Lately we have been taking not a few clients who had previous SEO companies that engaged in techniques that hurt the client website’s rankings. So I thought today I’ll share a little bit about how to recover from bad links and get the Google penalty removed from your site.
Disavowing links fastest way to resolve penalty
In yet another video, Google webspam team head Matt Cutts answers a question related to how the UK floral site Interflora managed to bounce back into the index only 11 days after being penalised for massive amounts of native advertising spam in various newspapers in the UK. Though he didn’t really answer the question directly because he’d rather speak in general terms instead of about a specific company, Cutts implies that disavowing all links obtained inside the time frame when a website was caught buying links is the fastest way to resolve the problem.
If a company were to be caught buying links, it would be interesting if, for example, you knew that it started in the middle of 2012 and ended in March 2013, if a company were to go back and disavow every single link that they had gotten in 2012, that’s a pretty monumentally epic large action.
So that the sort of thing where company is willing to say, “You know what, we might’ve had good links for a number of years and then we had really bad advice and someone did everything wrong for a few months, maybe up to year, so just to be safe let’s just disavow everything in that time frame.” That’s a pretty radical action and that’s the sort of thing where we heard back on a reconsideration request that someone had taken that kind of a strong action, then we could look and say, “OK, this is something people are taking seriously.
Cutts didn’t say it explicitly, but that seems to be the approach Interflora took to manage to make it back in the search results of Google just 11 days after it was penalised.
Stronger penalties for repeat offenders
Even more telling is what Cutts says about repeat offenders:
Google tends to look at buying and selling links that pass PageRank as a violation of our guidelines and if we see that happening multiple times, repeated times, then the actions that we take get more and more severe. “So we’re more willing to take stronger action whenever we see repeated violations.
So there you go, straight from the mouth of Google’s top engineer. Should you find your website penalised by Google, you will have to disavow all links from the time period that Google says you were purchasing links, and get a clean slate. More importantly don’t do it again. Ever.