I have been hit with a Google penalty – how do I fix this?

BY Shahin Fard

Updated: 11th October, 2022

Google Penalties

One of the main reasons you have reached this page is that you are you seeing graphs such as the one above within your Analytics profile, correct? Google Algorithm changes can make and break a company’s/organisations online business. If you are one of the thousands who strongly rely on their online presence, being hit by a Google penalty is a serious issue that needs addressing immediately.

Establishing if you have been hit by a penalty

Firstly you need to establish whether you really have been hit by a Google algorithm update / penalty or is it something else that is causing the sudden drop in traffic.

If you are one of the 10 million+ websites who have Google Analytics installed, check your organic traffic levels. If your site has been affected by an algorithm update / penalty, you will often see a sudden drop in organic traffic. By investigating further you will be able to determine whether the drop is solely from one search engine. If you find the drop is a result of multiple search engines, then the cause of the traffic drop is unlikely to be an algorithm update / penalty.

Next you should check the timing of the traffic drop, and check for recorded Google Algorithm updates. Here is a shortlist of resources to check:

If your traffic drop matches the timing of an algorithm update, it is very likely your site has been affected by an update / penalty.

Major Algorithms


Google Panda is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm in attempt to lower the positioning of "low-quality sites" in favour for higher quality websites. There are multiple factors to determine a low quality website from bad usage metrics showing User Satisfaction with your content / presentation to duplicate content/domains.


The Google Penguin update is aimed at decreasing the search positioning of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using what is declared as ‘black hat’ SEO techniques to artificially increase the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of backlinks pointing to the page.


Hummingbird is a complete re-write of the Google algorithm. It pays more attention to each word in a user’s search query to ensure the whole query (whole sentence or conversation or meaning) is taken into account when returning results. In summary Hummingbird:

  • Demotes pattern based pages
  • Demotes pages that have no user value
  • Lessens the effect of the old way of thinking about SEO - building pages around target terms no longer works


The Google Pigeon algorithm aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. The changes are visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results and are more closely tied to traditional web search ranking signals used for ranking websites.

Building a combat strategy

At Bravr, our SEO provision begins with an in depth analysis of your current position within the market and the strengths and weaknesses of your current SEO provision. We will use this analysis to devise a robust strategy that reflect your business’s goals and directly hit your target audience whilst combating any Google algorithm penalties.

Once we have conducted our in-depth analysis on your current provision, we will provide you with a strategy that shows you the intended goals within a timeframe. Our plan of action will be clearly set out and explained keeping you in the loop every step of the way. The SEO strategy incorporates flexibility to modify plan if/when necessary. The SEO team at Bravr stay on top of the complex changes in search algorithms and search criteria so that you will not fall between the cracks of the ever-changing search engine requirements again.

Because we work with our clients as partners, we take the time to make sure that you understand our goals and objectives and we make sure that they are directly aligned with yours. By working with total transparency we aim to provide you with the best SEO strategy in the industry.

Written by Shahin Fard

A digital pioneer and the brains behind Bravr Ltd,
With over two decades of expertise in the online world
A proud dad of two kids and a keen car enthusiast.

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