What to Do When You Get Hit with a Google Penalty

Get Prepared If You Get Penalized by Google in San Diego, CA

Even if you practice white hat search engine optimization, your website might still get dinged by an algorithm update or a change in Google policies. So, what do you do when Google penalizes you?

1. Assess the Impact

Find out exactly what traffic you’re losing and when you started losing it. If you know the impacted areas, then you can diagnose the problem.


  • When did traffic start declining?
  • Is it specific pages or all pages?
  • Is it brand, non-brand, or both types of keyword traffic?
  • How significant are your losses?

2. Find the Issues

Google’s penalties are usually based on something that you did. It may have been accidental or something that was previously acceptable, but your penalty will be explainable with some research.

Review your Google Search Console data and use a link checker to find crawl issues, then look at your server logs, and talk to your web team about recent changes.

3. Correct the Issues

Your issues might come from anywhere. For example, you might need to update your SSL certificate if it’s security problem or remove paid links. Whatever the problems, take the time to thoroughly clean and fix all issues.

4. Ask Forgiveness

Once issues are fixed, you need to have Google review your site. Resubmit your site to Google via Search Console once you’re sure that all issues are fixed.

If it was an algorithm penalty, then submitting your sitemap should be all you need to do for Google to recrawl your site. If it’s a manual penalty, then you’ll need to submit a reconsideration request.

In either case, you won’t see an immediate change, so expect 5 to 7 days before either your traffic returns or you get a response from Google.

Learn more about SEO best practices by reaching out to Saba, Inc. and speaking with one of our San Diego internet marketing professionals. We offer complimentary consultations, free website analysis, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today at (858) 277-1717.