A typical scenario would be that your site has always ranked well for your selected keyword be it carpet cleaning Auckland or mortgage broker Auckland. Then one day it's gone from the first page and even further into the depth of the Internet where bad websites go to die.
There is also a good chance that you may not be aware of the penalty till you actually refresh your browser and search for the ever dependable term you have relied for those new business leads.
Unless you have a Google webmaster tools account verified with your site via the identification tag you will receive no notification from Google as to the penalty applied.
Why do I have a Google Penalty?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a penalty. Most of these are a result of unnatural back links from external sites. Probably as a result of a over enthusiastic SEO expert looking for a quick fix to your rankings. If a link has been bought or placed purely on the belief it will improve your rankings then there is a good chance it has contributed to your Google penalty.
Determining what is a bad link is probably easier to understand by having a clear understanding of what is a good link. A link from Wikipedia or a accreditation site related to your services is good. A link from a business directory in the United Kingdom for a Auckland based landscaping company is not!
Google Penalty Removal
Once you have gathered a full list of back-links and have determined what is good and what is bad then the work can begin in earnest.
The process is long and needs to be clearly documented to show Google the intent and dedication in removing the penalty. It can feel like doing lines after school in detention but if it was easy to remove these penalties I am fairly sure the repeat offenders would be far more prevalent.
Email site admins requesting the removal of what you have considered to be low quality back-links. This process needs to be repeated at least on three occasions. Finding the Emails of site admins can be time consuming if the contact details are not listed on the site. You can also discover these details via sites such as WHOis.
This is Google powerful new feature that allows you to upload a list of URLs that can represent a whole domain or a individual page. To be used with caution and exclusively for those links that you have no control over or have been unable to get the admin to remove it manually.
This is a post in itself as to its use and application. I will be delving into this in a future article.
Google Reconsideration Request