Seen your website rankings disappear? Has your website traffic dramatically dropped? Your not alone!
Tens of thousands of websites have suffered with the recent Google Penguin algorithm updates, thousands of websites have been penalised by Google. In most cases penalties are incurred due to having low quality backlinks pointing to your website, duplicate content or very spammy low quality text content.
As a result many thousands of websites have incurred a penalty from Google causing many headaches for website owners and internet marketers. In many cases business owners have lost many thousands of pounds in lost revenue because their products and services are not being seen by their online target audiences.
All is not lost, you can get your website search rankings back! In today`s blog post I will try to help you out and provide you with some advice on how to remove a Google Penalty.
Firstly you need to find out how you received a Google Penalty in first place, the best place to start is in your Google webmasters account and see if you have received any messages from the Google webmasters webspam team. In most cases Google will notify you if your website has incurred a penalty. If you do not have a Google webmasters account then why not?
The most common cases of Google penalties are:
- Unnatural Link Building
- Duplicate Content
- Malware / Hacked Website
Removal a Google Penalty Unnatural Link Building
The method I want to talk about today is receiving a penalty from unnatural link building is the most problematic and requires the most time and effort to get revoked. ( I will talk about the other methods, but that`s another blog post)
Firstly get a full list of all domains pointing to your website, tools such as A HREF`s ( http://ahrefs.com) will save you time, export the list into a spreadsheet. Secondly create a second spreadsheet which you can use to list the low quality webpages pointing to your website. A suggestion for your second spreadsheet layout would be:
- Bad Link URL
- On Domain
- Contact URL / Email
- Secondary Contact
- Date Contacted
- Link Removed? (Y/N)
- Contact Count
above is an example is a links removal spreadsheet
Here`s where is can start to be tricky for many website owners, from the original list of backlinks you need to start checking through each and every domain to see if there`s a link pointing back to your domain. Some maybe hard to find, they could be in the form of an anchor link or an image. If there`s a lot of content and other links on the webpage you can speed up your efforts by viewing the page source and using your browsers find tool, (suggestion – use: mydomain.com, replace the mydomain.com with your own domain name, do not use http:// or www. )
I found the link but how can I tell if that link is a good quality link or a bad quality link?
Here`s a few pointers in determining a good link from a bad link.
- Webpage has dozens of other links on the page
- The website linking to you has no relative content relating to your own website
- Low quality domains like .info / .biz
- Foreign language content, “for example Russian”
- websites with more advertisements than actual content
- Low quality directories
- Article submissions websites
It can be quite hard trying to determine the good quality links from the low quality links, you will have to make up your own mind in figuring this out. If the link looks low quality then it probably is, do not take the chance have it removed.
Getting the links removed is a very time consuming process, I would start with suggesting once you have found a bad link contact the website owner via email or contact form and politely ask them to remove your link from their website, if your link is on more than one page ask for all links to be removed, make sure you tell the webmaster which pages your link is on and the link url. Here`s an example how I would contact the webmaster.
Subject: Link Removal Request
Hopefully you can help me, Your website has a link to my own website mydomain.com.
I would be very grateful if you could remove the follow links from your website.
Link on your domain: www.yourdomain.com/links/72634.html
Could you please also reply with an email when you remove the link? It would help me greatly.
Once you have sent the webmaster an email keep a record of the email by entering the information into you link removal request spreadsheet, this will come in handy at a later date. Add the information to the spreadsheet for each website owner you contact.
Some webmasters will remove the link for you within a couple of days, some may take a while longer. If the website owner webmaster removes the link and replies to your email, add the information to the link removal request spreadsheet. It will come in handy later.
Depending on how many backlinks you have contacting all the webmasters of low quality webpages can take a considerable amount of time, hour`s or even days.
If you have a vast amount of bad backlinks to clear I would suggest contacting the google webspam team while your working through clearing the badlinks.
This page will provide you will more information: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35843
Once your ready to submit a re-inclusion request, Write out in detail that your website has received a Google penalty and that your requesting to have it removed. Explain what you have been doing in regards to removal of the bad backlinks, provide them with copies of both your spreadsheets.
Be nice or Google might not play fair, tell them that in the past your website has been linkbuilding has not met the google quality guidelines and that you are working very hard to remove the bad links and that all future linkbuilding will be done in accordance of the google quality guidelines.
It may take them a while to reply but be patient, while your waiting for their response carry on working through all the bad backlinks and keep your spreadsheet upto date as you may need to send it back to the Google webspam team again, but that depends on how big your backlink portfolio is.
A word of warning – Many website owners may not answer your link removal request`s, some may never never reply to your email! If thats the case then contact the webmaster again, maybe they missed the email the first time round.
I hope this guide helps you, if you have any questions feel free to comment and I will try my best to answer them all.