Can A Google Penalized Site Get All Of It's Trust Back Quickly?

Aug 22, 2008 • 9:01 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A question I get quiet often is, my site has been penalized, and I want to know if I will have to start from scratch, to earn Google's trust back? I often say that I doubt you have to start "from scratch," but I am sure you won't be at the level of "trust" you once had with Google, after they have learned that you once did something that was not so good in their eyes.

A Google Groups thread asks that question and Googler, JohnMu, responds. Here is the question:

While waiting to see if a recent Reconsideration Request is accepted, I have been wondering whether or not Google regards any domain that has ever been penalised as less trustworthy than a domain that has not.

Or is it the case that once a penalty has been removed and a site is placed back in the search index, it can compete on a level playing field - as it did before the penalty?

JohnMu of Google said:

If a site cleans up issues so that it complies with our Webmaster Guidelines, then there's generally no reason why we would treat it as something less trustworthy. Cleaning things up is always a good idea :).

I always wonder what this "trust" factor is. Can it visually look like some sort of trust slider? The more trust, the more the slider goes to the right, the less trust, the more it is to the left?

How I see it, if a site is penalized for links, the day before the penalty, Google has your trust at (let's say) a 8.5 of 10. Now, Google flagged many of your links as part of a link scheme and your site and those links fall in trust. Now your site drops to a trust value of 1.5 of 10. Now that you have been penalized, you work on cleaning up your links by getting rid of the bad links. As you do this, Google may say, okay, we now trust your site, so you slide back up to maybe a 5.5 of 10. But those old links, the bad ones, that Google once trusted, are now gone forever. So you won't reach the 8.5 of 10, like you once had.

Now that is how I envision the link side of things. I can be 100% wrong, it is just how I imagine it working.

According to Google's response, it is possible to gain all your trust back. But, for some reason, I don't think it is possible to get it ALL back overnight.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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08/22/2008 02:04 pm

Took one of my sites 3yrs.. It wouldn't rank for A B C but would rank for A B OR A C OR B C .. Was interest to watch as it killed off about 90% of the long tail terms.. Authority links didn't make any difference in my case..

No Name

08/22/2008 04:32 pm

It seems that the question and JohnMu's answer regard general guideline infractions; I just can't see any specific stressing of linking being addressed as the cause of a site's G penalty. I think it can go both ways, depending on the guidelines that were disregarded and *also* in what manner they were disregarded. Consider: A page 1, pos 5 site for any generally competitive search term starts spreading and/or generating malware/bots/etc - the really bad things that make people *not* use the internet. Next, consider a site that had paid links that were valid marketing links. I don't see the logic in restoring the malware site's authority - they burned themselves like Enron. Would you invest in another Enron? "Not I," said the fly! But the retail site that got it's marketing askew *should* be able to iron out the wrinkles and regain it's authority (which, should have only been put in question, not completely obliterated - but I digress...). As it seems with so many points of consideration, this one goes either way on a case-by-case basis. Chat Man

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