How to Deal with & Recover from Google Penalties

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Search engines have experienced dramatic changes in the past year alone, but the past five years really changed the game for marketers, largely due to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. Interestingly, as Todd Malicoat, the SEO faculty chair at Market Motive told us at Pubcon in Las Vegas, Google actually warned that these changes were coming five years before they actually happened. Unfortunately, even the SEO community didn’t heed the warning.

As a result, many sites were hit with penalties that some are still trying to recover from. When a site realizes they have a problem, they, first of all, need to identify what it is. This process involves understanding the difference between a penalty, filter and ban. A penalty can be either an algorithmic error where the site’s performance drops due to something like a content issue, or a it can be a manual problem, in which the search engine tells the site what it’s doing wrong. A ban is when a site included black hat SEO strategies, and a filter is more of an algorithmic issue.

Recovery can be complicated depending on the extent of the issue, but reputable SEOs are experienced in getting back in Google’s good graces.

Interestingly, as these changes have happened, Malicoat has noticed a shift in SEO from getting links to focusing on content marketing. For more information, visit

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