Chapter 20

When Google Bites Back: A Guide to Catastrophe

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding penalties

arrow Analyzing your site

arrow Looking for the cause of the problem

arrow Getting back into Google

Imagine that Google decided it didn’t want to play with you anymore. Imagine an enterprise rolling along nicely, bringing in plenty of business on the Web, perhaps even most or all of its business, and most of that business came through the search engines, when, all of a sudden . . . the site just drops in the search results. All of a sudden, you can’t find your site anywhere through any of the great keywords for which you were ranking well.

A frightening thought, eh? But it happens, and it has happened to many. Why? And what can you do about it? Well, that’s the subject of this chapter, which gives you a look at what search engine penalties are all about, how to avoid them, and what to do if the worst happens.

How, and How Much?

There are, in a broad sense, two types of penalties, and Google can impose them in two ways. The types of penalties are as follows:

Total: Your site is completely dropped from ...

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