So you’ve built a site and started to see some Google traffic and feel happy. And then one day comes when you wake up in the morning and find your site penalized (here are some ways to find out if you are penalized). A nightmare… But life goes on and you have two choices: either you give up and start from scratch or you try to give that old site new life.
One way to make Google re-evaluate and re-install your site is to file the reconsideration request. But before doing that you need to be sure the site is absolutely clean. So here are the steps to make sure your site is ready to get back to Google index:
- Check your Google Webmaster Tools account for alerts or site crawl errors;
- Check your site server for possible hacker attacks;
- Check your site Robots.txt (better add one if you don’t have any just to be on the safe side);
- Check if there were some sudden (negative) changes in backlink profile: both sudden rise and sudden decrease in backlinks may seem unnatural;
- Check your site outbound links (try free Xenu Link Sleuth for that)
- Check if all your site pages return proper header status responses;
- Analyze your site recent on-page SEO changes;
- Review your user generated content (for possible links to bad neighborhoods or improper vocabulary);
- Try browsing your site with the user agent being Googlebot;
- Anything else? Please share in the comments!
Also, here’s a perfect case study for you to read about a person’s website penalized and then reinstated.