I’m sure that you’ve heard of the dreaded Google Penguin and Panda updates, and I guess that if you’re here you may well have fallen foul to them.
If you’ve discovered that your website has dropped dramatically immediately after one of the updates then you will without a doubt have been penalised by it, and you are probably in a panic wondering how to get your website, and your livelihood back?
Well, if you’ve been hit by the Penguin update, which aims to tackle “web spam” in the form of dubious link practices (including automated link building, article marketing, and other methods to improve rankings), then it probably is possible to recover your website.
However, it is not an easy process, it’s something that you have to get right, and it will in all probability take several months before you see an improvement, and because of the time and effort it takes it is not cheap if you employ someone to do it for you.
At SEO Experts we can help you, we have helped a number of companies to recover their websites after the first penguin update, typically the costs have been around £900 – £1200 to complete the process, which is quite cheap when you consider the time and effort required.
However, since many people may not be able to afford to pay someone to do this for them I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do if your website has been hit by the penguin and you decide to recover it yourself.
How to Submit a Disavow Links File the Right Way
1) First of all you need to find as many of the bad links as you possibly can.
To do this I suggest that you go to your “Google Webmasters Tools” account and download all of the links that Google tell you are pointing to your site (if you don’t have a webmasters tools account you need to sign up to it).
2) Once you have these put them all into one big spreadsheet and use the “remove duplicates” tool.
3) Now comes the fun bit. You need to work through that list visiting all of the URLs that contain a link to your site, and noting which are legitimate and which are likely to have been classed as spam.
What you need to bear in mind is that Google don’t tell you about all of the links they know about, and Ahrefs and Majestic will not have found all of the links out there as well. The hope is that by putting them all together you’ll get a pretty good picture.
4) If you find an article that reads like it was written by a non English speaker, or was regurgitated by some automated software then you need to copy the title of that article and search for it in Google.
What we’ve found is that although the content may change the title often remains the same, so search for “the articles title” (including the speech marks) and see how many times it pops up in the results in Google.
Visit each page and make a note of the URL of any that aren’t already in your list.
5) Continue with this process until you’ve worked through your entire list.
6) Now go back to the sites that you identified as containing spam links and contact the site owner asking for the link to be removed.
What you’ll probably find is that a lot of the sites are unmanned, no one answers, you’ll find that some have no contact form even, and others come back asking for money to remove the link.
Make a note on your spreadsheet of the date that you tried to contact the site owner, and note where you have successfully got the link removed.
7) When you’ve finished this process you can use Googles super duper new “disavow links tool” to submit your list of bad links along with the details of your attempts to get the links taken down, and a very detailed explanation of how and why the links got there, and why it won’t happen again in the future.
If you’ve done all of the above properly, correctly formatted your disavow links file, written a good explanation of what went wrong, and if fortune smiles on you then Google may well lift the penalty and you’re back in business.
As I mentioned before it will take months before you see any changes, and needless to say you need to make sure that you really DO NOT follow any spam like practices in terms of building links, etc, otherwise your site will in all probability be banned in a flash, and it’s unlikely that you’d be able to recover your site and livelihood a second time.
If you do need our help in attempting to recover your website then please feel free to contact us to discuss it.
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