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There are few things more dreaded in the search engine world than punishment handed down by Google. Many people have seen profits disappear overnight with the flip of the switch somewhere deep within the engine’s code. While it can feel apocalyptic when your livelihood depends on search traffic it’s important to remember that it is not in fact the end of the world. Plenty of sites have come back from a Google penalty and you can too. The key is proactive action.

The first thing you should do is make sure that you actually got a penalty from Google. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and see if you’ve received a manual punishment from them. Note there is a difference between falling in rank because of a change in Google and a penalty that was actually handed out by Google. If your traffic took a hit from algorithm changes then your best move is to research what recent changes have occurred and move forward avoiding whatever tools and techniques were hit by change. If you got a manual penalty it’s probably time to do some clean up.

Google hands out penalties to sites that it thinks are violating their guidelines. In other words they think they’ve caught you breaking the rules. The good news is Google usually gives people a description of what they were punished for so you’ll probably have an idea of what to change. One of the most common causes of penalties is bad links. These could be links from sites that Google has flagged, links that it thinks were bought, and any other link that appears unnatural. The best thing for you to do at this point is try to get these links taken off the web. Google has a disavow tool that you can use to tell Google that you don’t approve of a link, but this should only be used after you’ve actually tried to get a link taken offline since Google prefers that this tool is used sparingly.

Don’t be afraid to go overboard when attempting to clean up your site. If it got bad enough that Google decided to take direct action against your site then you’ve probably got some serious work to do. The job calls for an axe rather than scissors if you want to get back into Google’s good graces as soon as possible. By all means try to save the links that you can but if you have any doubts about a link it’s better safe than sorry.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and this is true when it comes to SEO reseller. The best thing you can do for your site is acting to prevent a penalty before it happens. Start by taking the time to learn Google’s guidelines so that you know what to avoid. Google doesn’t care if you were ignorant about the rules when you broke them, accidents look the same as conscious trickery to them. One of the best steps you can take is keeping updated with news from Google and the SEO world at large so you can see changes coming and work proactively to avoid them so that you aren’t stuck on cleanup duty.

Recovery after a serious penalty usually takes some time, but if you want to do SEO you have to develop patience. Real results are usually measured in months rather than days and visible in WME reviews. The people who succeed are the ones who are willing to keep up with the work even without the encouragement of readily obvious results.