Aqueous Digital

Hit by Google but unsure why?

Virtually every day we hear another story of a website that has been suddenly hit by Google and thrown out of the index, or demoted from their previously stable position on page one to page three or below. Sometimes the tale is one of slow decline but on occasions it happens overnight; you wake up one morning to find your entire business model in tatters.

In the majority of cases the reasons for this are quite straightforward and at Aqueous we have helped a number of businesses recover from being hit by Google, but the bit which confuses most people is what type of penalty they have been hit by.

In simple terms there are two types; the type that gets you a warning message from Google in Webmaster Tools and the more sinister sudden and unannounced drop in rankings.

The first type is generally easier to deal with as you can be clear on what Google doesn’t like about your site (mostly your backlink profile) and that can be dealt with. It takes time but you can get past it.

The second type is harder to deal with as you are left guessing what Google doesn’t like about your site; it could be something on your site, on one of your pages or it could be the type of links that you have to your site. In certain cases it can even be where you are hosted. The point is that this type of penalty takes a lot longer to figure out and to deal with.

In fact Google themselves don’t consider that they have applied a penalty, as far as they are concerned it is ‘business as usual’ and the algorithm that ranks pages and sites has decided that there are other more worthy candidates to rank above you.

To try and help you figure out what has happened to your site we’ve produced the following infographic – take a look and see if you can figure out what has caused your problem?

“This blog first appeared on

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