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How To Recover From A Google Penalty – Finally Explained

The other day Google really screwed the world of SEO when they launched their moronic Penguin Update.

Since that day, people have been really confused. They’ve been affected by the update and they honestly don’t know what to do. Many people are dropping SEO altogether. They’ve had enough of “the battle” and are moving in other directions.

How To Recover From Google PenaltyMe personally, I think part of what’s happened is great. It means less competition for me. The last update sort of reset SEO. A lot of the people who were affected have given up. The competition is weaker than its been in a very long time.

The thing we need to remember is that something’s working. There are still 10 spots on each page of Google and there are still many websites dominating. You just have to find out what they’re doing and copy them.

After months of testing differenet strategies, I came up with a simple way of recovering from any Google Penalty. I personally haven’t found anyone doing this so I guess you call it my secret strategy.

I’ve done this on around 7 sites and so far it’s worked on every one of them. Sooner or later this will be common practice, I’m sure. If you’re going to use this strategy first back up your site and be ready to lose any domain branding you’ve done over the years. You will have to scap your domain, but ultimately you’re going to be able to quickly re-gain your old rankings.

Here it goes:

1. Buy A New Domain

Yes, in order for this to work you’re going to have to scrap your domain. That means tossing it in the bin and buying a new one. The reason is simple, you’re going to transfer your old domain to a new one. If you’ve gotten a bad penalty and have been struggling to rank for a while, the best possible strategy is to scrap your domain and get a new one.

The trick is to get a user friendly domain. In 2011 thousands of people made their livings from EMD’s. Exact match domains. Domains that target the keywords in their domain. For example cheapwoodfloorboards.com is the EMD of “cheap wood floor boards”.

For some reason Google ranks you extremely high for the keyword/s in your domain. After the last few panda updates EMD’s have been destroyed. They’ve been badly penalized. Why? Well because Google knows their built to make money and 90% of the time they’re full of crappy content.

So if you have an EMD that’s been penalized this is going to work even better for you. You need to find a user friendly domain that’s memorable and it must be a .com.

2. Registration And Hosting

It’s essential that you privately register your domain hiding your details from whois. With all domain registrars, you can choose to pay around $10/year for private domain registration. Without privately registering a domain, the whole world knows you own it; that includes the search engines.

Once you’ve privately registered your new user friendly domain, you need to host it on its own dedicated IP address. Not too long ago, a friend of mine had his network of 600 sites de-indexed. How, why, what??

Yep, he had them all hosted on the same IP address and most of them were awful sites. So once Google decided they didn’t like a few of his sites, they de-indexed every site he owned. That’s why it’s vital to use private domain registration and SEO hosting.

You can get 5 dedicated IP addresses with SEO Hosting or any other SEO hosting company. Just sign up, host your new privately registered domain on its own IP away from your other sites and move onto the next step.

3. Setup Exact URL Structure As Old Site

Once you’ve hosted your new domain you need to install WordPress or whatever else you want to use. Next you need to setup the exact site architecture as the old site. That means creating all of the posts/pages/tags and categories on the new domain that you have on the “old” one.

Doing this is a huge pain in the ass and it takes a long time if you’ve got a big site. All you need to do is go into the admin of your old site, first head over to the categories and copy those onto your new domain. Make sure your categories have the same URL’s i.e. olddomain.com/category-one/ ===> newdomain.com/category-one/

What we’re going to do is forward the old domain onto the new domain. This will essentially redirect all the old domain URL’s to their respective pages on the new domain. So if your URL’s aren’t exactly the same on the new domain; you’re going to be getting 404 errors. (i.e. olddomain.com/amazing-post/ ===> newdomain.com/amazing-posts/ This would cause a 404 error and the strategy would fail)

Once you’ve setup the categories with the same URL structures on the new domain, setup the pages. They need to be exactly the same. Literally copy and paste all pf the content, titles, descriptions and keywords from the old domain to the new. Again, make sure the URL’s are identical to those of the old domains.

Straight after the pages you need to do the posts. Just copy all of the old posts onto the new domain and publish them in order of old to new. Copy and paste the titles, descriptions and keywords into the new posts on the new domain. Also make sure you copy all of the post tags too. You need every URL of the old domain on your new one.

Also; setup the basics. Install the same plugins, same theme, configure everything and make it all look nice. You get the picture, make everything the same. The only difference should be the domain.

4. Spring Cleaning

If you’re trying to recover a little niche site or exact match domain that got penalized for spam; use a new theme. Make it look different. The key is to make the new domain look as clean as possible.

Start to de-optimize the site and all of its content. Use less keywords throughout your posts and less header tags. The trick is to build the new domain for people and not the search engines. If your content sucks then make it better.

There is literally no point in doing this if you’re trying to force a pile of crap content to the top of the search engines. That’s just not going to work in the long run.

5. 301 Wildcard Redirect

Now is the fun part, you get to redirect all of the pages on your old domain to their respective pages on the new domain. You can do this by logging into your cpanel (usually located at yourdomain.com/cpanel), going to the “redirects” page and setting up a new wildcard redirect like this:

301 Redirect

You need to keep the type as “Permanent (301)”. In the box below you need to enter the domain you want to redirect. Obviously this is where you enter the domain that’s been penalized. Click the drop down box and you’ll find it there. You must be in the cpanel of your old domain or home account.

In the “redirects to” field just enter the exact URL of your new domain. Below that make sure you select Wild Card Redirect and then click the add button. What this will do is permanently redirect all of the pages on your old domain to their respective pages on the new one.

In terms of SEO, this passes almost all of the link juice from the old domain to the new. It’s supposed to transfer between 80 and 95% of the link juice. It will allow you to almost instantly rank for the keywords you were previously ranking for with the brand new domain. The link juice is virtually all the “Page Rank” your old domain has aquired from its backlinks.

So all the backlinks you built to the old domain get transferred through to the new domain (in effect). Unfortunately some of the “juice” gets lost in the transfer. That just means you need to build some fresh links to your new domain to re-coup its old rankings.

6. Promote New Domain

If you’ve made it this far, your new domain should be live and the old domain should be completely redirected to the new one. After the wildcard redirect, it may take a few days up to a few weeks for Google to notice. That means you probably won’t see any instant rankings (but it’s totally possible).

With that being said, things can happen pretty quickly. To successfuly launch your new domain, you should write and distribute a couple of press releases. After that you should bookmark all of your site’s new pages. Straight sfter that you can start with your new SEO strategy.

Now funnily enough; people are suggesting that you don’t do any SEO. Honestly I think that’s nuts. The reason being is that the people who did the least link building seemed to come out on top after the Penguin update. Really that’s just because most people built links the wrong way.

So after this update I advise everyone to build “white hat” links. I mean:

  1. Social Bookmarking
  2. Manual Article Directory Submissions
  3. Manual Web2.0′s
  4. Guest Blogging
  5. Social Signals
  6. Content Syndication
  7. Homepage Backlinks

Really, those are the only seven link building techniques I truly believe in at this point in time. I believe everyone should stop doing spun submissions. i.e. spinning articles and submitting them to thousands of websites. Google is quickly catching on to spun article submissions.

Even if your articles are spun really well; it’s a risk. So with your new domain; it’s best to build a few hundred base white hat links. This means using the basic 1 article = 1 backlink principle. And that means in order to build 1 backlink, you need to write/outsource 1 article.

Manual web2.0 and article directory links on high PR sites work very well too. Social bookmarks and social signals both work as they always have. Content syndication also works as does guest blogging. In fact guest blogging is the ultimate post penguin strategy, but it’s not exactly cost effective.

Lastly homepage backlinks. Homepage backlinks have been around since the very beginning and while they have taken a knocking, they seem to be very effective today. Homepage backlinks are just backlinks from homepages. But not just any homepages. Homepages that are usually old and high Page Rank.

All in all, it’s very possible to recover from Google Penguin or whatever other update that’s struck your site. You could attempt to revive your domain by continually building high quality backlinks. But the chances of completely regaining your old rankings are slim, at least right now.

So if you’d like to quickly re-gain your search engine rankings and even dominate your competition; follow this strategy. Get a new domain, setup the same URL structure, spring clean, wild card redirect and promote it with high quality white hat links.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Join the email list on the right for more SEO tips, tricks and secrets. Also leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below in the comments. :)

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7 comments
cassidymoore
cassidymoore

Google penguin update is the most dangerous for any website.. It suddenly drops the website ranking from first page to some other page.. And it takes very long time to recover.. There are some google penalty recovery services also available to fight back with penguins..

PerfectMiles
PerfectMiles

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David
David

Fortunately I have not been affected by this update, but this is still excellent information for promoting an existing site, thanks David!

byron
byron

Hi, all good stuff I think. My only concerb here is copying content over as is. Google will flag this as duplicated. (and google keeps a date track on everything) So, will this duplicate content be disgarded by google. ie the new site will be even less ranked then the old penguinized one?

Matias Leiva
Matias Leiva

Penguin updates have effected sites that are using irrelevant content to create backlinks and also 'keyword stuffing' anchor texts and on-page seo. If your spamming sites with content about weight loss and inserting anchor text about mlm, that is now losing its link value. If you are going to do a 301 redirect, you may as well purchase an aged domain with authority then do 301 redirect. If your old domain has been slapped and now your redirecting to your new domain what's the point? Its already loss value in links and authority. Thanks for the tips David!

Tom Thiessen
Tom Thiessen

LOL....I *just* figured out the fastest way of getting my spinning finished. :P

Micah
Micah

Lucky for me I haven't been affected by this update. Even so this is some valuable information. There's a lot of people blogging about this right now and most don't a clue what they are talking about. It's nice to have someplace to go where you can count on knowledgeable answers.

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