– SEO Case Study –

Google SERPS after Search Engine Ban

The Problem

What do you do when you face a catastrophic 64% drop in traffic overnight following a Google penalty? This client came to Adrac after being left out in the cold by Google for unnatural link building practises. The search engine’s own brand of justice for those found to be using undesirable practises is to remove the culprit from its index. That means no natural listings and no search visibility – a huge problem for any business but especially one that gets more than half of its website traffic from Google.

Total Links Assessed
Reconsideration Requests
Links Removed
Resolution Time

The Challenge

The client came to us already serving a manual domain exclusion from the Google search index.  Having disappeared from Google in a matter of hours the impact on cash flow was catastrophic with a 40% reduction in new business enquiries and an overall reduction of 70% in the company’s turnover.

The business was ten weeks away from closing down – giving us a tight window of opportunity to resolve the issue before the worst happened.

Adrac needed to identify the underlying issues, formulate a plan, get client agreement and then execute the plan to win re-instatement to Google – all on a ticking clock while the client’s business was suffering.

Our Solution

We started by looking for a needle in a haystack  – the cause of the exclusion. Adrac’s SEO team sifted through more than 23,447 links to identify the tipping point. We used manual processing and our own technology to analyse each one and then categorise all links back to the client website. We used three categories; clean (the good), potentially toxic (the bad) and toxic (the ugly).

Every toxic link needed to be removed in order to get the penalty lifted and cashflow flowing again. We contacted each web site hosting a toxic link individually and requested that all links to our client’s website be removed.

We then further analysed the links classed as being potentially toxic to clarify their status. At each stage, a submission was made to Google for reconsideration. The strategy was then further refined and repeated.

With the client’s company slipping further into the danger zone every day, we worked fast to neutralise toxic links and demonstrate progress to Google. In 39 days we had secured a 5% increase in page one listings. At this point the client’s sales lines started to ring again and turnover picked up.

We continue to work with this client. So far we have recorded a 69% increase in visibility – higher than before the exclusion penalty was issued.

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