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It seems like in the early part of 2015 the world has woken up. We’ve sometimes wondered about how sensible it was setting up a marketing agency in the teeth of the worst recession for 100 years, but we’ve had more enquiries in the first 3 months of this year than we did in the whole of 2014.  If you want a barometer for business confidence then we’re definitely it!

One recurring issue that continues to dominate is the vexed question of Google and how it can make a huge impact on how our business operates and how it can be mastered.  Many have tried, failed, and then just resigned themselves to the fact that they have to shell out to engage with a Google audience.

Specifically this week I wanted to look at the question I’ve been asked 6 times in the past week – Has my site been penalised by Google?  The simple way to find out is to log into your analytics, filter organic traffic (you don’t want your paid traffic in here), set the range for the past 3 years and see if anything like this has happened without you actually making any site changes or doing anything:

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If it has then the second question you need to ask is “have I hired anyone to do SEO for me over the past 3 years but I wasn’t ever really sure what they did?”

If the answer is yes then it’s likely you have been effected by one of the algorithm updates (names Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) that have been implemented in the past 12 months.  If you don’t know what these are then can I suggest you sort out a nice cup of tea, put aside 15 mins and then follow this link to Moz who explain it all beautifully.

If you want the quick explanation it’s that someone has put together a link building strategy that Google considers to be dodgy.  You’re being penalised for having these links pointing to your site and you need to get them removed and start again with an honest approach to getting ranked on Google.

What can I do?

1. You can ignore it and keep spending your money on adwords.  This is fine right up to the point that you stop paying Google and the traffic stops – many people don’t mind this. Most advertising needs paying for, look at Nike and Coca Cola, so expecting it for free isn’t exactly the most robust business strategy.   If it brings clients in and enables you to convert them and make a margin then keep doing it and scale it up.

2. Google is about reputation and most people instinctively trust those companies or individuals that appear on the first page of Google for their chosen area of expertise.  It also looks good amongst your own peer group and, you know, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of ego. Being slapped in the wrist by Google isn’t the end of the story and you can get those dodgy links removed and you can adapt your website so it is optimised for search engines in a good honest way.  In much the same way you run your business.

If you think that you might be on the Google naughty step then drop us a line and we’ll give you a free appraisal and some advice on what you can do to get your rankings back.  You can call me on 0774 009 8092 or email at Gavin@bhmMedia.com or fill out the form below and we’ll come back to you.

 

[contact-form-7 id=”5375″ title=”Have you been penalised?”]

 

 

 

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