How to Recover from Bad SEO

The quest for good search rankings can sometimes steer good websites down the wrong path. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of inconsistency in the SEO industry over the last decade.
While there are many excellent SEO professionals out there, there are also plenty who are either  incompetent, willfully unscrupulous, or dumb enough to believe that the worn-out, black-hat tactics of the past are still helpful to rankings today.
If a website falls victim to bad SEO, it can damage search rankings or could possibly get a site banned from SERPs completely. Luckily, it is possible to recover from bad SEO if the problems can be identified and then rectified.
Damaging SEO, sometimes referred to as “black-hat” SEO, can come in numerous forms and is often difficult for site owners to detect. Initially, the bad SEO techniques may seem effective, by temporarily improving search rankings. However, eventually the search engines will discover the cause of the artificially quick and high rankings and will change the ranking of the site with a penalty. The site will remain penalized indefinitely if nothing is done to correct the problem.
Unfortunately, the search engines won’t tell you what was detected as being wrong or incorrect on your site. Often your only indication of a penalty is a drastic drop in search rankings. If this occurs you should quickly comb through the site yourself, or with the help of a reputable SEO expert, to discover the nature of the infraction. Look for common black-hat SEO methods like cloaking, hidden text, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, doorway pages, redirect pages, and linking to bad neighbors, unrelated sites, or banned sites.
Once you locate the bad SEO practices, you must remove or fix them. Unfortunately, this can take several months to achieve. Removing bad links, for example, can be easier said than done. Ultimately, you may have to cut the offensive pages out of your site completely or redirect the site to a new domain to completely
rid yourself of bad SEO practices. Once you have successfully addressed the site problems, you should see an improvement in the rankings over time. If that doesn’t happen, you may need to appeal directly to the search engines and request reconsideration.

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