You know that sinking feeling you get when you are singled out for punishment. Whether its the memory of second grade Mrs. Harris directing you to the corner for dunce cap treatment, or your college professor’s glare at your class disturbance, everyone has experienced the feeling at some point or another. With regard to google and rankings the feeling is usually a manifestation of suspicion that something is just not going right. Something that may lead you to suspect that your site is being penalized by Google for some reason.

First thing is to check out your site’s analytics and determine whether there has been an unusual drop in your normal traffic pattern. If indeed you find something amiss you need to figure out if it has to do with your site or with a back-link. Another way to check if you may be under some sort of filter is by searching yourdomain.com. If your domain does not show up as number one and you are an established site, you have an issue.

Additionally if site:yourdomain.com doesn’t bring up any results it’s a red flag that there is a big problem. It might be a mistake on your part that can be rectified or it might be something worse. Worst case scenario you might have to file a reconsideration request from Google. This should be used as a last resort after rechecking that something has really gone wrong. Take your time in considering a submission because if your site is okay and you haven’t done anything wrong it may just be a cause of season change or a one time fluke.

If unfortunately your site is penalized and the only way to regain your rankings is by filing then you have no choice. There’s a whole system to filing and I’m not going to elaborate further due to the large amount of rumors and ideas associated with it. It’s sort of a confession about what was established incorrectly and a request to regain ranking… Hopefully everyone should keep up their sites in a proper manner and never need to file!