A client that we’ve worked with for years approached us with something of a sensitive issue: they’d inadvertently hired a black hat SEO. It wasn’t their fault. Our client had done their homework, and the SEO appeared to be on the level. This was a few years ago—before Google changed the game with the Panda and Penguin updates.
Our client had been on the warpath to get their site ranked highly in the Web design niche for some time. Unfortunately, the SEO they turned to—someone based overseas—had been feeding them link-exchange traffic and backlinks. For a time, all went well. Tragically, when Google unveiled Panda and Penguin, the network that the black hat SEO used was one of the first hit. This put our client under the microscope and eventually resulted in a penalty.
Keep in mind that our client’s edgy strategy had worked for years. They had been generating organic traffic for their primary keywords on a national level. Then, in a day, it was all gone.
In panic mode, they tried all of the standard fixes: disavowing backlinks, creating new content, and finally begging Google to reconsider. Nothing worked. Finally, they came to our office and told us their story as you’re hearing it now. They asked us if we could go beyond our usual role of SEO and do a site rescue as well.
It was a daunting challenge, and admittedly it took some thought. We got back to them within a few days and proposed that they rework their site structure, remove some duplicate content—known as “internal true duplicates”—and most importantly, tackle the existing penalty by utilizing a 301 redirect.
A few weeks later, they’re back on page one for their primary keywords. They’re back to receiving a steady flow of free leads on a daily basis. To put it simply: they’re back. If Google Hummingbird has you feeling nervous, give us a call. Your success is our success.