Reviews & Reputation

3 Steps to Recovering from a Bad SEO Strategy


There’s no doubt you have dedicated a lot of time and energy to building your online presence and working your way to the top of Google. Despite all of this hard work, you may wake up one day to a major dip in visitor traffic, or find your page has suddenly disappeared into the depths of search result listings. This is arguably one of the most discouraging and frustrating parts of owning a website. If you’ve noticed a sudden drop in your site’s visibility, there’s a very good chance you may have either been penalized with a Google manual action or been the victim of an algorithm update.

As search engines continue to implement upgrades to their ranking systems, you will likely have to update your website’s SEO strategies at some point, especially if you have utilized deceptive tactics in the past. Strategies used just a couple years ago may now be considered spammy, causing all of your hard work to be erased – but don’t fret! While the road to recovery may not be a swift one, there are three major steps you can utilize to help get your site back to its previous ranking, if not higher.

  1. Identify the problem.
    The first step to recovering from a bad SEO strategy is to understand what you did that pushed Google into dropping your rank and/or laying down the virtual law. Maybe you were stuffing your pages with keywords or links, or perhaps you’ve been posting duplicate content. The best way to recover from these problems is to familiarize yourself with recent changes in Google’s algorithm and investigate your site’s Webmaster Tools. With this information, you can determine what may have tainted your online visibility.
  2. Make the necessary changes.
    Once you have identified the problem(s), you can take action by removing black hat SEO and replacing it with an ethical, Google-friendly strategy. As you begin to make these changes, it is crucial that you abide by the search engine algorithms currently in place, paying attention to updates like panda, penguin, and hummingbird. If you have received a manual action notice from Google, you must first address the established problem, and then you can use Webmaster Tools to request the removal of your penalty.
  3. Be patient and monitor progress.
    Now that you have made the necessary changes, keep an eye on your progress, but be patient–it takes time for Google to process updates to your website. For a manual action penalty, you’ll need to wait for Google to determine whether your work solved the problem. If it has, the flag will be removed, and your site should return to normal. If you have not made enough changes and are still violating Google’s guidelines, you will be notified and should move forward with attempting to reverse the penalty. For an algorithmic penalty, all you can do is make sure you have addressed all potential problems and wait for the next Google update to refresh the index, hopefully removing your penalty. If you still do not see improvement at this point, your efforts were not sufficient, and you should reevaluate the problems with your SEO and continue addressing these until the next Google update.

Ultimately, if you are penalized or bumped lower in rankings, it’s because Google doesn’t think your current strategy is helpful to the reader. Although a drastic, negative change in your website’s reach is, no doubt, upsetting, think of it like this: you are changing your online marketing strategy to better serve your patients–who are the main focus, after all.

To ensure your outdated SEO has been thoroughly replaced with an updated strategy, why not leave it to the professionals? At Rosemont Media, our team is experienced with not only implementing strategies that have proven successful, but also eliminating the SEO that is negatively affecting your reach. Contact us today if you’re interested in receiving a website performance analysis and moving forward with your SEO recovery.

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Katie is a Senior Content & SEO Strategist at Rosemont Media. Growing up in Illinois surrounded by corn fields, Katie started her transition west by attending Augustana College in the Quad Cities, where she received her BA in Business Administration and Communication Studies. After earning her degree, Katie made her way to San Diego to experience the bliss of living in paradise as she pursued a career in marketing. A Midwestener at heart, she ultimately returned to Illinois to be closer to family. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and exploring the local brewery scene.