As a website owner, there’s nothing more disheartening than witnessing your hard-earned traffic vanish overnight due to a core algorithm update. But fear not, because in this blog post, we will walk you through the entire process of recovering your website from start to finish.
We will be drawing insights and tips from a real-life case study involving a technology niche website that lost over 50% of its traffic after a core algorithm update.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Severity of the Situation
The case study we’ll be discussing revolves around a website owner who was in the midst of selling their website for a whopping $2 million.
Sadly, the core algorithm update derailed their plans, and they reached out to a professional SEO consultant for help. Initially ranking for over 482,000 keywords, the website’s traffic took a massive hit, plummeting to 202,000 keywords.
Identifying Toxic Backlinks
The first crucial step in website recovery is identifying and addressing any toxic backlinks. To achieve accurate results, tools like Link Research Tools (LRT) can be employed.
By exporting the backlink profile from tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Majestic SEO, and Google Search Console, you can obtain a comprehensive overview of your website’s backlink landscape.
Once the data is imported into LRT, categorizing the links into various subcategories is essential. In the case study, five main categories were discussed:
- Toxic 1: Domains that are not indexed in Google, often associated with penalties.
- Toxic 2: Domains marked down as malware, malicious, or virus-related.
- Toxic 3: Links from weak domains originating from pages without external links, which can be improved with tier 2 links.
- Suspicious PBN: Backlinks from weak pages with more than 10 backlinks from the same network, indicating a possible private blog network (PBN).
- Suspicious Themes: Backlinks from domains labeled as hacking, suspicious, or containing adult content.
Additionally, high Domain Rating (DR) links that were not pushing any power but still contributing to the toxicity were also addressed during the process.
Pruning and Optimizing Content
Once the toxic backlinks have been identified, it’s time to focus on your website’s content.
Creating a Google sheet and importing all pages while categorizing them based on clicks and impressions will provide a clear overview of their performance. This categorization allows for efficient decision-making on which pages to keep, update, or delete.
Pages with no clicks or impressions can be safely deleted. For pages with some impressions but no clicks, a deeper analysis is required.
In the case study, 50% of these pages were deleted, while the other 50% were updated to improve their performance. This involved revisiting the content and aligning it with user intent, adding internal links, and incorporating unique images.
In total, 650 pages were deleted from the website, streamlining its structure and focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Conducting a Technical SEO Audit
To ensure your website is in top shape, conducting a technical SEO audit is vital. Utilizing tools like Screaming Frog and analyzing error reports from Google Search Console can highlight issues that need to be addressed.
Common issues include 404 pages and double 301 redirects that need to be fixed for optimum website health.
Regularly performing technical SEO audits is highly recommended, especially when scaling content velocity.
By addressing these glaring issues, you prevent any detrimental impact on your website’s performance and visibility.
Filling in Content Gaps and Building Topical Authority
No website can achieve its fullest potential without establishing topical authority within its niche. This involves analyzing your competitors’ content and identifying any gaps to be filled.
In the case study, content gaps were discovered by comparing the number of articles against competitors. It was found that the website lacked 75 articles across three silos.
To address this gap, new articles were created in those silos to provide valuable and comprehensive content.
By focusing on topical authority and consistently adding informative articles, your website gains trust from both users and search engines, which translates to higher rankings and increased traffic.
Further Growth and Off-Page SEO
The final step in the website recovery process is proactive growth and off-page SEO. Building trustworthy and powerful backlinks is critical to showcase your website’s credibility to search engines like Google.
However, it’s important to strike a balance and showcase a clean and ethical backlink profile after conducting the initial toxic backlink analysis.
Starting slow with around 10 new backlinks per month allows you to gauge their impact and monitor any potential issues. As time goes on, the link velocity can be gradually scaled up.
When sourcing backlinks, aim for websites that are relevant to your niche, have a minimum of 500 monthly traffic, low toxicity levels, high trust, and high power.
For outreach and email communication, tools like Pitchbox can streamline the process, allowing efficient management of email campaigns and relationship-building with website owners.
Recovery Is Possible
By diligently following the steps outlined in this case study, you can successfully recover your website from the aftermath of a core algorithm update.
It requires a multi-faceted approach, encompassing toxic backlink analysis, content optimization, technical SEO, strategic content creation, and an ongoing focus on growth and off-page SEO.
Remember, patience, perseverance, and staying up-to-date with SEO best practices will yield the desired results. Your website can not only regain its lost traffic but also emerge stronger and more resilient in the highly competitive online landscape.
Learn how to recover a website from a core algorithm update with these proven strategies. Find out how to identify toxic backlinks, optimize your content, conduct a technical SEO audit, build topical authority, and achieve further growth through off-page SEO. With the right approach, your website can bounce back stronger than ever.