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6 Tips for Getting Your Google Manual Penalty Overturned

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If your website has been issued a manual penalty by Google's spam team then you have to take immediate action and try to get it overturned. In some cases, a Google manual action can involve many steps and lots of work but it's most likely that you'll have to get in there and prune those spammy backlinks.

Having a Google manual penalty is essentially the death of your website unless you take steps to get this penalty overturned.

If you don’t attempt or try this then you might as well delete your website as staying in the penalty will mean that your site will never even rank.

Getting the penalty overturned is the best thing you can do for your website BUT make no mistake, getting out of this penalty is no easy feat. Google wants to teach you a lesson to make sure you never violate their guidelines again and once penalised I can make a bet you are never ever going to want to be put in that situation again. It’s an absolute nightmare and is going to put a hell of a lot of stress on you and your business.

Link penalty or Google penalty recovery does take time, effort and a lot of patience, and a commitment to be seriously devoted to getting out of this penalty. Why? Because you are going to have to invest heavily in your time to get out of this penalty by doing many tasks and following is a list that will help you address this penalty and eventually get it overturned. Remember there are absolutely NO SHORTCUTS to redemption – it is unfortunately the long haul.

A few companies over the last couple of months have approached us to help them get out of this penalty and all I can say is that there is GOOD NEWS – we have been successful and we have been able to get the penalty revoked. I’m not saying it was easy BUT I am saying it is very possible and it can be done. Search Engine Land elaborates on this point by telling us that That being said, a manual penalty applied to a website does not spell doom for future search visibility prospects. At the point of writing, any manual penalty is revocable.

Related Post: Google Penalty – How to get your Google rankings back

If you follow these golden tips, you’ll have a much better chance of recovering from this Google manual penalty.

1. Remove all inbound links

Why did I make this number 1? Because it’s the most important and most time-consuming task. If you are under a manual action penalty for over optimisation of links or unnatural link building, then Google is going to want to see that you have made an attempt to delete all of these links. If you have been using an SEO company that has got you into this situation then you need to make sure they are able to delete all the links they have created – this is going to be a big ask. If they are based in Australia this will make the task a lot easier than if your SEO was carried out by an offshore firm.

I really want to emphasise the point here that ALL LINKS must be removed. I’m serious when I say this – you cannot leave one link up there. You can go into your webmaster tools to check the number of inbound links you have to monitor the progress of this job – but if there is even 1 unnatural link remaining Google may not release you from this penalty.

If you can’t delete the link see if a ‘no follow’ attribute can be placed on the link. In any case, this is a big uphill slog so be prepared – DO NOT under any circumstances contact Google until you are confident that you have done as much as you can to address these inorganic links. Another method to show Google that you have tried to delete all spammy links is to submit a file to Google with all links that you have been unable to remove through their disavow links page. This will show the manual action team at Google that you have made an honest attempt to remove all unnatural links and the stubborn ones are in this list and should not be counted as part of your link profile.

2. Be overly attentive in this delinking process.

The bigger the effort you make in trimming and culling these links, the more chances you will have in getting your website off the hook. This may take months in some extreme cases – in fact, I have recovered websites under a manual action that have had well over 100 000 links – it took a few months but it was done. The effort you put in will be rewarded – this I promise. Make sure you keep a detailed list of all the links you have culled so you can file this later when you finally get in touch with Google.

WARNING!! – there are scam companies out there promising that they can get you out of a penalty in 2-3 days – this is a scam and you need to stay well clear of these people – they will only get you into more trouble!!

3. Some links are actually decent and natural.

When I say be thorough about the trimming of links I need to put a clause here saying that some links you might have attained over the years are in fact good and should not be touched. These are the natural links you have probably acquired over time and are OK in the eyes of Google. These could be from credible associations or partners or suppliers that you may be in touch with. In any case, these should remain as part of your backlinking profile. These natural links have some authority and will help you recover your rankings once the penalty has been lifted. I have seen companies request links be removed from really awesome high page rank websites which is a big mistake. So be careful ( and I know this may be hard) when killing off all those links.

4. Don’t be aggressive with your SEO company

Yes these guys got you into this situation and yes you are really angry and looking for a fight, but you have to be level headed at this stage. There is no point flying off the handle and burning all bridges. You are going to need them to help you get out of the penalty. They are going to have to help you get these links removed. And the bad news is they are probably going to charge you for this! Don’t lose you’re cool – stay on top of your emotions as you will need a lot of perseverance, composure and fortitude before this battle is won. Remember, be nice especially if you have to speak to website owners in the hope that they will remove links. These guys are probably bombarded with requests all the time so a nice polite email will go a long way. If when speaking to webmasters about getting links removed you get the cold shoulder and an abusive reply, don’t worry – all you need to do is make a note of the URL, and you can submit it with your request for reconsideration later on – all is not lost!

But, if you have lost all confidence in them (and I probably don’t blame you), then get in touch with us here at SEO SYDNEY EXPERTS and we will help you get out of this manual penalty – in a very Google compliant manner.

5. Only contact Google when ready

There is no point contacting Google daily or even weekly until you are 100% sure that you have done everything in your power to eliminate these harmful links. Once satisfied that these links are completely gone, and you may want to use other software tools just to be on the safe side. Then and only then can you submit a request for reconsideration – this is done through your webmaster tools account and has to be handled and written in a very professional manner. A clear detailed list of links you have had success in removing along with links that you were unable to remove should be sent through to then in a spreadsheet.

You can find out more about a reconsideration request here.

6. Front Up, be honest and make a firm promise that you understand the penalty and are sorry

The Google webspam team who are responsible for initiating this penalty and who has the power to release you want to see 3 points addressed – they have made mention of this so IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THIS.

  1. Be honest and explain how you got the Google penalty – if you have to point a finger at someone do so. Remember if it is an external SEO party then Google should know about their behaviour and dodgy performance.
  2. Explain in detail how to have attempted to fix all the issues – be really detailed here and tell Google the effort you have gone to in order to delete these links.
  3. You may like to add a paragraph where you explain to Google how sorry you are and that you are aware of why you received this penalty and assure them that this will never ever happen again. Be very contrite and to the point – we can only assume that this will get read by another person and if you have shown contrition, shown that you are remorseful and shown that you have culled all the links, then there is no reason why you should not have your penalty overturned.

On occasions, penalties do get overturned and Google will let you know that there is still work to be done. Whilst they will not detail this, they will let you know that there are still far too many inorganic links and that these need to be attended to. This is where the hard work really begins and the late nights spent speaking to webmasters, perhaps in different time zones, that hold the key to deleting these links. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for a few dollars in advance to get rid of them – in my opinion, it’s worth every cent. Whatever you do, if you have to pay say $10 or even $20 to kill the link, then do it! Being frugal at this stage is simply a waste of time as this ‘spammy’ link MUST be deleted.

If you have just found out that you are facing a manual link penalty or you are a little bit suspicious that there is a penalty lurking in the background or you have looked at your link profile ( you can check your backlinks here ) and are worried that it appears unnatural and all this is having an effect on your then speak with a team of professionals who have seen all this before and know exactly what to do to get you out of this very tricky situation.

steven waldberg - ceo seo sydney experts

About the author

Steven Waldberg

Steven is the director of SEO Sydney Experts and is one of the founding members ( that’s over 18 years ago). He has one of the longest careers in the SEO and content marketing industry and has written for many prestigious websites, including B & T and AdNews. If you’re serious about working with someone who will dedicate 100% of himself to your business; Steven is your SEO Expert.

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