Google Manual Penalty Removal
With Penalty Expert, Dr. Marie Haynes
We have removed a large number of manual unnatural links penalties!
I removed my first manual penalty in early 2012. I was approached by someone in an SEO forum who knew I had an interest in penalties. At this time there really was nothing written online about how to remove these penalties. But, through trial and error, and reading everything that Google had published on the subject, I managed to succeed. Since then, I have become known as an authority when it comes to manual penalties. I have spoken at conferences such as Pubcon, Las Vegas and SMX and have written and published a book about how to remove a manual unnatural links penalty.
If you are looking for the best person in the business, I will unashamedly proclaim myself as one of your best options! If my prices are too expensive for you, I can also recommend some great penalty removers who have trained with me and consult with me on the difficult cases.
How do I know if I have an unnatural links penalty?
Not sure if you have a penalty? There is an easy way to check. Go to Webmaster Tools and click on Search Traffic, then Manual Actions. If you see “No Manual Webspam Actions” then you may be dealing with an algorithmic issue such as Penguin or Panda. (If you’re not sure if this is the issue then I would recommend having me do a Traffic Drop Assessment of your site.) But, if you see something like this, then you know you’ve got a manual unnatural links penalty:
How did I get this penalty?
If you have a manual penalty it means that a member of Google’s webspam team has personally reviewed your site and decided that it was worthy of being penalized. We don’t always know why a site gets a manual review. It may be that a competitor reported you. Or, in some cases I believe that Google decides to randomly review sites, especially if you are in a competitive area.
How important is it to get this penalty removed?
If you have a sitewide manual action, then this will mean that a part, or all of your site will not appear in Google searches. If this is the case, then getting the penalty removed as quickly as possible is vitally important. Here is a case where a site owner took advantage of our expedited plan after failing repeatedly with other SEO companies. We removed a penalty within three weeks of them approaching us:
But what about partial actions? These are tough. In most cases, the work needed to remove a partial manual action is exactly the same as a sitewide action. And often, when a partial action is removed, there is not much change in rankings. Here is an example of a site for which we removed a partial action. You can see that not much changed:
But then there are other cases where removing a partial action did help such as this case:
When a partial action is applied, Google stops counting the link equity from the links that they feel are unnatural. As such, when the penalty is removed, it’s not like you are going to regain that link equity. As such, this is why we don’t often see a jump back to top rankings after a partial action is removed.
Another factor to consider is the Penguin algorithm. If you have links that have given you a partial manual action, then there is a good possibility that those unnatural links will hurt you in Google’s Penguin algorithm. This is another reason why you should work to get the manual action removed. Here is a site that came to us for manual penalty help, and in the process of removing the manual penalty we also helped them to escape the Penguin algorithm:
How do you remove a manual penalty?
Here are the steps that we take when removing a manual penalty:
- Make a thorough list of backlinks as gathered from ahrefs.com, majestic.com, opensiteexplorer.org, Webmaster Tools Sample, Webmaster Tools most recent and other sources. We also have a process that we use that helps us to find links that are not available on any of the backlink checkers. This helps us to get more penalties removed on our first try.
- Manually review at least one link from every domain linking to the site. The goal is to determine which links Google would like to see removed and try to keep as many good links as possible.
- Make thorough efforts to contact site owners to get links removed. We document this process thoroughly. We contact site owners through email addresses we can find on the site, whois email addresses and contact forms.
- Complete and file a disavow file. This file will be very thorough. The file contents are discussed with the site owner prior to filing.
- Write and file a reconsideration request.
In many cases we are successful at removing a penalty on our first try. But, should we fail, then we review the sample links that Google gives us, and try again. We never charge extra for extra attempts. The fee charged is the final fee (see below) no matter how many attempts it takes us.
How long does it take to get a penalty removed?
This can really vary. It generally takes us about 4-6 weeks to go through the whole process of auditing links, contacting site owners and putting together a thorough case for Google. Once we file it can take anywhere from three days to six weeks to hear a response back. In many cases we pass on the first try. Sometimes it can take a couple of extra tries. We have had a couple of difficult cases that took us several months in order to succeed.
We do have expedited plans for those clients who are wanting to remove their penalty as quickly as possible.
Another service that we offer is to have Marie Haynes review your failed reconsideration requests and determine what is holding you back. In most cases, clients are able to successfully pass at reconsideration on their next attempt after receiving this report.
Helpful Resources for Manual Penalty Removal
- Google’s Disavow Tool
- Google on Manual Actions
- Reconsideration Request Guidelines and Examples – Article on Search Engine Watch
- Link Removal Tips – Article on Search Engine Watch
- Removing Unnatural Links by Removing Pages on Your Website – Article on Search Engine Watch
- 8 Reasons Your Reconsideration Request Will Fail – Article on Search Engine Watch
- 7 Things You May Not Know About Google’s Disavow Tool – Article on Search Engine Watch
- Did Your Manual Penalty Disappear? It Probably Expired – Article on Search Engine Watch
- Is That Directory Link Unnatural? – Article on Search Engine Watch
- Should You Disavow Links from m.biz?– Article on Search Engine Watch
- Your Start to Finish Guide to Using Google’s Disavow Tool – Moz article
- After a Link Based Penalty is Removed, Will Your Traffic Increase? – Moz article
- What is an Unnatural Link? An in-depth Look at the Google Quality Guidelines – Moz article
- The Difference Between Penguin and an Unnatural Links Penalty – Moz article