The Impact Of Google Penguin: Should You Scrap Your Site?

You’ve spent years building up an online presence, only to see the Penguin updates erode visitor numbers and reduce sales. Is it now time to give up and to start again with a new site? This may well be a question that you’ve been asking yourself and it’s certainly something that I find myself being asked by those who have run into such problems. The answer is not always easy to find and tends to vary from one case to the next.

A question of time

The first point to make is that you will wish to produce a recovery as quickly as possible. That’s true of pretty much everyone in this situation and it can be incredibly frustrating to learn that the solution is unlikely to be found overnight.

You may have encountered Google penalties before and seen a return to business as usual within a matter of days. This time around, it’s fair to say that things are different. Typically, you may be looking at many months, before you see a recovery.

The time that’s involved will go part of the way to explaining why some people think about scrapping an existing site and starting again. After all, surely that will be quicker?

A new site won’t rank immediately

I often find myself explaining to local clients here in Hampshire that SEO doesn’t tend to produce overnight results. We all know, of course, that it’s possible to produce great results using techniques that will soon lead to penalties. Sustainable SEO, on the other hand, is something that takes a lot of time to get right.

This is obviously a problem, particularly in the case of a brand new website. It’s bound to take time to get some real traction, meaning that it may not actually be quicker than producing a recovery in your own site. You’ll need to take a judgement on what is best for you.

The cost of a recovery

I’ve seen many website owners attempting to resolve Google Penguin penalty issues themselves, but such an approach rarely delivers results. The problem here is that a considerable level of expertise is required, in order to understand and implement the necessary steps.

In practical terms, this means that you will be engaging the services of a search engine marketing professional. They will probably want to be paid a reasonable hourly rate to cover out the recovery tasks, particularly since this element of SEO work is not particularly interesting. In effect, this means that there is clearly a cost associated with producing a recovery. By the same token, however, you do need to take into account the fact that ranking a new site will cost something.

Great SEO costs more

It would be impossible to discuss costs without also mentioning the fact that good quality SEO costs more than poor quality SEO. That’s an unfortunate reality of the situation and can come as quite a shock. If you’ve been relying on buying cheap link building packages, for example, then sustainable SEO strategies are going to look pretty expensive in comparison.

It’s also true that the work involved in cleaning up a link building mess may be considerably more expensive than having those links built in the first place. Why should this be the case? Essentially, the original links were probably built by someone without an enormous amount of SEO knowledge. You now need a professional to get you results.


Before taking that decision to launch a new site, you clearly need to weigh up the implications. Either way, I would suggest that it’s unlikely that you will bring about a particularly rapid recovery.

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