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If your website has ever been hit with a Google penalty, you know firsthand how detrimental it can be to your site and your ratings. Word of advice, get rid of those bad links before they can do anymore damage. But what happens after you remove these links? Does your site automatically rise back up? Does the penalty go away immediately after? I’m here to tell you what to expect after you’ve done your part in removing either a partial manual action penalty, a sitewide manual action penalty, or escaping Google’s Penguin algorithm.

Google Penalty

The changes your site will go throughbefore,during, and after a Google Penalty

Partial Manual Action Penalty

As soon as you have cleared up whatever Google says needs fixing, they will send you an email telling you that their manual spam action has been revoked. This is great news! But what can you expect to happen after that? There are three possible outcomes.

  • Nothing changes- In many cases, these links that Google flagged were actually aiding your site and getting it higher ranks. Now that you’ve gotten rid of them to avoid Google’s wrath, your sites viewing will ultimately decrease. So you may wonder is it worth it to get rid of the penalty? Absolutely. It will only help your site in the long run
  • A little improvement, but not back up to where you’d like to be- This can occur with keywords. So if Google is penalizing certain keywords, you should be able to get rid of them and still have your site do okay. The problem with keywords is that you aren’t exactly sure if they’re hitting certain keywords or hitting your entire site.
  • Improvement over time- Sometimes patience is key. After getting the penalty removed, it may take a while for your site to get back up to where it was before. The reason for this is that Penguin simply needs to refresh its algorithm. Once that happens, you should see improvement.

Sitewide Manual Action Penalty

With this kind of penalty it can be a hit or miss. Some sites come back with about half as much traffic as they had prior to the penalty. Others return to their normal rankings within 24-28 hours after getting the penalty removed. For most sites who have been hit with a sitewide manual action penalty the results can fluctuate in the first week and will take them about that amount of time to return to a normal amount of traffic and higher page rank.

manual penalty

Google strikes with a penalty


Let me start off by saying that escaping the Penguin algorithm is extremely hard. If you manage to do it, and it is possible, then what happens next depends on what is left after you have cleaned up your site. If you have gotten rid of a lot of bad links, you will probably find that your page ranking and traffic will significantly decrease. In order to get back up, you will need to make some very good links to help balance out the loss. Remember quality over quantity. Then once Penguin refreshes your site will hopefully be back up to its normal standings.

For more information on creating quality links check out Brandon’s article, What to Expect in SEO for the Rest of 2014.

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director