With the introduction of Google Panda in February 2011, Google Penguin in April 2012 and now Google Hummingbird in September 2013 a number of websites have noticed significant changes in their traffic, but why?
While it’s imperative that you, as a business, stay on top of your search engine positions, few companies are as rigorous as they should be. In fact, some are not even aware that they are ranking. If this is the case, it’s imperative that you take the time to explore your presence on Google in more detail and carry out a Google penalty check.
You may not have even noticed that there has been too much of a change, but start to realise that your online sales have been suffering, and that a lot of your business is coming from existing customers rather than new ones. If this is the case, it’s likely that your Google position has been affected. Maybe your company has lost a few positions, or it could have dropped off the search engine altogether, but how do you find out?
In this short guide, we will explore how you can check if you have been penalised by Google in more detail. Our guide to the types of Google penalty may also assist you.
Explore your Webmasters Tools
The first step that you should take to ensure there are no current penalties in place can be found on Google Webmasters Tools. If your website is not linked to Webmasters Tools, then this is a must. Simply click the link above and register your site.
If your site is linked to Google’s Webmasters Tools, login, click on search traffic (on the left hand toolbar) and then click on manual actions. If you see; “no manual webspam actions found”, you have not been manually penalised. However, if you do see a message, then take the time to read the issues and fix them. If it requires the removal of backlinks then you may need to seek the help of a professional backlink removal company.
Explore the anchor text that you have used previously
In order to have been punished, Google has assumed that you have actively tried to deceive their search engine. Now, just because that’s the case, it does not mean you would know if you should be punished.
If you have hired a ‘professional’ SEO company that has used poor ranking methods, many of which were rewarded before the introduction of Google Panda, then you could be suffering now.
As this is the case, it’s imperative that you use openSiteExplorer.org to explore your current anchor text distribution. There are several different points that can affect your position, including:
- Mass linking from the same site
- Linking of the same anchor text all the time
- Linking to irrelevant or spammy sites.
- Unnatural links
If there appears to be an issue, it is well worth taking the time to explore the services on offer from Link Detox Reviews.
How has your organic traffic been affected?
If you did not have an issue when checking your Webmasters Tools, then you have ruled out the possibility of a manual Google penalty. However, that does not eliminate potential issues caused by Google Penguin, Panda or Hummingbird.
To do a Google penalty check and find out if you have been penalised you will need a Google Analytics account. If you have not had one since January 2012, finding dips in traffic caused by a penalty may be hard. In any case, if you do not have an account, you need to set one up now.
If you do have a Google Analytics account, logon to it, click all traffic, then click Google organic – this will show you all the traffic you are receiving from organic (real) search engine results. Set the date back to January 2012 and you will see right in front of you your site traffic.
Do you see any sudden dips in traffic around the times mentioned in the first paragraph? If so, then the chances are you’ve been penalised. If you do see any drops, it’s imperative you contact a company offering backlink removal services to get them to help get things going again.
The three steps above, assuming you can do all of them, should take you no more than a day. That quick check could be the difference between your company failing or thriving, so make sure you take the time to do them.