Companies switch SEO providers from time to time, and it can on occassion have pretty devastating effects, depending on the quality of the new provider.

Today, we're going to take a deep dive into how Your Business Digital was able to take over from a less-than-stellar provider of SEO to return a business back to the high rankings it was enjoying previously.

If you've switched SEO providers and have seen a similar slump since, you could consider using this post as a guide on fixing issues that they the new SEO company have introduced.

The business we're taking a deep dive look into is Wine Tours Victoria, who joined Your Business Digital in April of this year with a very small share of the search engine rankings and a Google penalty. This was definitely a challenge for the team at Your Business Digital.


First we wanted to diagnose what was wrong, so we turned to our trusted data providers to find out more information about the business and what has happened. (We use SEMrush)


We learned that there was a significant drop in rankings in June of 2016 and ever since then the business has been receiving far less website traffic than it had been. Upon further enquiry we learned that this drop happened after the business had switched SEO providers to a different local company.

We had found the time, and date of the drop but we hadn't found the root cause. We then gained access to their Google Search Console (opens in new window) and checked whether they had a manual penalty applied against their account. And lo and behold, there was one applied in April of 2016, that the SEO company had kept quiet about.

So the good news was we knew what it was. The bad news was that we had to fix it and get Google's "OK" to be able to rank well again.

So we began looking for links that were not trustworthy using our Data Partners, SEMRush and Majestic. And we found hundreds of manipulative links from dozens and dozens of different sites.

So we created a disavow file, which is essentially a list of domains that we consider to be spammy and ask google to ignore their impact on our site.

Unfortunately, that was not enough as two weeks after submitting a reconsideration request we got a response from Google which stated that unnatural links continued to persist on the website.

After two weeks of hard work and another two weeks of hard work, we got a really unpleasant response from Google.

We knew what to do next. We went to the old SEO company and specifically requested that they undid all their link building across all the past 12 months. Well over $6000 worth of "work" had to be removed for us to fix this issue and move forward.

So, the previous SEO company removed the work they had done, and no less than two weeks later we were greeted with this notice!

If you would like to check if you have a Google Penalty, visit the Google Search Console and check under manual actions. If you do end up seeing a penalty, we can help.

The old company, in my opinion failed in their duty of care to the client by leaving the penalty as is, most likely to not rock the boat and allow them to continue collecting their paycheck every month.

With the penalty, there was no hope of Wine Tours being able to claim decent rankings on Google.

(Red line indicates date penalty was removed)

It's early days for Wine Tours Victoria working with Your Business Digital, but we've already almost tripled their website traffic in two short months since removing the penalty.

And, they're #1 on Google in Victoria for "Wine Tours". just below the ads.

If you're concerned that your existing SEO company might be pulling a fast one, or hiding something from you. Don't hesitate to reach out to us on 0411 634 278 or