About google Penalties

Search ranking drops are caused by Google penalties, these penalties are normally because the backlinks are causing problems. Google look for manipulation then take action against everyone involved, even if you had no idea what your SEO company was doing or even IF some rogue was doing something behind the scenes to harm your ranks!

If your ranks have dropped and you don't know why, it is important to do a full back link audit on your domain to find those specific links which are causing you problems. It won't be a handful of links but most likely your penalties are caused by thresholds being passed. For example natural domains without any signs of manipulation in their link profile will typically have about 20% of their links from a bad neighborhood (thats the norm), when this threshold passes about 35% we typically see companies coming to us for help!

Another example: When a companies back link anchor text density passes about 5% for competitive keywords, this can cause keyword specific penalties. There are numerous types of penalties and each is designed to stop a particular form of manipulation, In which case we have a suite of link auditing tools which detect different types of problems.

In our experience, domains general suffer from lots of different types of problems at once, this is because over the years different techniques have become popular for manipulating the search results and over time people have switched onto the next industry bandwagon. All the while creating a mess in their wake.

When we do client link audits we explain there is no point just dealing with one specific problem in isolation and strongly suggest each of the back link audit tools are used collectivly to find all the problems and deal with them in one go. There is no point doing this work in half measures as it takes time and effort for these problems to be dealt with and you don't want to get into a situation with doing the clean up using just a small selection of your bad links.

Because the nature of the web when it comes to getting bad links removed, not all the domains will respond or will be contactable, some will use hidden registration services and others will have no one monitoring the domains. In general we find that people can get about half of the bad links we detect removed, which is normally enough to bring them back into the realm of the norm, leaving say about 20% which are still in a bad neighborhood but are non responders, this is the main reason why its important to find ALL the bad links in one go as the more you have located the easier it will be to get back to whats considered the norm.

Any remaining links that you cannot get removed after a few weeks of work trying can then be uploaded to the Google Disavow Tool. This tool was offered by Google primarily to deal with negative SEO where companies find they are victims of negative linking (these are tricks that some people have used to harm their competitors). When using the Disavow Tool and doing any reconsideration requests it is recommended to explain to Google that all the bad links were placed without your knowledge.

Google strongly recommend taking the time and effort to remove all offending links before using the Disavow Tool or doing a Reconsideration Request! We too find the best results come from Google after actually removing the majority of the bad links, this protects you from future updates whereby leaving the bad links in place could continue to cause problems with other 'Updates' and this also lowers the amount of links you need to disavow (report).

The systems we have developed to deal with penalties are comprehensive, we have built automatic tools to help you with every aspect of dealing with these issues, firstly in detecting which of your links that Google have taken action against, then automatically finding the contact details for these domains, then automatically contacting them with takedown requests, this part believe it or not is extremely complicated when your posting to contact forms automatically dealing with Captcha challenges and the mess you get when trying to make sense of disparate code on all these dodgy websites.

The automatic email systems we have developed are extremely effective, the wording used has strong psychological meaning and there are two different types of email tools, one targets the site owners asking the links be removed, the other targets the hosting companies claiming infringing content and DMCA take down notices. Collectively these two tools combined are normally enough to get at least half the bad links removed.

This whole process normally takes a few weeks, it will take you a day to run the back link audit tools we have, these tools will run live in front of you and the bad links will automatically be uploaded to our Link Removal CMS, our link removal cms automatically finds all the contact details for the domains then once we have found all the bad links you can use the automatic link removal email tools. Those can be run automatically a few times and then after a few weeks of waiting for people to take action you will have done as much as is 'humanly possible' (even though it was all automatic :)

At which point you can download the list of the bad links in the Disavow format directly from our system and then upload this to Google. If you have already received a warning from Google in WebMasterTools you will need to do a reconsideration request. Reconsideration requests are necessary when you have a 'manual' penalty. These manual penalties are where Googles spam team have taken specific targeted action against your domain. However, the vast majority of penalties are 'algorithmic'.

Algorithmic penalties are completely separate from manual action, that means even if you have manual action revoked you could still technically be in a penalty. Also you might be told from Google they have not placed any manual penalties on your domain but this does not mean you don't have a penalty.

Dealing with algorithmic penalties is slightly different from manual ones, these are time delayed penalties which may be applied for 30 days, 60 days or 90 days etc. These periods are set by Google according to the type of problem they discover, these penalties automatically expire but they are also automatically reapplied if you have not removed the offending links. In some cases people notice domains popping in and out of the top of Google, this is typically where such algorithmic action is expiring and being reapplied.

The quickest time you can recover from a penalty is about 3 weeks to 1 month, but it can take many months if you don't find all the problem links or if you don't manage to get enough of them removed! All of these results vary depending upon how badly you have 'offended' Google and what type of action they have taken, what types of links they have discovered, how much work you have done to resolve the issues and what quality links you have left still standing after such actions.

In a small percentage of cases, despite every best effort it won't be possible to recover from some Google penalties. In such cases there are other strategies possible to help companies recover from such events, sometimes it is appropriate to use other 'aged' domains as new targets to work on and get to the top of Google with a 'clean slate'. These are complicated challenges and special skills and resources are necessary to achive good results.


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