Step by Step Guide to Recover Your Lost Traffic

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Have You seen huge Traffic Drop in your traffic in recent days? Did you receive an email from Google’s Webmaster informing you that your website has been given “manual spam penalty” because your site is seen as pure spam?

If you are not aware of the definition of “pure spam”, based on Google’s definition a website is viewed as pure spam if it has done outstandingly bad spam actions. For those who have received the letter from Google Webmaster, some of these letters have given the specific cause of the penalty and how to recover from it.

When Google says that your website is spam, here are some of the possible causes and what you can do to recover from the penalties:

What is Pure Spam and How to Recover your Lost Traffic

If Google determines that your site has been doing a lot of spamming techniques like content scraping from other web sites, cloaking or hidden text. If you have been doing the black hat SEO practices repeatedly and you frequently violate the guidelines of Google Webmaster.

The best thing to do once you have received the warning that some parts of your site are spam, then you have to immediately fix it. You should not stop unless you have fixed the problem as specified in the letter that you received from Google Webmaster. If you have been using black hat techniques, it will be much better to admit it and move forward to fix the problem. However, there is a slim chance of recovery if Google labeled your site as spam.

Copied Content

You checked your article with all the plagiarism tool and all of them were showing that this was your original contents, then how Google can say this is copied contents?

Where is the problem ?

Have you ever checked your site after one week for the same contents? Did you type the title of your article on Google search bar and any thing similar appear?

if your answer is – Yes. You have been screwed

Spammer are Copying your contents from your site and pasting your contents word by word, sentence by sentence. The worst situation is – when they copy the same on bloggers site. Since, blogger is Google’s own venture, they crawl it first and then label your site as- Copied contents.

Quick Fix for Copied Content Problem :

  • Put Copytight Notice after every page of your website/alternatively you can put this in your website’s footer area.
  • Install Wp-copy protect wordpress plugin to disable right mouse click button, so that you can discourage the copy paste
  • Never Ever syndicate your full article, Send only summery of your latest article through RSS/Atom Feed
  • Install Easy Watermark plugin to watermark your each and Every image

Still there are some idiots, who would love to copy your articles, then Give them a written warning and if they are still adamant, File DMCA complaint against each of them

Hacked Website

Unknown to you, there could be several parts of your website that were hacked by a third party. Some website hackers would place spam links and contents in your website without your knowledge.

To recover from the penalty, you have to check the security vulnerabilities of your website and make sure that you have them fixed. It could be a little tough on your part because the person who hacked the website may have designed it to become completely invisible to the website owner.

However, if you are an expert, you can locate the malware and remove it from your website. There are instances when you need to reinstall every piece of the website to ensure that the malware has been removed.

Alternatively you can install Security Ninja a premium wordpress plugin that check your whole wordpress installation for 31 type of ssecurity holes and also recommend you how you as an average user can fix.

Another very Good Security plugin is – Hide my wp, as we mentioned in our previous article,20 best WordPress plugin for every wordpress user,  how this plugin can hide your wordpress information, so that it would be more and more difficult for hackers to crack your wordpress based blog/site

Keep your website secured by using security software and if you are going to use any plug-ins make sure that it came from trusted plug-in developers.

No Valuable Content

If your site contains nothing but low quality content, there is a bigger chance that Google would penalize it. Thin contents and shallow pages would certainly not attract visitors to your website.

I was one of them who used to post article not larger than 500 words and was dreaming about big traffic after every passing day, even I was little bit lucky earlier. Then suddenly Google came with his beasts – Panda.

Spam SIte

Some people from the Webspam Team of Google looked into your website and were not happy or impressed by what they saw when the manual site action was done. To fix the issue, do your best to come up with valuable content for the website. Add more relevance and substance to your post and try to create posts that are between 700-800 words.

If it is impossible for you to create lengthy posts, but make sure that shorter posts don’t contain the huge chunk of the overall pages.

Quantity is nothing if the quality is poor.

Sometimes it is not possible to scan each and every post for the length quality of your huge site. Post admin word count is a plugin that can help you a lot to find out the size of such articles. Even using your admin post dashboard – You can sort all your post.

It is also not wise to delete all these post at a time, so if it is not possible to expand all these post to recommended level, you can join three to four post in a new single post and redirect all that post to this newly created post. This way you will be able to generate a new post as well as can fight with thin content problem.

Unnatural Links to and from a Site

Read between the line. I really mean it when Matt Cutt of Google webmasters Team admitted that Negative SEO exist then it was very much clear. You are not responsible for the ranking and traffic of your website.

Webmaster can harm your website traffic and rank using any black hat SEO Tricks or white hat link building methods.

This is the main source of Google Panda Penalty. Once Google noticed patterns of unnatural outbound links on your website, then you are more likely going to be punished for it. These unnatural or artificial outbound links could be the result of link selling schemes or affiliate clocked links or advertisement Links or people just copy pasting your articles in their own language.

If you are not sure how to find out from where you are getting traffic, one simple and most reliable source is – AWSTATS. It contain all the source sending traffic to your site.

Spam Contents

Don’t just remove the links on your site, it will be much better to perform link analysis to determine which of these links are good and bad for your website. As soon as you have identified the bad links, then it’s time to take them out.

The Biggest problem is – How do you know which link is bad for your site.?

Moz.com had already published a detailed article “How to check which link can hard your website”, the quality of any link available on your website or incoming link to your website. Besides using this method you can also deploy Broken Link Checker wordpress plugin to check the broken internal link

Sometimes it happens that you call the particular webmaster to remove a particular weblink and webmaster does not respond to your request positively. In that case, you can use Google disallow tool to tell google that do not consider  all these link  in reference to your site.

[messagebox]NOTE :  Use Google disallow tool as your last option with utmost care,  Your one bad action can harm your website more than anyone else.  Why i am telling you because due to a single minor mistake, i lost almost 50% of my traffic, and there is no way to recover this traffic[/messagebox]

Make sure that you have exerted some efforts in improving your website after the manual site actions of Google Webmaster, then you can request for reconsideration using Google Disallow tool. Google might change its perception that you are passing your websites link juices to other sites for advertorial purposes.

User-Generated Spam

Google Webmaster manual site action may have noticed that your site’s contents are spam. It’s rather difficult to pinpoint which user-generated content was considered spam because it could appear in various portions of the websites like in user profile and guestbook or forum pages.

Your website visitors may have left spam comments on the blog or wrote spam answers or questions in the forum. Google utilizes a different technique to determine if comments were spam comments or posts.

Usually the comments are gibberish and is not relevant to the post. So better start cleaning up those spam comments and posts, it is much better to make comments moderated and forum registration should be verified as well.

Thoughtful comments

Thoughtful comment wordpress plugin can help you a lot to delete all these types of comment from the front-End of your site.  Besides using this wonderful plugin always place a comment policy of your site and do not allow anyone to destroy your site.

Another issue which i have seen over the last two and half year,Large website owners/famous bloggers start auto publishing comment of all those commentators having more than 3 approved comments. This is a double edged sword, this way you are able to save your time, but inviting trouble. Am i right ?

Your Turn on how to recover from Google Penalties

I am sure if you read each and every word of this article very carefully, your blog/site is bound to recover from these manual Google penalties.

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39 thoughts on “Step by Step Guide to Recover Your Lost Traffic”

  1. Points well covered. I see that due to Hummingbird update of Google a lot of big players are also affected. Likes of SaveDelete are now forced to change their niche from Tech to News as they suffered a lot in SE Traffics.

    It is always good to build and reap. Thanks for the nice piece of information.

    1. This is very true but i think if you are able to produce some real human generated contents on your website, it is bound to attract more visitors. Keep in touch

  2. Really nice tutorial, traffic on my blog dropped rapidly during last two weeks, hoping to recover soon.
    Thanks foe sharing such helpful article.

  3. Hey Rakesh thanks a lot for great article .
    It there any google algo update going on from last 1-2 days ? i am seeing drop in my traffic .

    1. No its not been reported on any channel. But one think i would like to ask you, whether your theme implemented schema.org. if not then seriously try to implement this in your existing theme or update your theme and seo strategies, specially commenting . Keep in touch

    1. Do not afraid of these penalties. Ignorance of law is no excuse so its better to know the rules of the game. Keep in touch harun

  4. Hi Rakesh Awesome tutorial, my traffic also dropped rapidly for over two weeks after penguin update to 2.1 at 5th october 2013
    My website disappeared from google when i search with 3 words main keyword but it showed in second(2nd) page when i search with 2 words. may you explain me how this happen? is your way can solve my problem? Thanks a lot..

  5. i also left many websites after getting depressed due to traffic. Now i am thinking to apply these steps to my blogs to check the results

    1. and do not forget to inform me, i really mean it. It will help me to improve the quality of my articles a lot. Keep in touch anis :)

  6. I was really in need of this article as I’m loosing traffic every day and was unable to figure out the cause.

    1. So enjoy this article and do not forget to update me…How much this article was successful in your case. Keep in touch Arup

  7. I am totally agree with your post Rakesh. A copied and no value content is the main root of not getting success in the blogging industry. Thanks for sharing…

    1. You read it very right atul, people are coming to read your original thought not someone else idea, thus leave your blog forever if you are pasting someone else work. Thanks for this thoughtful comment. Keep in touch

  8. I also have one of entertianment blog which get panalized by google and now I also wish to recover it. I hope if i Followed your article step by step. It would be nice to recover. Well appreciated article.

    1. One more point Jubi, if you are not able to follow any step listed here, do not forget to contact me, i am always here. Keep in touch

  9. Its very important to disassociate unnatural links from your blog …Google webmaster is the best tool that you can use to get to know about problem of unnatural tools and gives you utilities to remove them from the search engine results.Thanks for sharing the suggestions man …It would surely help a lot of people .


    1. Alternatively you can use Google Disallow tool. But as mentioned in this article , take extra care to use this tool otherwise you can loose your valuable traffic. Keep in touch Pramod

  10. Hi Rakesh bro……
    It seems that you have done a great research work before writing this article……
    You have explained every bit in details……
    Traffic is something that attracts everyone eyes….. either it is in downside or upside……
    but for a blogger/webmaster it is really important to analyse each and every traffic deviation………

    1. Yes sandeep,a little research was involve but most of them were my personal experience, shared in this article. If you are loosing your targeted traffic due to some idiots, i am sure you would love to kill thim ;). Keep in touch.

  11. I’ve been thinking, what kind of a link building strategy would be the most efficient and powerful? in my opinion the most important thing is to drive targeted traffic to your website. What also matters is traffic generation. How to increase website traffic using a low cost methods and sources. I would also consider the ways to generate free internet traffic for those who has got time to spend providing it. Consistency is the key to get website visitors and will reward you. At the end of the day, website hits count.

    1. and Do not forget to update us how much this article was useful in your efforts to recover your lost traffic. Keep in touch Sameer.

  12. Hi Rakesh, great tutorial dude, I hope this tips and guidelines will be very helpful to all the bloggers.

  13. Thanks a ton for the post, Rakesh Sir.
    I have two more requests:
    1. Can you please suggest a few free tools/methods that will help me find out if someone else is copying content from my blog.
    I have more than 190 posts up there and it will be really tedious to have to check each of those with Copyscape.
    2. How do I deal with trackbacks from low quality sites?
    Hope you will reply to that soon.

    1. Right now trackback does not add value to your site this is my observation.Have you seen in any problogger’s blog? So in this case my suggestion is disable this feature From your blog. First point is little bit crucial but right now i am totally dependent on Google and AWAST to track copied contents, SPecially AWSTAT display all those sites sending traffic to our site. These spammers does not rewrite our contents word by word thus bound to leave traces,using that traces traffic comes to our site. You are required to see the full list of websites in awast and then check the link manually.

      Hope these two points will be helpful to you.

  14. Very nice tips indeed on recovering traffic. However, I have a doubt about one point which you mentioned i.e. google crawls blogger faster than others because I have tried this though not intentionally.

    1. Try the same with some good value point and give me your feedback than. Keep in touch Maninder

  15. Nice guide to resolve possible penalty by spam & unnatural activities with our site. After recent updates all above tips are must follow things for a webmaster. Anybody who cares about this will remain active in online presence…otherwise it will lead to less traffic resulting in loss of business.

    1. Great words Narendra. This is the whole reason, i have written this whole guide for all those suffering with google penalties. Keep in touch

  16. Wow. An incredibly important blog post for every webmaster/blogger nowadays, in case their website’s been penalized by one of these Google updates!
    Thank you for sharing this… Keep it up :)

    1. Glad to know that you like this article to recover your lost traffic, Do not forget to update me – How much this article was helpful to regain your traffic. keep in touch

    1. I am quite sure, if you will follow all these steps, success will be yours. But, DO not forget to update me. Keep in touch

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