Removing A Google Algorithmic Penalty in 60 Days

This client came to us because they had recently lost their position on the homepage of Google for “Massage [City State]”. As a local massage spa, they relied heavily on advertising to compete with national discount chains such as Massage Envy.

When they came to us, they were on page 4 of Google for their desired term, but were ranking well for other terms such as “prenatal massage” and “couples massage”.

This campaign started off with an aggressive on-site optimization strategy. As an established website that had been managed by multiple employees, the site had multiple layers of duplicate and thin content. We worked with the client to identify pillar content and then designed and implemented a campaign that combined thin content and deleted duplicate pages.

After indexing these site improvements, we saw an increase in rankings for some of the long-tail terms. However, the primary term continued to stay “stuck” on the second page of Google. This indicated a page-level penalty which is commonly associated with link strategies.

Backlinks are an essential part of brand building, but many SEO agencies try to “trick” the Google Algorithm by creating multiple layers of poor quality backlinks.

That was the case for this local business.

We evaluated over 300 of these links and created a disavow file which we uploaded to their Google Webmaster tools. Many SEO experts dispute the helpfulness of the Disavow file, but we have tested this feature extensively and have learned that it has a dramatic impact on the rankings (we’ve even narrowed down the amount of time it takes for Google to implement these changes).

Shortly after filing the Disavow, the site climbed to page 1 of Google. Ideally, the client would have stayed with the marketing campaign for an additional 6-9 months and claimed more of the market share at the top of Google.

As it was, in under 60 days we had increased their long-tail traffic, put their business in Google Maps, and helped them regain their page 1 Google rankings. The increase in traffic was too challenging for their current staffing levels and the client was unsure if they could handle any further increase in business.