Four Free Tools for Recovering from a Google Penalty
When a website of yours has been hit by a Google penalty, and your rankings are plummeting, it’s of paramount importance that you do everything you can in order to recover your site and get traffic rolling in again.
If it is the first time this has occurred it can be difficult to know what the problem is and how to fix it. However, with the correct tools diagnosing the problem and figuring out the best solution can be very straightforward.
Below are eight tools which will help you figure out why you’ve been hit by a penalty, and how to reverse it:
1. Google Webmaster Tools
This may seem like an obvious tool to use, but it is an extremely useful one – especially as it is the only easy way to know how Google views your website.
If you have had a manual penalty put on your website, then you will be alerted in Google Webmasters. Webmasters will also notify you of the reason behind the penalty and how to fix it, whether that involves fixing broken links, removing duplicate content, or disavowing toxic links.
This will often be the best tool to use if you have been hit by a penalty, allowing you to get back to your prior rankings as quickly as possible.
2. Screaming Frog Web Crawler
Been hit by a penalty but are not quite sure what might have caused it? Screaming Frog http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ will crawl your site and spot potential problems such as dead ends, duplicate content, thin content, and internal redirects. Having your complete site crawled for errors and any potential issues is a great idea, and can save you a lot of time, especially if you have a large site. The software is free to download and use (with a URI crawl limit).
3. Fetch as Google
Fetch as Google is a nifty tool in Google Webmasters that gives you the ability to first view how Google renders a specific URL on your website, and then secondly, choose whether or not to submit that page to be indexed based on the results you get back.
You can select different types of Googlebot to view your site, and whether to the desktop or mobile version of your site. Google will give back information on your site’s HTTP response, how Google views your site, and the page download speed.
4. Google’s Algorithm Change History on Moz.com
Moz’s record of all of the updates to Google’s algorithm is really a tool within itself http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change. Knowing when each of the updates occurred, what kind of updates they were will help you figure out the reason behind your rankings plummeting. Keep in mind though that this free resource only records the announced updates, and does not include any speculated updates.