Letâ€™s see the seven main reasons why your site has not recovered from the Google penalty, yet.
1. You havenâ€™t cleaned up your link profile enough
Because backlinks are the most important ranking factor in Google, most of the penalties are caused by links problems. The only exceptions are Google Panda and Google Quality (Phantom), which focus more on content.
If your backlinks profile still has a lot of bad backlinks, you might not recover until you remove all of them, especially if you are dealing with Penguin. Creating a disavow report with the bad backlinks you couldnâ€™t remove itâ€™s highly recommended. The Penguin algorithm was built to decrease the value of sites that are trying to cheat the system.
To clean up your backlinks profile, you have to conduct a complete analysis of your existing backlinks and do your best to remove most of the bad links.
When Googleâ€™s John Mueller was asked if disavowing bad links is the same as removing links, he responded:
â€śFrom a theoretical point of view, using the disavow tool is enough but from a practical point of view it almost always makes sense to still delete those links as much as possible.â€ť
2. Your disavow report is incomplete
If you are submitting a disavow report, you have to use the correct format and make sure to include all the bad backlinks. To easily create a report with all the bad links, you can use Monitor Backlinks disavow feature.
Googleâ€™s disavow tool will only work if you are following the correct format. Not disavowing all the bad backlinks can delay your recovery. If you are going to disavow a link, itâ€™s best to disavow at domain level.
When submitting your report to Google disavow, make sure no errors are displayed.
3. You have to wait for another algorithm refresh
John Mueller, from Google, has confirmed in a Google Webmaster thread that to recover from a Penguin algorithm penalty, Google has to run the algorithm again. Hereâ€™s John Mueller response:
â€śYes, assuming the issues are resolved in the meantime, with an update of our algorithm or its data, it will no longer be affecting your site.â€ť
The bad news is that Penguin gets an update very rarely, and sometimes it can even take one year. This rule applies for every algorithm penalty, meaning that no matter what algorithm has decreased your traffic, youâ€™ll have to wait for a new update to recover your rankings. The only thing you can do is have your website ready for when that will happen.
4. Your content is holding you back
Your websiteâ€™s content is extremely important. If you have duplicate problems or very thin content, you were probably filtered by Google Panda, which is one of the worst penalties to have. Why? Because you have to revise the whole content on your website and make sure it follows Googleâ€™s guidelines. Your content has to be informative and give value to the readers.
The days when 500 words long articles were enough to rank high in Google are long gone, and webmasters have to adapt.
Itâ€™s also recommended to run a plagiarism checks and see if you have duplicate content issues. If you do, get rid of the duplicate paragraphs or content by removing or editing your existing articles.
5. Your donâ€™t have enough good backlinks
Even if youâ€™ve removed most of the bad backlinks and disavowed the ones you couldnâ€™t delete, it doesnâ€™t mean you will surely recover. If your website doesnâ€™t have enough quality backlinks, you might never get back in the SERPS.
While doing your best to recover from your Google penalty, you should also spend time on building high-quality backlinks. Make sure your website is ready to rank high in Google and it has a good amount of links from authoritative sites.
6. Other problems might affect your site
When dealing with a Google penalty, itâ€™s best to run a full analysis for your website and make sure everything that might cause issues is fixed. For example, make sure robots.txt is not blocking your site from being indexed and you donâ€™t have any malware problems. There can also be on-page problems, like duplicate titles, duplicate meta descriptions and so on. There are numerous other little things that should be taken into consideration.
7. You havenâ€™t submitted a reconsideration request
A manual Google penalty can only be revoked by submitting a reconsideration request. Once youâ€™ve fixed the issues reported in your Google Webmaster Tools account, you have to send a reconsideration request. If you donâ€™t submit this request, youâ€™ll never recover.
For algorithm penalties, you donâ€™t have to submit a reconsideration request.