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Google Slapped and the Recovery Process

From aggressive link building campaigns to outbound links pointing to bad sites, Google search engine penalties are alive and well.  And we certainly can learn something from those that have been penalized and recovered from such penalties.

In September of 2007, there were quite a few Web Directories that were hit with a penalty.  The penalty caused even their site names to be nearly dropped from the Google index.  There was quite a bit of buzz in the Webmaster community because many of the top and most respected directories could not be found in Google’s SERPS.

Nearly five months later, Jeff from Aviva Directory made a detailed blog post describing what happened and how they recovered from the Google penalty.  It’s a very interesting read for Webmasters and SEO experts as well.

If there was any hope of recovering their place in the SERPS, Aviva had to clean up the problems that caused the damage.  Jeff notes ten areas of interest that were addressed.  They include:

1. No more paid links
2. No more template sponsoring
3. No linking to bad neighborhoods
4. Increase quality content
5. No more reciprocal links
6. No more cross linking
7. No more domain private registration
8. Reduced directory ownership
9. Elimination of domain redirects
10. Removal of top and new links categories

Just looking at this list makes me cringe. The scope of the work needed to clean up after the Google penalty storm must have been monumental and quite time consuming.

I’m very encouraged after reading Jeff’s blog post, and I recommend everyone to read it. Most Webmasters when faced with such a serious penalty take the easy route and rebuild under a new domain. For a brand such as Aviva, it was certainly worth the effort to recover from being Google slapped.
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