06 Mar 2014

What To Do When The Sh*t Hits The SEO Fan

You take your first sip of coffee of the day as you log into Google Analytics. Your dashboard loads up and instantly you spit coffee all over your keyboard. Because what you see on the chart in front of you just made your heart drop. Your web traffic is dead, leaving your analytics dashboard to look like a cliff at the Grand Canyon.

If you have been doing SEO long enough you will eventually come across a client that has been hit with a negative action from the search engines. These negative actions can come in many different forms. However the most popular over the last several years are Manual Penalties, the Penguin filter, and the Panda filter.

Each of these is completely unique and thus requires completely unique strategies moving forward. I can’t even count on both hands the number of times I have had a client that has wasted time and money pursuing the wrong course of action.

So to save everyone some time and money in the future, here’s a handy chart to guide you through your next pitfall. Hopefully you will never need it.

SEO Recovery Grid

Manual Penalty Panda Penguin
Reconsideration Request YES NO NO
Disavow Document submission MAYBE NO MAYBE
Take down links MAYBE NO MAYBE
Build New Links NO NO MAYBE
Redesign Site NO MAYBE NO
Restructure IA NO MAYBE NO


  1. David White March 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Nice chart for a quick reference. I’d be interested to see an article with suggestion for determining which penalty a site has been tagged with.

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