If your website has fallen victim to Google’s penalty you need to make improvements to your site to get the penalty lifted. First of all you need to be sure that your site was actually manually penalized by Google and not hit by an algorithm such as the Panda or Penguin. Go to your Webmaster Tools and send a reconsideration request to the Google Spam Team and wait for their answer. If your site was manually penalized, they will most likely tell you why. If they tell you that they did not penalize your website, you were probably hit by an algorithm, which can be much more difficult to recover from since you do not know exactly what caused it and have no real control over it.
How Long Will the Penalty Last?
Depending on the degree of severity you will get a time out from Google, which can last for months. So if you know that your penalty may have been caused by some unethical black hat tactics that you are using such as cloaking, hidden text or doorway pages, you need to fix the problem and make sure that your website is no longer violating the Google Guidelines. When you have worked on your site and removed all black hat methods and replaced them with only white hat tactics, you can write a reconsideration request to Google, where you will explain your situation. Make sure to tell Google why your website was penalized and what you did wrong. Explain to them how you have improved your website and removed any unethical factors that goes against their guidelines. Remember to be completely honest when you write to them, as they already know everything that goes on at your website so it would be pointless to try to hide it. You should also remember to be very humble and always keep in mind that they are doing you a favor by lifting the penalty. When the Spam Team gets your request they will visit your site and make sure that everything looks good and then they will most likely lift the penalty right away.
How to Avoid Getting Penalized
If you read the Google Guidelines it will be very clear what they accept and what is a violation of their rules. If you are unsure if some of your SEO tactics are black hat or gray hat methods, you should do some research before it hurts your business.