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Bad Link Recovery And Google Disavow Tool

As Google updates its search engine algorithm with the Panda, Penguin, and now the Hummingbird updates, more and more websites are being “penalized” for having bad, junk, and irrelevant links that point to their site(s). In many cases Google has actually devalued their sites rather than penalize. Most of these links were built by black hat practicing seo companies.   In many cases these links were built by questionable (at best) auto link building programs or link building schemes. The best remedy in most cases is to build high quality links that point to your site. We at West LA SEO can build high-quality links with a page ranking of three to seven  that point to your site and will improve your site’s value and therefore increase your site’s presence in the search engine results.

Google does have a “Disavow” program for recovering  from bad link that simply can’t be removed. Using Google's link disavow tool can have a negative influence on the Google rankings of your website. If you plan to disavow backlinks in bulk you might want to reconsider your strategy. This has to be done through  Google’s Webmaster’s Tools and really should be done on a link by link basis.

Last week, Eric Kuan, member of Google's web spam team, confirmed that the link disavow tool can hurt the rankings of your website:

"The disavow backlinks tool should be used with caution since it can potentially harm your site's performance.However, if you see a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links point to your site, and you're confident that the links are causing issues for your site, you can use the disavow tool to disavow those links. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool."

In other words: using the disavow backlinks tool is an indicator that there's something fishy about your website and it can happen that you disavow good backlinks that help your website.

n a recent video released by Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, Matt answered the question, “How can a site recover from a period of spamming links?”

The example given was when Interflora was penalized by Google for buying links and only was penalized for 11 days. The question was, how can a site with a penalty get their rankings back in 11-days like Interflora?

Matt didn’t give a specific answer to the question, instead he said he wanted to answer it in a general sense.

Matt said that you should disavow the bad links with a vengeance and disavow all the links that might be paid. Don’t use the disavow tool a single link at a time, instead use the domain level disavow option. Matt said this before, explaining that you should use the disavow tool more like a machete.

So, if you know you paid for links between a specific date range, technically, you can disavow all the links you acquired between those date ranges, or at least disavow most of them, at the domain level.

Recovering From Spammy Backlinks

Rather than talking about the specific company in question, Matt answered by speaking to the topic in general. Generally speaking, buying and selling links to pass PageRank is a violation of Google’s guidelines, period. If Google sees that kind of thing happening over and over again, then the actions they take become more severe.

If a company were to be caught buying links for a specific period of time, Matt suggests the company should mass disavow every single link they acquired during that time frame. Sounds like a pretty extreme action to take, but that kind of extreme action is needed in order for the penalized company to show Google how serious they are about correcting the penalty. When the company submits a reconsideration request showing they mass disavowed all those links, Google will look fondly on that kind of action. Matt says he wouldn’t recommend everyone take this kind of action, but it’s something he sees quite frequently when people take ownership of a new domain and want a completely fresh start.

When a site is hit with a penalty for link spam, the webmaster has the opportunity to correct the problem. After correcting the problem the webmaster can then submit a reconsideration request which will prompt Google to reassess the site to see if appropriate action has indeed been taken. Matt considers it a half-hearted reconsideration request when webmasters try to shave off just a few bad links. A good reconsideration request, on the other hand, involves disavowing entire domains that have bad links. A large-scale action makes an impact when Google is assessing a reconsideration request.

Over at Hacker News there are some complaints about the Google SEO Starter Guide (PDF). So Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts jumped in to try to understand what is wrong.

That isn't the fun part, the fun part is later in on the conversation, one person said the thing that is wrong with it is that it doesn't mention how you need to buy links.

The webmaster said, "Yeah, this is all good and everything. But to get to the top in a competitive market, there is usually very little option but to buy high quality links."

In which, Matt Cutts responded, "That's a really bad long-term strategy."

If you want your Internet business to pay your kids’ way through college, to build an inheritance for your grandchildren, or simply to take you through to retirement, you need to have a longview.

Do things right. The longview is built upon a sound SEO strategy, one that bases its progress on slow gains over the long term, and integrates each of the 3 pillars of SEO. The longview strategy is one that adheres to Google’s Webmaster Rules, and settles in for the gradual climb of success.

Be willing to change. Because the Internet changes, because algorithms change, and because your competitors change, so must you. Part of business in an Internet culture is the constant environment of change. Keep your ear to the ground for things such as the next Penguin, the dominance of mobile search, the importance of social signals, etc. These are the factors that will have a bottom-line impact upon your business. Know these factors, and adapt accordingly.

We at West Los Angeles SEO offer a free link recovery analysis on an individual basis. Give us a call to start the process of bad link recovery and increasing productivity of your website and the traffic to your website.

West LA SEO  (424) 272-6228