Official Google statement: ranking penalties and your rankings

In an online discussion, Google’s John Mueller explained why a website won’t regain its old rankings after a penalty. Even if the penalty is lifted, the website still might have bad rankings. What can you do to make sure that your website is not affected by this?

1. Google will lift a penalty if you take action

If your website has been penalized, Google will remove the penalty if you remove the elements that led to the penalty:

“After re-evaluating [a] site’s backlinks we are able to partially revoke a manual action. There are still inorganic links pointing to your site that we have taken action on. Once you’ve been able to make further progress in getting these links removed, please reply to this email with the details of your clean-up effort.”

2. A lifted penalty does not lead to higher rankings

If your website has been penalized by Google, it won’t get its old rankings back when the penalty is lifted. According to Google’s John Mueller, this has two reasons:

A) The previous high rankings were not justified. The unnatural links do not count anymore. If your website does not have other good links, it won’t get high rankings:

“The primary manual action that is affecting your site is that these unnatural links are being ignored. Yes, when links that were once counted in your ranking are no longer counted and never will be counted in the future, that will have an impact on your rankings for a long time.”

 B) There are other factors that influence the position of your website. Google uses many different signals to calculate the position of a website. Now that the unnatural ranking boosters don’t count anymore, the other signals influence the position of your website:

“Keep in mind that the manual action here might not be the strongest element affecting your site’s performance, we use over 200 factors.”

What does this mean for your website?

Using spam tools to artificially increase the number of backlinks to your website doesn’t work and your website will be penalized if you use these tools. For example, spam tools automatically create forum profile backlinks, blog comment links, etc. Avoid these tools if you don’t want to risk the rankings of your website.

If you want to get high rankings that last, use search engine optimization methods that are compatible with Google’s requirements. Of course, it takes longer to get high rankings with these so-called white-hat SEO methods.

The advantage of white-hat SEO methods is that they lead to high rankings that are immune to Google’s anti-spam ranking algorithm updates. Use SEOprofiler to make sure that your website gets the best possible rankings. SEOprofiler only uses white-hat SEO methods that lead to lasting results.

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SEOprofiler is the right tool for you if you want to get high rankings in the USA, the UK, Australia, Germany and many, many other countries. If you haven’t done it yet, create a free SEOprofiler account now:

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Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.