Reputation involves how others perceive someone based on available facts and presumptions. If multiple people catch a person lying, it would be hard to know for certain if that individual told you the truth during a conversation. Google takes the same approach to websites and quality.
If you have low-quality content, your website won’t rank better than one with better material. Google might even penalize you for trying to shortcut their algorithms using black-hat techniques. It is possible to restore your reputation and get re-ranked after adding more value to a site, but how long does that process take?
Site Rankings Can Be Unpredictable When Dealing with Penalties
Anyone with an established website likely has yesterday’s SEO best practices still operating on a few pages. The best way to ensure that you can maximize organic results through optimization is to implement the current standards Google expects. Those requirements often change with each algorithm update.
After removing pages, updating links, and improving the content, Google still keeps the old material cached. How long does it take to clear these issues, especially if you’re correcting a penalty? There isn’t a clear answer. It could take four days to get a site re-ranked, or the process could take more than six months. That’s because Google wants to ensure that your missing pages or changed content are not a temporary issue instead of maintenance chores or a server outage.
The clock won’t start ticking for the update until ranking issues get corrected.
How Do I Know What to Fix on My Website?
The three primary issues that bring penalties to websites today involve backlinks, anchor text distribution, and content quality. Although a single low-quality link is unlikely to create ranking problems, several of them can be problematic. That’s why today’s best practice is to generate this SEO helper organically instead of paying for them.
Everyone hates spamming. If you live posts or comments on other sites for the sole purpose of getting a link instead of offering value, there could be optimization problems waiting in your future. Websites with thin or copied content, sitewide backlinks in the footer, sidebar, or widgets, and sites with duplicated material can all create bad things for a website.
If you violate Google’s guidelines, all the above issues must get corrected, and the site must return to compliance before it gets re-ranked.
How to Speed Up the Process
When a website isn’t getting re-ranked quickly, you can take the following steps to potentially hasten the process.
- Submit an XML sitemap to Google Sitemaps to encourage the new content to get discovered.
- Publish on a regular schedule to ensure the website receives frequent indexing.
- Send new material through an indexed RSS feed, telling the edited content to get republished as new.
- Submit the edited links and content to social media platforms.
Even with those added steps, it is often necessary to be patient with Google. As long as a website gets back into compliance or updates to reflect today’s best practices, the search engine will find you.