Oh man. I got an email last week from a former client for whom we had lifted a manual unnatural links penalty recently asking why they had another penalty. The original penalty was reduced from a sitewide to a partial on April 19, 2014 and the penalty was completely removed on May 6, 2014.
The message from Webmaster Tools, given on May 6 clearly states that there are "no manual actions on your site". It took about 2 days for the manual spam actions viewer to reflect that there were no webspam actions. This is normal. It can take up to a week for the manual spam actions viewer visible under Search Traffic --> Manual Actions to reflect that a penalty has been lifted.
Then, last week the client noticed in Webmaster Tools that they once again had a partial action on their site:
They had not received any email notification nor had they received a message in Webmaster Tools of a penalty being reapplied. The client had done absolutely no linkbuilding since their penalty was removed.
We immediately applied for reconsideration again saying the following:
Dear Google Webspam Team,
We received notification of having our manual spam action revoked on May 6, 2014. Shortly after this the manual action disappeared from our manual actions viewer. However, we now see that we have a partial action again. We are not sure whether a mistake has been made or whether Google needs us to do more link clean up work. We are applying for reconsideration again so that this matter can be rectified.
Nine days later we received another message saying that our manual spam action had been revoked. At this point the manual spam actions viewer is still showing that there is a partial action but I am assuming that this will take a couple of days to resolve as happened before.
It looks like Google made a mistake. John Mueller has mentioned before that it can happen that a webspam team member can forget to hit the button to actually remove a penalty. But this is the first time that I've seen it happen where a penalty got lifted and accidentally came back. I also wrote about a similar case here where Google made a mistake and forgot to lift a penalty.
If you have had manual actions on your sites before, it is a good idea to check them periodically to make sure that they haven't been reapplied!
Have you had a similar experience? I'd love for you to leave a comment below.
Google update newsletter
Want an update when Google makes a big algorithm change or other announcement? Sign up here!
Yeah, same was happen with one of my client buy the penalization was not on linkbuilding but on other some blackhat thing. although it was considered as spam. We proceed with reconsideration request and after few day, it was not only back but better for previous position.. What about the rankings of this website?
Thanks for commenting Shazan. This site saw a big jump up in rankings when the penalty went from sitewide to partial, but no improvement when the partial was removed. Now, sometimes that’s normal. But, we’ll see what happens over the next few days now that the penalty is REALLY removed.
I am sure you will notice a good jump.. ! Best of Luck (Y)
I have had two penalties that I thought expired that Google sent notice almost 3 MONTHS later.. Google seems to be doing some Wonky stuff these days!
That is crazy Jody! So, just to be clear, was the notice that you received 3 months later one saying that the manual spam action was revoked?
Now, that’s really creepy for me, especially I am handling three websites at the same time. I should be careful, too, or Google will mistakenly give me notice. Seriously, there are lot of things happened at Google these day . . .
1 month back google give us partial penalty for backlinks and we did hard work and finally google remove our penalty
The website which had penalty had very good traffic before penalty but then traffic goes down like nothing.
Now google lift the penalty but still our traffic down and not evening coming up. We also restructure and redesign our website complete and give 301 for imp urls
Now i have few questions
1. Why our traffic not coming up even penalty reomved
2. We removed bad backlinks and also remove backlinks from our network portals too where we had sidewide links ( these are our own network portals and all are related to same job industry and these are one of very good traffic and nice sites). so you think this is bad idea to remove my backlinks from my network portals too?
Can you guide me please
It is not uncommon for a site to see no improvement once a penalty is lifted. In many cases, the only reason that the site was ranking well was on the power of unnatural links. You’re not going to get those links back.
There is more info here on what you can expect after a penalty is removed:
Your second question is tough to answer. If there are a large number of these sites, then yes, they should be removed. If it’s a small number of sites and the links actually make sense to be there for reasons other than SEO, then they could possibly stay.