Google Search Rankings

If your site gets hit with an algorithmic penalty from Google, you’ll likely be eager to fix the issue and improve your rankings again. However, Google’s top experts say it can take quite some time to recover if they believe your site is spammy.

In a recent Google SEO Office Hours session, representatives were asked how long it can take to recover from an algorithm penalty related to content quality problems. 

While many details about the question remain unclear – such as how significant the penalty is – the search engine’s spokespeople encouraged site owners to be proactive. Otherwise, it may be months before they regain ground in the search results.

Specifically, the question posed in the video is:

“If a website gets algorithmically penalized for thin content, how much of the website’s content do you have to update before the penalty is lifted?”

There are a few ways the question could be read, so in this case, the experts kept it simple and straight to the point:

“Well, it’s generally a good idea to clean up low-quality content or spammy content that you may have created in the past.

For algorithmic actions, it can take us months to reevaluate your site again to determine that it’s no longer spammy.”

In other words, it is always better to share high-quality original content than to risk being labeled as spam. Once that happens, you’ll likely be in the doghouse for at least a few months.

To hear the answer, check out the video below beginning at 24:24.

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