Google Has No Reset Button For A Penalized Site

Joe: Good morning and welcome to the Being Found Show. We are your guide to being found by more buying customers. This is the best hour of radio for business.

In this segment, I want to go over some news that is happening in the business world right now. Did you know that Google has no reset button if you’ve been penalized? That means that if you are spammy and have bad links or a whole other pile of reasons, Google essentially says you’re not the kind of person or company that I want to show to my users when they’re looking for your types of products, services or whatever.

Google says you don’t have the kind of reputation that we trust enough to share with our people. Or maybe your site’s been hacked, and it’s doing damage or whatever it is. I don’t know that we’ve ever known whether Google has some function to reset your business domain or not.

So let’s say whatever your website domain is, it’s been penalized by Google. You’re not showing up very well. You’re not showing up at all. Let’s say that whatever those problems were are not fixed, and now you want to get in contact with Google’s customer service and ask to be reset or ask not to be penalized any further. I know there are ways to let Google know you fix things that they’ve warned you about and things like that.

Chauncey: You can have them fix a manual action. So manual action is exactly that. Somebody you’ve been flagged, and a human being at Google has come through and chosen to penalize you. You can submit a reconsideration request at which there would be a manual action to fix that, but as far as resetting all the data that’s collected about you, it doesn’t work that way.

Joe: So what you’re saying is Google is essentially collecting all this data on the website. It’s making an opinion of you or your reputation with Google, and it’s not like you can say to Google now, forget about my reputation. I am no longer that person that made those mistakes.

Chauncey: Google is in the business of collecting data, not scrapping it.

Joe: Apparently, there is no reset button. Think about that for a second. That means that right now, if you’re not aware of how well your web page and the traffic or user data is being delivered to Google, or if people like your website, are you spamming people unwillingly or unknowingly? And if so, do you know that you’re hurting your reputation with Google and other search engines and the majority of traffic to your website or your business will be impacted by Google.

So basically, Google is not a company that you want to get a bad reputation with. What I want to be thinking about here is am I creating a good reputation or a bad reputation because it’s official. There is no reset button.

John Mueller, who is apart of the Google Webmaster team, actually answered a Reddit Post. The question was, “Does Google have a reset button for penalized sites?”

John Mueller said, “There’s no “reset button” for a domain, we don’t even have that internally, so a manual review wouldn’t change anything there. If there’s a lot of bad history associated with that, you either have to live with it, clean it up as much as possible, or move to a different domain. I realize that can be a hassle, but it’s the same with any kind of business, cleaning up a bad name/reputation can be a lot of work, and it’s hard to say ahead of time if it’ll be worth it in the end.”

In the end, he’s saying you may try to clean it up. It may not help, and that’s true. I mean with a business you may have had a bad couple years where you mistreated customers, and you know what, for the next five years, you may not recover.

Ask yourself, if you’re a business, do I have a website or have a web presence and am I getting a bad reputation on the website? That’s probably going to send more customers and more traffic to me than any other source. Most traffic comes from Google to your website. You have to check yourself and ask if you are doing what you need to do to have a good impact. Chauncey, what are ways that we get a bad reputation with a website or trigger being penalized?

Chauncey: One would be downtime like you don’t pay your bill and your website is constantly going down, and you constantly have to put it back up. Google is going to register that as downtime, and it’s going to register you as being unreliable, and your page rank is going to go down because of that. So a lot of this comes down to reputation and pay, rank and domain authority. These are internal things that Google uses and mods use to judge how trustworthy and reliable a site is.

Joe: What are those other factors that are on the same level as pay, rank, and domain in the different kinds of websites that link to you. So for instance, if I’m a truck accessory store and a bunch unreputable websites link to me, is that my problem?

Chauncey: Yes. The quality of your backlinks and the number of quality backlinks fire to is on you. If you have a bunch of spammy backlinks coming to you, birds of a feather flock together, and you’re going to get that reputation as well.

Joe: So how other, other people linking to my site, is something I have to look at.

Chauncey: In most cases, you probably don’t, but in some cases you do. Obviously what we were talking about earlier, because that can be a big representation of how you are using current technologies, or are you running the same website you’ve been running since 96, and it’s maybe slow. If you have been hacked, because unbeknownst to you if you’ve been hacked, your computer can be doing all sorts of shady things to your visitors, which it would also be doing to the spider.

Spider is the bot that comes along and crawls your site then it’ll view you as shady and mark it down at that point. If you don’t take care of it for a long period, there’s sort of peaks and valleys where Google expects that if you get hacked, you fix it.

So if you get hacked, and you come right in, and you take care of it, and you were restored, everything’s good, and you’re not permanently damaged in your reputation in that way. It’s when you get hacked, and you don’t notice these things, and it goes on forever. Or when your site is down three days a month, every month because you don’t pay your bill or your page speed is slow forever, and you don’t seem to care much about it. So if you don’t care about your website, they care less about your website.

Joe: That’s right and so many of us businesses might build a website a year or two ago or six months ago and we think we just built in and we’re done. You’re underlying the fact that it’s never done. It’s a window of your reputation. It’s something that you have to budget it to, to manage and take care of it, and right now, if you’re listening to my voice, if you haven’t budgeted to manage and take care of your web presence on a regular basis, you need to start there. Put aside some money, hire someone and start because if you aren’t, it’s hurting you and it costs you money.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #49 or subscribe to our podcast.

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