. But remember it is an automated system. Any automated system (and manual systems too) has its own limitations. It can't be 100% perfect. All past algorithm updates by Google were welcomed with mixed response. In case of Panda updates, most webmasters who run high quality content were happy that their sites got higher ranking and better traffic after the Panda updates. However, some genuine sites were also affected as part of the Panda updates.

Google Penguin updates were rolled out on 24 April 2012. Contrary to the expectations, this update has created a lot of controversies and complaints. The webmaster forums are flooded with complaints on how the genuine sites were affected and how spam sites are showing up in the search results.

The reality is, spam sites always made up their way to top search results occasionally. I don't think that scenario is changed yet. Even though Google made several algorithm changes and made significant improvements in their algorithm to eliminate spammy sites, it is not perfect yet.

Let us come back to the topic how to recover from Google Penguin penalties . Google has not given any official word on what you can do to recover from the Penguin penalties, other than publishing a feedback form where you can report your feedback on the Penguin updates. However, if you take a look at the official announcement of the Google Penguin updates, you can read between the lines and figure out what Google is focusing on the Penguin updates and then make counter measures to get your sites ranking back.

How to recover from Google Penguin updates?

Before you jump in to action, let us analyze the problem Google is trying to solve by the Penguin updates. This update is specifically meant to promote high quality websites and penalize spammy content, as stated in the official announcement of Google Penguin updates.

Take a look at your traffic reports. If your traffic is significantly reduced after April 24, 2012, that it indicates a Google Penguin penalty on your site. If your traffic was reduced before that, it is probably a Panda passed by your site. My suggestions given below to recover from Penguin updates would help you improve your site even if your site is impacted by Panda updates or not affexted yet at all.

Based on the official blog post, here is my interpretation of what Google is looking for to rank a site better after the Penguin updates:

1. If you site has original, genuine and high quality content, but if your site lost significant traffic, go and file a complaint to Google using the Google Penguin update feedback form. There is no guaurantee that Google will respond directly to you, but the feedback will be used by Google to further tune their system. And possibly, they may manually fix your case and your site could get back the original search engine ranking.

2. If you are not a blogging expert (with white hat SEO skills), do some keyword research to make sure you are using right keywords in your posts.

Well, hold on, stay away from keyword stuffing to trick the search engines. Go back and review some of your article that lost a lot of traffic after this algorithm change. Carefully review the keywords you used. Don't just look at the article alone, but look all over the page for Tags, related articles, various widgets used etc. Do you see anything that could be interpreted as 'keyword stuffing' by Google? You may want to revise your content to make it look more natural to readers and engines.

3. Avoid including hundreds of phone numbers in a page expecting to get search traffic for each of those phone numbers. If you really have a need to show hundreds of phone numbers in a page, figure out a way to organize it better with some descriptive content that explain what the phone numbers are for. Google has explicitly mentioned that this kind of usage will be affected by the Penguin algorithm change. So, if you have pages like telephone number listing, take a look at it and figure out a way to better organize it so that it does not look spammy anymore.

4. Do you have spinned articles or auto generated content? May be that worked in the past but not anymore. The official announcement of Penguin webspam update has stated that they have many more tweaks in the current algorithm change to deal with auto generated content and spinned articles. Not just he Penguin updates, but the Panda updates were also meant to deal with spammy content.

5. Is your articles copied by other sites? Spend sometime today and file DMCA notices against them. File DMCA with Google as well as ask the webmaster of other site to take down the page. Both are equally important steps. Google Search is an automated system. It depends on various signals to determine which content is original and which is copied. In most cases, Google can determine which is original, but you should not depend fully on Google to determine which is original. Keep checking the status of your DMCA complaints at the DMCA dashboard and make sure the copied content is removed from the Google index.

6. Take a look at the external links from your sites. If you are linking to any bad sites or sites that are involved in black hat SEO (webspam), remove those links. If you are on a contract to keep their links, politely inform them about the reason for taking down their links.

7. Google recommends you stay away from excessive link exchange programs. There is no hard rule on what will be classified as "excessive". So, if your site is hit by Penguin updates, I would suggest you stay away from any kind of link exchange programs. Something you consider as minimal link exchange may be considered as "excessive link exchange" by Google.

8. Avoid paid links and link selling. If you have been selling links in your site, you may want to sacrifice that revenue. Google does not like link selling since that directly affects the way Google determine the quality of a website. Google heavily depends on the number and quality of incoming links to rank web pages. Link selling would allow rich guys to buy quality links and thus manipulate the Google ranking of the websites. Also, buying links with the aim of getting PageRank is a sin, according to Google.

9. Request reconsideration. If your site was penalized by Google search, you may request a reconsideration by Google. You must correct all the mistakes before you request a reconsideration. If you have been in link schemes, get out of it. Remove all bad links. Carefully evaluate the keyword usage. If there are excessive keywords, bring it down to a normal range. Once you are confident that your side does not violate any policies and webmaster guidelines, go ahead and file a reconsideration request to Google.

Hope the above steps will help you recover from the Google Penguin Search algorithm changes. Remember to follow all webmaster guidelines in future to rank high in Google search results, especially the SEO tips from Matt Cutts.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Guest Author: Amit17 May 2012

Great tips,
I have also seen a great recovery method out of an experiment. I invite readers to check it out here:

Author: Candice Anderson11 Jun 2014 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 2

Once my friend's website was also affected by the penguin update. He tried some google penalty recovery services and the link removal service to recover his site. And now his site ranks on the first page on the google search engine. For more details see this

Guest Author: Ajay13 Feb 2015

Really good information to make the penalized website bring bank online to get the good traffic. Very important shared in this article.

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