After the Google Panda and Penguin updates of 2011 and 2012, many website owners are just now discovering a dip in overall traffic—quite possibly because of a penalty, or perhaps just a rearrangement of SEO rankings. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to drop from #5 to #50 these days, and more than a few people are unhappy about it.

However, don’t despair. Don’t turn to sour grapes. The truth is, even if you have suffered a loss of traffic because of Google algorithm updates, you can still take steps to make things right. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

First of all, do a run through of your site and try to review as many posts and pages as possible. Evaluate what has happened carefully because there may be a clue hidden somewhere; for example, what pages have dropped in traffic? What pages have remained nearly the same in unique visitors? If your entire website seems to have been penalized then it’s possible Google is associating you with a content mill or low quality writing site. If you believe your content on your site is of prime quality then make sure the ads on your page are not too distracting, and that the navigation is easy to work with—otherwise, Google can penalize you just for putting together a bad overall user experience.

If you can identify some weak pages then try to rewrite them. Do not delete them, since page seniority is a factor in your advantage. However, make an effort to rewrite weak pages, all the while paying close attention to your tags; whether they are appropriate to the page title and theme. Be careful about building cheap links. Search engines don’t really consider mindless link exchanges as quality links worth counting (as in “favors”, and particularly link exchanges with sites that don’t match your own theme. You are better off seeking out guest blogging link exchanges. You might also want to consider cutting down or eliminating any reprinted materials. Even if you’re not “scraping”, Google puts the most value in the oldest page and secondary importance to reprints.

If you need help in this regard, don’t hesitate to contact an SEO firm and discuss your goals.