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How I Recovered from Google Penalties, Algorithm Updates / Changes & Gained Traffic Back

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It’s been some time since I have written about the state of my businesses and quite frankly I have been experiencing withdrawals from it.

One of the toughest challenges for me personally has always been where to spend my spare time. With a career and several income streams on the side, I frequently find myself negotiating between pushing the professional career forward or any one of my income streams.

To add to the dilemma, some of the more recent income streams have really started to really pick up and show strong promise, which inherently makes me want to focus on them. That said, something has to take the back seat.

With a limited amount time available to spread between initiatives outside my career, the frequency at which I get to work on side projects, including posting on this blog is significantly slower than someone working online full time.

I have been exclusively focused on creating more ebooks, audio books, iPhone apps, working on two larger authority type websites and experimenting with methods to revive websites that were penalized by search engine algorithm updates. I couldn’t help but break my momentum to share recent success I’ve had with penalized sites.

I have mentioned before that I started this blog to document the various projects I am involved in so that you can see how I was and still am to able to establish various income streams while maintaining a full time career with the idea to be able to replicate it as well if you wanted to.

While I will continue to do exactly that, albeit at a much slower pace than full timers, I want to share some recent success I have had reviving some sites that were impacted by the changes in search engine algorithms, most particularly the Google algorithm updates (Bing and Yahoo have held up for me for the most part).

I have haphazardly shared signs of improvement in traffic at random intervals in the past on my Facebook page. But I wanted to make sure that the success I had with this website was not an anomaly.  I wanted to see whether I could experience the same success with other websites as well.

To date I have three websites that have successfully bounced back from the various penalties imposed on them by Google, as well as the impact on traffic due to the various algorithm updates we have seen in the recent past.

Here are some screen shots showing the traffic trends:

This is a site that started recovering in the August time frame. It was down to just a few hundred visitors per day – as good as dead compared to where it was during its hey days.  The site is back to the mid three thousands of uniques per day.

This shows a site that started recovering around November. The site was penalized and was down to under 300 unique visitors a day. After several months of working on it the site is now just under 500 visitors per day. There is still some upside to recover but I’ve added 200ish visitors per day to it and I am happy about that.

Finally, this one shows a site that started recovering later in November. It was down to under 300 uniques per day. As I write this post traffic is up to just under 700 uniques per day.

Collectively this is a huge improvement in traffic, and my Google Adsense earnings are definitely reflecting the improvement.

If you’re curious how the traffic breakdown looks like on these, have a look at the pie charts below. Notice that most of the traffic comes from search engines. This is what I want ideally for these particular sites. These sites were created with the sole purpose of profiting from Adsense, information products and affiliate marketing.

Note: None of these sites are “spammy” in nature. I truly believe the content is valuable and of high quality. These sites were impacted by some of the traditional search engine optimization strategies I used to get them to rank higher initially.

You will notice the date ranges are quite varied. The reason for this is that I took my time experimenting with the methods with one site only until I was able to see some results. I wanted to let the results continue for a reasonable period of time before moving on to the next site.

I did the same with site #2 and subsequently site #3. I have a handful of other sites that were impacted which I am currently working on. These sites are larger in nature and were more penalized (I can tell by the number of “bad” back links they have coming into them).

Naturally, these sites will take longer to recover. I will post an update once these have recovered to hopefully further reinforce the methods I used to get the first three back on track.

Fortunately, not all of my sites were impacted. In fact, some of the sites continued to thrive amidst all the algorithm updates and changes and continued to generate a healthy passive income stream.

For example, see this and this relatively recent earning proof for example.

So here is what I plan to do. I will follow up with several posts and discuss each step I took in detail with the hope that you too can follow along if you’d like if you’ve had some sites that were impacted. The good news is that it didn’t cost me an arm to execute on these. The bad news is that it took a lot of time to methodically get through the exercise.

Considering the net results that I am seeing now, the bad news doesn’t sound bad at all now that I look back in retrospect. But because we are human, the challenge is that just like starting an online business for the first time, there are many unknowns and often doubt creeps in, making us second guess our decision because we don’t know whether it will pay off in the long run. The only way to truly find out is to try. But if we don’t try and take action, we eliminate all possible chances of success to begin with.

In the next post I will discuss how to first confirm whether your site was penalized.

Have you been able to successfully recover a site from Google penalties and algorithm updates? I’d love to hear about how you did it in the comments below. Even if you haven’t fully recovered yet, I’d love to hear what you have tried so far and what you plan on doing in the future?

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Written by WHS

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