What is a Google unnatural link penalty?
More and more websites are receiving the dreaded ‘detection of unnatural links’ from Google via their Webmaster Tools account. Not to be confused with the ‘Penguin’ update these are manual link penalty notifications given out by Google which means that an employee of Google has physically sat and analysed your back links and deemed them to be inappropriate. Notifications look like this:
Why have I received a manual link penalty?
If you’ve had one of these notifications then you have been penalised by Google. These penalties are usually the results of poor low quality link building work carried out by your previous or existing SEO Company, or you have been acquiring the types of links that don’t meet Google’s quality guidelines. In Google’s own words:
“If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.
What are the consequences?
These penalties will have an adverse effect on your rankings, traffic and sales. The severity of your penalty is usually determined by the severity of your offence. Your website can lose rankings for certain keywords, your whole websites rankings could be penalised or your website could be totally de-indexed by Google.
How do I recover from a Google penalty?
Act quickly – doing nothing is not an option – the longer you leave things the harsher your penalty becomes. You are expected to deal with the issues as soon as possible. If you don’t Google basically penalizes you more and for longer.
You need to analyse each and every one of your external links and decide whether or not the link is harmful or not and then remove the harmful ones by emailing the website owner. If you can’t get the harmful links removed then you have to ‘disavow’ them through Google’s Webmaster Tools. You can do this yourself or you can employ us to do this for you.
What is the link penalty removal process?
The first thing we’ll do is analyse all of your external backlinks links using extremely sophisticated analysis software. We’ll use various sources to identify as many external links as possible and then we’ll categorise these links into 3 main sections:
We’ll aim to remove your toxic links and we’ll then analyse each and every suspicious link one by one and deal with it accordingly, using our knowledge and expertise of what constitutes as a ‘safe’ and ‘natural’ link.
Once we have explored all opportunities for removing bad links; we’ll resubmit your link profile to Google using a ‘reconsideration request’ in Google Webmaster Tools after disavowing any that we can’t get removed.
How long will it take?
The ‘link removal’ and ‘reconsideration request’ process will depend in the number of suspicious links that need investigating and the number of links that need to be removed. This could be from 1 to 3 months. We have found recently that a manual penalty revoke can take anywhere between 3 – 6 attempts at disavow. We have found that the safest way of recovering previous rankings is to remove links in staged process – this way you are not losing potentially strong links. When your manual penalty has been revoked you will be notified in your Search Console notifications:
How much will it cost?
Absolutely nothing. We can provide a full backlink profile audit and analysis completely free of charge.
What should I do next?
For a free backlink audit to discover if you have a toxic link profile or not [waiting to be penalised], please call us on 01642 927 769 or click the image to the right to open our contact form.