Google’s algorithm is getting smart, even without Matt Cutts at the helm. Sites are being penalized-banned now more than ever before. One of the major reasons for this is poor SEO execution, but that is a whole different story.
Today we are going to show you 5 quick ways to check if your websites are being penalized by Google and other search engines.
#1 Dip in your Google Analytics
If you are checking your Analytics daily or even weekly as you should, you’ll quickly notice any abnormal dips compared to weeks prior and next to previous years.
This could mean one of three things. #1 the traffic is down, #2 there is an error in either your analytics code or on the website, #3 you’re being penalized-banned and your site has been deindexed.
If you’re one of the first two options your road to recovery is much clearer. If you are the third option, the first thing you need to find out what was causing it. Start by contacting whoever is in charge of your SEO.
Here is some great information on How to Recover from Any Google Penalty.
#2 Indexing has disappeared from Google searches
The quickest way to find out if your site has been hit by a penalty is to open a Google search and type ‘site:your URL’. The results will show how many pages are currently in the Google Index.
If the result shows all pages, your domain and site are most likely safe. If this is showing none or very few, it’s time to start asking questions. Double check that your website is pulling up when you go to the domain in a web browser too.
#3 Register and review messages in Google’s Search Console
One of the best ways to monitor your indexing is through Google Search Conole. This is probably one of the most underutilized tools by webmasters and business owners today.
Let’s start by explaining the taxonomy and some of the tools available within Search Console.
Messages – are suggestions and messages about your indexing status of your website. You’ll receive notifications here if you are being penalized. Google will also send warnings of this.
Search Appearance – shows the various ways in which your site content can appear to a user on Google. Including more advanced technical markups like rich snippets and breadcrumbs.
Search Traffic – measurements of your traffic as seen through the Search Console and analytics.
Google Index- status of your index and what pages, images and other content are live. You can also disavow links here, which is extremely important if you have a poor backlink profile.
Crawl – is where you can review your crawl status, fetch and render your website as a Google bot, submit your Sitemap, and review crawl errors if any show up.
Security Issues – will tell you if they are detecting spam or other hacks on your website.
#4 Stay up-to-date with Google’s updates that influence your Penalized-Banned status
Google is very secretive with their algorithm updates. Most of the time they will release updates but give very little information on what the update is about.
Here are a couple of websites that will allow you to stay up-to-date on algorithm updates. Each of these partners evaluates data, traffic, and other analytics to determine what the update was about.
- SearchEngineLand – Google Algorithm Updates
- Moz – Google Algorithm Change
- Neil Patel – Algorithm Cheat Sheet
#5 Monitor keyword rankings
Finally, and this is probably the hardest out of all of the above, you can monitor your search keyword rankings.
This is a common practice in SEO that we recommend either you or the partner managing your search engine optimization do, but you should have a method of checking keyword rankings daily.
If you see a sudden and massive drop in your rankings, you’re most likely experiencing a penalty from Google.
FatRank is a Chrome Extension by Fat Joe that allows you to manually check the search rankings of a domain for a specific search keyword.
This process is done by each individual keyword.
Almost all the all-in-one SEO tools out there have rank checkers. One of my favorites is from MonitorBacklinks. One of the reasons I prefer this tool is because it gives you pretty accurate spam rankings for your backlinks.
I began using this in my backlink research practices because of that exact feature.