SEO Recovery From a Google Penalty
A manufacturer of military specification LCD monitors and touchscreen displays – we’ll call them “Tuff Displays Inc” – approached us in June 2014.
Tuff Displays Inc had a comprehensive website of over 100 pages showcasing their established business of 12 years. They had used the services of an SEO company for several years and enquiries were generated from the UK and overseas. However, the tactics used by the SEO company eventually became problematic with algorithmic changes in Google eventually causing them to be hit with a penalty from Google. The suspicions that things were not well were aroused when enquiries and website visitors dropped drastically earlier this year. Things had gotten so bad that even searching for the company by name only yielded results from page 10 of Google’s results.
The Problem: Investigating the link profile, it was obvious that Tuff Displays Inc had some highly suspicious links, including a disproportionately high number of links from a single site, links from low quality sources and many links using the same text. This issue appeared to have been worsened by the omission of traditional ‘white hat’ optimisation techniques, meaning that when the inbound links were discounted and ultimately penalized, rankings & visitors plummeted.
Solution: Tuff Displays Inc had a lot of cleaning up to do, and we ended up requesting that bad links were removed (impossible in many of the cases, especially from overseas link farms) & disavowing the remaining links through Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Some mild SEO was performed, but the website already benefitted from some great content, so usability, navigation and load speed were issues which were addressed in order to reduce bounces.
By September 2014, several of Tuff Displays Inc’s pages were starting to appear in the 1st page of Google eventually moving to position #1 or #2 for certain search phrases, with good quality leads generated from the UK and overseas.
Tuff Displays Inc supply parts to major defence companies and as a result, I do have to keep their identity secret, however here below is an email received from the Managing Director yesterday afternoon with name omitted: