Handy Steps to Help you Recover from Google Penguin Penalty and Regain Traffic

Any business which has an online presence needs to ensure that they have good rankings and subsequently, good traffic. However, it’s important to ensure that your site is not hit by a penalty which reduces visibility and subsequently, conversions.

In case you are hit by a penalty, it will take time to recover and see improvements, but rest assured, you can get started with some remedial measures to get back to where you used to be.

What are Google Penguin Penalties?

Google Penguin

Basically, there are two types of algorithmic penalties: Penguin and Panda. These penalties occur whenever Google changes it’s algorithm so it basically means anyone can get affected by these penalties. There are non-algorithmic penalties too but this type is site-specific.

The Penguin penalty is based on one of Google’s biggest ranking factor-backlinks! Penguin is all about spam. Penguin includes the following:

  • Low-quality backlinks – blog commenting, paid links etc.
  • Text advertisements which pass PageRank
  • Too many links with optimized anchor text
  • Excessive link exchanges

Here are the most recent penalties laid out by Google.

  • Penguin 3.0, October 17, 2014 – Affecting 1% of queries
  • Penguin 2.1, October 4, 2013 – Moderate impact on sites
  • Penguin 2.0, May 22, 2013 – Moderate change again which hit a smaller number of sites
  • Penguin 1.3, October 5, 2012 – Minor, affecting only 0.3% queries

How do you know if you are hit by a Penguin Penalty?

Identifying you are hot by a penalty is important, especially in the early stages of your site. Check for the drop in traffic and check for rankings in Google Search. If there is a drastic change, it means you are hit by a penalty. Check your Webmaster Tools for errors or messages and also keep track of updates being made by Google.

Here are the steps to recover from Penguin Penalty

Analyze your Backlinks for Quality

Keenly observe the quality of your backlinks as the main reason why you are penalized is that of numerous unnatural links pointing back to your site. Figure out all the links which are from spammy sites. Links which are of bad quality include:

  • Links from sites penalized by Google
  • Links from sites de-indexed
  • Links from spam sites
  • Links from sites with no page rank
  • Paid links
  • Hidden text links
  • Links from gambling as well as adult sites.
  • Using auto-generation tools to build links
  • Links with anchor text which is keyword rich
  • List out the links you need to remove

Create a master spreadsheet of the links you need to keep and those you need to remove. Keep doing a link audit and maintain a clear profile. If you ever get hit with any manual action penalty, this list would come to your aid for recovery. Here are some ways to filter backlinks:

  • Choose backlinks with dofollow
  • Sort backlinks by MozRank
  • Check for links coming from pages with high external backlinks
  • Check backlink statuses
  • Sort backlinks by Anchor Text

Contact the respective Webmasters

Once you’ve listed out all the unwanted links contact each and every blog with the help of Contact page and ask them to remove your link from their site.

Disavow the remaining Links

If your request to remove backlinks is not heeded, then disavow the links. This takes a few days. Just Google for the Disavow Links tool to make this happen! Now, once you recover from the Penguin Penalty, ensure you don’t get one again.

More Tips to Gain Traffic

  • Build Organic Links
  • Last, but not least, try to get good natural backlinks with content marketing strategies.
  • Once you are done, here are a few more tips to increase rankings and conversions.
  • Prepare a strategy
  • Omit all low quality backlinking
  • Start working on keyword rich content and targeted articles
  • Offer giveaways
  • Contact influential platforms and blogs
  • Acquire links from influential platforms


To recover from most Google penalties, try to remove and disavow the bad backlinks of your website. Try building organic backlinks by white hat techniques and watch your site rank right at the top.

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