Articles Tagged with Link Removal

Should You Remove Bad Links? A Twitter & Google+ Debate

So this morning I woke up, opened Tweetbot on my mobile and found out that I’d received 29 @mentions from 3 people…

Earlier in the day yesterday, I left this reply to a tweet by @barriemoran about lifting penalties:

I’ve done a bit of manual action work myself (as Morgan Freeman can tell you!) and I always try to remove as many links as possible as part of the process. However I admire Leeds-based SEO agency Branded3 and @Tim_Grice‘s bold claim that “Branded3 [have] had over 60 manual penalty recoveries without removing a single link” (source). I threw @Branded_3 into the tweet as I was curious if they’d chip in with a response on the topic, which they did (in the form of Tim). Dozens of @mentions later…? Well…

Boxer image
* DING DING! * Ladies and gentlemen, in the red corner, we have Barrie and @ChrisLDyson, arguing that you should definitely try and remove links as part of the process. And in the blue corner (very apt, given their branding!), we have Tim on behalf of Branded3, suggesting that simply disavowing is enough and link removal isn’t necessary (and that they have 60+ success stories to prove it)…

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The SEOshank Reconsideration

“Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?”

A few months ago, I went through my first penalty removal experience for a client. They had a manual action notification in their Google Webmaster Tools account for having unnatural links pointing at their site, due to poor quality work from their previous SEO agency.

Before delving into filing a reconsideration request, we removed as many links as we could and disavowed the rest using Google’s shiny disavow tool. During the process, I researched reconsideration request best practice and discovered that it can be very hard to succeed on your first try – sometimes it takes multiple attempts. Even so, I wanted to follow the rules properly to maximise our chances of early success.

It took us 4 attempts in the end until we were successful and the manual action was subsequently lifted. With each attempt, given Google’s pettiness (as I will go on to explain), it was difficult not to just have a massive grump at them. In fact, it reminded me of certain scenes from a certain film

Disclaimer: If you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption, then be warned that there’s gonna be spoilers…

Reconsideration request #1 = Red’s 20-year parole hearing

When drafting my reconsideration request, I followed Marie Haynes’ excellent guide, which also includes an example draft. I followed the example pretty closely (unfortunately I didn’t save any examples, so I can’t share them in this post), which – as you can see if you click the link – is pretty courteous and friendly but also quite apologetic. It accept responsibility. It asks for forgiveness. It tells Google that we’re rehabilited.

Our “We have worked hard to resolve the quality issues on our site and are completely committed to following the Quality Guidelines from this point on” is Red’s “I can honestly say that I’m a changed man.”

I felt a bit like this:

Red's 1st parole image
…But this happened:

Red's 1st rejection image

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