Google Manual Penalty: Should I Build a New Website?

If your company has been hit with a Google manual penalty, please contact us at Our team will work with you to determine what next steps to take to increase your Google ranking and combat the penalty your site is facing.

Creating a new website is hard, but so is fighting a Google manual penalty. If your or your company’s website has been hit with a manual penalty, you may be facing the decision of whether to try and revive your old site or start from scratch. Here is our list of pros and cons for building a new site that we hope will help aid your decision.



Building a new website is hard, but if you have been working with an SEO agency that has been practicing black-hat SEO to increase your Google search rankings, building a new website is probably worth it. Here are some Pros:

  1. You know exactly what is going on with your website from the start. Creating a new site means that you get to choose a new SEO agency and have them walk you through the website creation process. This means that you will know all of their techniques and prevent link buying and connections to spammy sites.
    • When you try to revive a site that has been hit with a manual penalty, the SEO company you will probably hire to help you with the penalty will need to know everything that your old SEO company did. You may or may not know everything that was going on with your old site, so starting fresh will be easier for your new agency.
  2. You do not have to worry about any shady links from the outside. Creating a new website means that you get to break ties (both inbound and outbound links) to spammy sites.
  3. You can customize your new site and make it modern. In the past five years, website design has gotten better for both users and designers. Because so many websites are created every day, it is relatively cheap and the newer designs are not only desktop friendly, but mobile friendly as well.
  4. You can incorporate newer photos and videos.
  5. It is a great opportunity to refresh your brand. Creating a new website gives you the opportunity to experiment with a new logo, color scheme and catch phrase.
  6. You have to opportunity to update pages on your website that are essential to your business. This includes pages such as your “About Us” page, your vision page and your customer offerings.


Creating a new website today is typically easier and less stressful than battling a Google manual penalty, but there are obvious Cons to starting fresh.

  1. You will lose all content value you have built. This could have taken you several years to build and thousands of dollars. The reality is, when you create a brand new website, the internet relationships and content value you have built will be thrown away.
  2. Clients will not be used to the new URL. Almost all business owners are afraid of this, but the reality is, none of your customers know your URL because they Google you. The only thing you may lose is your investment into print materials, ads and commercials you made to advertise your company that included the old URL.
  3. You will lose valuable links. This is a big Con to creating a new website. If you have received a Google manual penalty, your site is probably linked to hundreds of spammy websites, but that does not mean that you have not built several extremely valuable links as well. It is possible for your new SEO company to contact these valuable websites and have them change the link URL, but this is not always successful and it takes a lot of time.
  4. All site directories with your business listing will be incorrect. This can be bad for your business, because customers may continue to try and use the old URL associated with your listings. Once again, it is possible to change the URL associated with your listing on these sites, but the time it takes is not always worth it.
  5. Building a website costs a lot of money. While building a new website is cheaper than it once was, it still costs several thousand dollars if you plan on making it look professional, especially if it is customized.
  6. Building a new website takes time. Depending on the designer, a new website can take anywhere from 1-6 months to build. During that time you are not going to be getting any business from the internet.


Can I just move all my content from one site to the other?

Yes, but only if it is done correctly.  This would require you to turn off your old website (by letting Google know it is no longer a website), “Nofollow” all of the links, or delete it completely. This should be done by a professional.

Additionally, if you do choose to move all of your content, be aware that you run the risk of holding onto shady links. That is why most people will just build new content, even though it is more pricey.

Does Google know that I am moving my website and are they going to immediately penalize me because they know my business name?

If you build your new site correctly, Google should not know that you are moving to a new website, after all Google uses an algorithm, not real people, to evaluate new websites. If you start a fresh URL, Google will give you and your new site a second chance.

Should I use the same website and just use a new domain?

You can, but you run the risk of getting penalized immediately. Google really hates when webmasters try to cheat the system, and because they have already indexed your old content and know the site has been penalized, you will get caught relatively quickly. Professionally, this is a very bad decision.

How long does it take?

Creating a new website can take anywhere from 1-6 months depending on the website developer and the number of other clients they have, how detailed you want your new site to be, and how much you are willing to spend.

What kind of website do I need?

You will want a WordPress website that is fully functional. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for – if you pay a little, you will get a little.

How much does it cost?

Typically a professional-looking website will cost anywhere from $3500-$7500.

What is the best investment to make/Where should I spend my money? (new website or reconsideration request)


Taking into consideration all of the Pros and Cons listed above, our recommendation is to start fresh. This is because even if you do get the Google penalty lifted, the chances that your ranking will ever be the same is very low and there so many case studies to prove it. If you are using proper SEO, it is a much better business decision to invest in a completely new website and it is likely that your site will recover faster and higher in the rankings.

If you have decided to create a new website, we strongly suggest that your website designer and SEO agency are working together to build your site. Wojdylo Social Media has a team of SEO and design specialists that work together consistently to create new websites for clients and we would love to help you too! Contact us at for more information.