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How to get your link penalty overturned
When it comes to link penalties, they can burn any website to the ground by strangling the SERP rankings of the site and stopping the flow of traffic. Google is starting to not be so nice and they are making examples out of thousands of websites every month. We all know that getting one of these penalties is much easier to do that remove them, and Google makes sure we know that.
If you plan on removing a penalty yourself know that it will take a lot of time and effort to do it right. You could be potentially removing hundreds of thousands of links aimed at your website, which isn't an easy thing to do.
Every time a new client is contacting me for work I will ask them if they've ever had SEO done for their website by a company or if they've done some themselves. I ask because I want to know what I'm getting into before I do a check on their link profile. Sometimes the client will have a penalty and they will have to pay me to remove it before we do any SEO work, which they sometimes don't like.
When it comes to a penalty, it's usually because of bad linking. The best way to help remove these links is by getting in and setting them as nofollow which will make it so they don't pass any authority, if any, to your website. This takes a ton of time if you have a lot of links and there is no guarantee that you will have access to every link since you may not be the one who made the profile that posted it.
Google Disavow Tool
You can also use the Google Disavow Tool but consider this as your last resort to remove bad backlinks. You will need to get a list of links from various methods and not just the links reported in Googles Webmaster Tools.
Here is a list of websites to use when finding your links:
- Google Webmaster Tools (duh!)
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer
You can use the above services and tools to find a good amount of your backlinks and then go through them one by one to exclude them. Again, this takes a good amount of time so you'll need to set aside a good amount of time in order to fix this penalty.
Google will never tell you the exact process of putting you back in the rankings, but a good way to get back in their good graces is to remove all the sh*tty links aimed at your website
Remove the grey area
When it comes to removing your backlinks, don't be too hasty, but you need to remove anything that could possibly be hurting your website in the rankings. Scroll through your list and add the obvious links to List A, potentially harmful links to list B and Obviously safe links to list C. You can actually just delete list C because you don't really need it since you're not deleting the links themselves. Disavow everything in list C and go through list B with a fine toothed comb.
Just by getting rid of everything in list C you will possibly be out of the penalty because of all the low quality links being removed. When you're going through list B you'll want to rate your links from 1 - 10 based on how spammy they look. This is what takes a lot of time because you have to go through each link and check them out, if you have thousands of links to sift through, you could be investing an entire day. Remove any links you rated a 6 or lower because those are usually the ones that are in a grey area when it comes to a penalty.
Hire a company to do it for you
When you're dealing with a lot of links to remove it can be very time consuming even if you know what you're doing. If you're thinking about outsourcing this penalty removal you will want to be very picky when it comes to hiring the right company. You'll want to get referrals from friends, other webmasters and even random forum members. Put together a list and see which of the companies has the best reviews online and that will give you a good idea of who to contact. But before you contact them, check their link profile to see what they're doing lol. If they have a lot of spammy links then avoid them because they aren't even following the right guidelines in the first place.
The best way to avoid a penalty is to stop building millions of links to your homepage and subpages over night because it just isn't natural. Stop getting bad links from software that just give you auto approved backlinks and never help you out in the long run. Sure your SEO guy may be selling 1,000,000 links for $10 but that's never a good thing when it comes to Google burning your rankings with a penalty and then you have to spend 3 weeks or $3,000 to get the penalty lifted lol.
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