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The 5 Stages of Penalization and Recovering Your Rankings


Has your website been penalized by Google?

With a variety of algorithm updates rolling out in the past few years, many a website has been penalized and has faced the choice of renouncing and moving on, or trying to recover what they had lost.


The 5 stages of penalization and recovery

When people realize that their website has been penalized for one reason or another, they typically go through 5 stages that remarkably resemble those for the grieving process.

  1. Denial – At this stage the person realizes that Google has likely penalized their website but doesn’t want to recognize it. Instead they pass it off as an error, or just another step in the Google Dance that can occur from time to time, assuming their rankings will stabilize and/or return to normal shortly.
  2. Anger – Once the anger hits, all of the hurt feelings come out. Website owners are mad at the world, but mostly Google for doing this to them. If they used spam / mass marketing tools and were caught up in a algorithmic or manual penalty they might be wondering why they were downranked while their competition (who likely used the same tools / methods) weren’t downranked as well.
  3.  Bargaining – Bargaining is the point in the recovery process where website owners realize what they have done wrong, but aren’t really sure how to fix it. They know that they probably shouldn’t have used the tools, techniques, or strategies that they did, but they’re not sure how these things really affected their sites aside from the obvious fact they have been penalized.
  4. Depression – Website owners in this stage of recovery are pretty much mad at the world and deeply saddened at the same time. They wonder if there’s even a point to trying to optimize their websites as there’s a chance the effort won’t amount to anything, they’ll just get penalized again, etc. They begin to see all SEO and marketing as a complete waste of time.
  5. Acceptance – At last comes acceptance. Website owners know that in order to get their rankings back (or improve them at least) they are looking at a long road of hard work ahead of them. Sustainable techniques will have to replace spammy ones, and there will be no more opportunities for shortcuts.

Having your website penalized can be a big blow to your business and as such can be very upsetting. What you need to remember is that it is not the end of the world, and that there are ways to recover. There is a good reason to use an SEO service businesses have used for years to help rebuild your website’s rankings to be as good if not better than ever before, and that is simply because your business is at stake.


Your takeaway

Search engine optimisation is something that your business cannot afford to be without, but as a brand it is your responsibility to be smart about how you go about optimising your website. If you are using a search engine optimisation service other businesses are working with, ask a few of them about their experiences. If they too have experienced ranking penalites, it might be time to go with a new provider! If everything seems to be going well for these other businesses, you can rest assured that someone is doing everything they can to help your website recover and come back even stronger!



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