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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  solicitor
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My business has just been severely penalised by Google (basically

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My business has just been severely penalised by Google (basically removed from their rankings). Our digital agency who has always undertaken our SEO work says that they haven't done anything wrong and they are exempt from responsibility as they cannot predict Google's algorithym changes. We think that they have been negligent in their duties and should be held accountable. We are looking for advice.
Hi thanks for your question. Do you have explanation why google removed you? Have you had any dialogue with them? Was your ranking based upon usage or did you have paid for words etc to elevate your search position?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was a manual penalty from Google or the Google 'Death' Penalty, due to toxic links and very old black hat techniques.


We have someone fixing the issue in the States who says he has never seen such back SEO work.

I m afraid I do not understand the jargon but if you are saying there is clear evidence of poor work by the digital agency then clearly you have a potential claim for breach of contract. Do their terms have a limit on liability?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes they say that they are not responsible for how Google interprets their work and hence rankings can go up and down.

Well they would say that I expect. The issue as will all such disputes is what is the objective evidence? If your new adviser can give you a clear report on which you can base a claim and you have suffered significant loss then it may be worth a claim. Of course rankings go up and down but that is not the same as being subject to a penalty form google.
cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience: solicitor
cityguru and 2 other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Thank you for your question.

I take it you mean that your agency was using techniques like keyword stuffing, invisible text and doorway pages. These will result in penalties and if your agent has been using them then they are unethical and liable to get you kicked off of Google etc.

Can you prove that your agency used such techniques as opposed to their claim that this is due to algorithms? Their claim must be difficult to maintain where you have suffered a penalty. By definition a penalty arises because of a breach of the rules.

Assuming that to be the case you have cause to claim breach of contract and damages resulting from that breach. Your accountants would have to prepare a forensic report on what the financial losses are reasonably arising from the breach.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.