If you suspect that Google may have penalized your domain name, the following steps can help you confirm your suspicions and figure out what to do next. When Google penalizes your domain name, you can in some instances dig yourself out of the hole and get your site back in Google's good graces. In other instances, you may need to dump your domain name and start afresh.
Repairing the Damage
Thankfully, in some instances you can repair the damage and continue using your existing domain name. Following are some common problems that can be fixed without too much trouble
Google is downgrading all websites that are not compatible with mobile devices. In fact, failure to optimize your website for mobile phone users can result in a drop of traffic of up to 30%. Thankfully, you can fix this problem fairly easily by changing your website template to a responsive theme. You will also need to adjust the website design so your site will load quickly and easily on any mobile device.
If Google penalizes your domain name over link issues, you will have to determine what the link issues are and how to repair them. If your website used link farms in the past, you will need to disavow the inbound links in order to regain your website's standing. If your site has outbound links to spammy and/or non-related websites, you will need to go through your content and remove the offending links from your pages.
At the same time, it's also important to build top quality links on your site. Link new content to older, relevant content in order to give older pages a boost. Linking to authoritative websites in your industry is also wise, as it tells Google that you are trying to provide accurate, high quality information. If you don't already have a proactive link-building plan to naturally increase your inbound links from highly relevant websites with a good rank, now is the time to come up with an effective link-building strategy.
When Google Penalizes Your Domain Name and You Can't Fix the Damage
Unfortunately, there are times when Google penalizes your domain name and you can't fix the damage. The following are some common reasons for this occurrence.
Buying a Penalized Domain Name
One of the reasons why it is vitally important to do careful research before buying a domain name is that Google has a long list of old domain names that have been penalized for one or more reasons. If you buy a penalized domain name, you will immediately have serious problems getting a significant amount of traffic to your website. Unfortunately, you cannot simply complain to Google that you just bought the URL and have nothing to do with its former owner. If you bought a penalized URL, you will probably need to let it go and pick another one.
Redirecting and/or Copying Content from a Penalized URL
If Google penalizes your domain name, you cannot simply buy another, non-penalized one and then redirect whatever traffic you have from your old domain to the new one. Google will automatically penalize your new domain name if you try to do so.
What is more, Google will also penalize your new website if you copy most of the content from your penalized website to your existing site. This can happen even if you do not redirect traffic from the penalized domain name to your new one.
If Google penalizes your website and you can't repair the damage, you will need to buy another URL and start from scratch. Following are some tips to get you started on the right path:
- If you buy an expired URL, do careful research to find out detailed information about its history, content and inbound and outbound links.
- Choose a URL that is a good match for your business.
- Build your new site from scratch. You can keep your old logo if it’s worth keeping; however, don't bother importing content from a penalized website just to save a bit of time and work. The results are never worth it.
Thankfully, you can also avail yourself of professional help when attempting to fix a penalized domain name or start over from scratch. Brandgy offers online marketing, branding and website design services to enable you to create a website that is appealing to both to Google and potential customers. Get in touch with us to find out more about how our services can enable you to take your business to the next level.