Should You Abandon SEO After a Google Penalty?

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Should You Abandon SEO After a Google Penalty?

Seeing your website hit with a Google Penalty is a scary time. Irrespective of whether you have knowingly been taking actions that were going to lead to a penalty eventually or have been unwittingly sabotaging yourself, it isn’t a nice place to be.

When you first receive a Google Penalty, the first thing to do is to identify why you have been penalised – if it is a manual penalty you will usually know the reasons why straight away – and take immediate remedial action. However, in the case of a manual penalty, if you carry out a piece of work such as removing links or widgets, you might find that your initial rankings do not return to where they were pre-penalty. In the case of an algorithmic penalty, you might not see any significant improvement until the next time the specific algorithm that hit you is updated.

On top of all that, you might also be living with the feeling that, due to past indiscretions, Google is in no hurry to rank your site highly again anyway.

Why You Might Abandon SEO
If you are hit with a Google Penalty, it is perfectly understandable that you might decide to abandon SEO, particularly if “doing SEO” in the first place is what you feel got you into trouble.

The same might be true if you’ve been working with an SEO or digital marketing agency. It is only natural that if someone has been working on your website on your behalf and you receive a Google Penalty that you’re going to start asking questions of them.

Abandoning More than SEO
Depending on the severity of the Google Penalty you have received, you might decide to go further than abandoning SEO and perhaps abandon your website entirely. This would become a potential option if you have received an algorithmic penalty, in particular because of a Google Penguin update.

If Google Penguin does wipe out your site, you will be at such a low point that you may have little to lose by simply starting again on a new site, without utilizing the spammy factors that saw you penalised so severely.

Choosing to Continue
There are plenty of reasons why you might continue with SEO following a Google Penalty. SEO is constantly evolving, and it could be the case that you just need to move with the times a little quicker. If you have taken an all-round holistic approach to digital marketing, you could well have a diverse mix of traffic sources, meaning that your site can still be a huge asset thanks to social media, email marketing, and other factors, to the point where you’d be mad to write off your site.

What Path Should You Take?
While every individual set of circumstances is different, we would generally look to err towards continuing with SEO following a Google Penalty. So long as you understand the reasons why you landed the penalty in the first place, and have a clear strategic plan set up to ensure it doesn’t happen again and that you understand the techniques you should be using, you can continue to see improving results from your SEO and overall digital marketing activities.