Most Webmasters have heard the stories or maybe experienced themselves – you’re sailing along nicely, all of your SEO efforts have paid-off, when suddenly BANG! – Your traffic dries up. You’ve had a Google Slap. (also called being sand-boxed)
You may never know. But in Google’s eyes you’ve been bad – and now you’re being punished. Search back through those traffic-building days and you may find the cause. Were you a little exuberant with those Profile Links?
Employed the services of a Grey or Black-Hat linking service?
Maybe pushed a little hard with Article Distribution?
Whatever the method, you’ve been caught and there’s no opportunity for appeal.
What to do?
I know of no remedy other than proving that you are a good Net Citizen.
If you can’t figure out what could have caused your reprimand, then perhaps hire some fresh eyes to examine your site and ranking procedures – because if you don’t fix it, your site may never rank again. Keep updating and adding to your content and, if possible, try to get some high PR sites to link to yours. (use legitimate methods of course)
I’ve never heard of a site that didn’t use some sort of shonky methods getting penalised – I’m sure it must happen though. But make sure that you’re across the methods employed by any contractor you use to market your site. C’mon … you don’t think the guy charging $10 for 100 links is really using White Hat techniques do you? It’s SPAM people!
Search Engines don’t reveal their criteria for punishing a site but there are clues … Every 2 years SEOmoz interviews a panel of 72 SEO experts to come up with their Search Engine Ranking Factors. -giving their views on what are positive and negative influences on a page’s ranking – it’s worth a read, regardless of whether your site is sand-boxed or not.
No. 2 on the list – ‘Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers’.
So don’t claim you didn’t know!