Most webmasters will inadvertently break one of the search engines’ guidelines at some point. What should you do if you receive a notice that you have violated one of Google’s webmaster guidelines?
First, you should know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Be familiar with the guidelines before you start building your website. You don’t have to memorize them. That’s why they’re posted online for all to see. But as you are building your website, make a point from time to time to go back and visit the guidelines. Read them about once or twice a year to stay current.
Google’s webmaster guidelines are broken down into three key areas:
- Design and content
If you get a notice that you’ve violated any of Google’s guidelines, it will likely be in one of these three key areas. Google will be very specific about what it is you’ve done to violate their guidelines so pay attention to what your notice says and address that issue.
Your best bet is to fix what Google has said is wrong with your website right away. Do this as soon as possible. You don’t want lingering issues and the longer you allow a violation to sit the harder it will be to gain any rankings you might lose. If you address them soon enough you might not see any loss in rankings, PageRank, or other loss of benefits. Wait too long and you could lose ground against your competition that you’ll have to fight hard to get back.
After fixing the problem, log into your Google webmaster account and click on Request Reconsideration under the Tools tab. Google will re-evaluate your website to see that it meets the guidelines and if you’ve managed to do that then they will re-include you in the search listings and you can continue with your Search Engine Optimization efforts.