|Still penalized, even after disavowing 90% of links|
For a site I have, I disavowed 90% of links found in the webmaster tools links section then submitted re-inclusion request.
They come back saying:
"We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines."
I don't get it? Am suppose to also include links that are outside of the Google webmaster tools incoming links report?
I don't think GWT's link report gives you ALL the links.
This is what really frustrates me with Google.
According to Matt Cutts at some point in the near future they are going to give us examples in GWT of links they consider not natural. Maybe wait until then to see what it shows.
A few things here.
As netmeg suggests, the GWT report is woefully inadequate. But Google themselves have suggested that these are the links to address when looking at reconsideration/disavow. I am totally confident that the GWT report does not show all of the links that Google evaluates. This is a bit of a mystery to me. Is it that they won't count the links not shown in GWT against you? Is it that the statement simply isn't true. My best guess is that as far as manual action is concerned, GWT may be sufficient. But from what I've seen, many manual actions for links are accompanied by algorithmic penalties anyway.
The second thing is that Google have (somewhat paternalistically) suggested that you must remove links rather than just disavow them all as some sort of show of 'good faith'. Again, this is a little difficult to put into precise terms.
|According to Matt Cutts at some point in the near future they are going to give us examples in GWT of links they consider not natural. Maybe wait until then to see what it shows. |
I wouldn't wait for that, to be honest. Any examples from Google are likely to be highly obvious.
Google has said repeatedly over the years that the output from the LINK: operator as well as the links listed in WMT are BOTH samples. WMT typically gives a larger sample than LINK:, but still it is just a sample.
While Google does want you to attempt to take down those links violating their guidelines before using the Disavow Tool, I doubt this is necessarily a requirement. I think they ask that you do so for selfish reasons... to save themselves from having to continue to process those links ad infinitum and to miminize the number of links disavowed (and the processing required to disavow them). Imagine the CPU cycles spent processing and disk space required to store all of the webspam links on the Internet.
If Google's response to your RR specifically said, "we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines" then that is likely the reason your RR was rejected.
I would try to determine "why" they were still seeing "bad" links. Perhaps you missed some that were not shown in the WMT sample of links... Or perhaps you submitted the RR too soon after disavowing your links.
Did you want 3-4 weeks after disavowing those links BEFORE submitting your Reconsideration Request? Google stated very clearly in their original post on their blog that it can take weeks to process your disavows (i.e. recrawl all those links and essentially flag them NOFOLLOW):
|We need to recrawl and reindex the URLs you disavowed before your disavowals go into effect, which can take multiple weeks. |
They also stated you should allow time for the disavows to process before submitting an RR:
|Wait for some time to let the disavowed links make their way into our system. Finally, submit a reconsideration request so the manual webspam team can check whether your site is now within Google's quality guidelines, and if so, remove any manual actions from your site. |
Submitting a RR before Google's had time to process all of the disavowed links "might" cause them to still show in their tools used to review your link profile as essentially "followed" links that are still flowing PR.
If you feel you allowed sufficient time for Google to process your disavows before submitting your RR, then I would recommend getting backlink data from as many sources as you can (Google WMT, Bing WMT, Majestic, OSE, etc.)... aggregate it... dedup it... and then review them all one-by-one. Remove and/or disavow any remaining links that appear suspect.
I think it has a lot to do with which underpaid minion ends up handling your request. I've had half-ass clean-up jobs get a penalty revoked on the first request.
I've also had one effort where I created a 10k row spreadsheet documenting EVERY SINGLE LINK, whether it was natural or not, and what I did to fix the problem. Including date/time stamps of emails sent, links successfully removed, and those where the site owner did not respond, with a reference to the disavow entry, etc. 100% documented effort with serious hours behind it. Rejected 4 times in a row with boilerplate replies. 5th time was the charm. No new work done, just more apologetic wording. Or perhaps just more time for spammy links to fall off naturally?
It's a crapshoot. Throw in a little more effort, deeper documentation, and some more fake remorse. Maybe you'll get a more sympathetic drone the next round :)
I've also had one effort where I created a 10k row spreadsheet documenting EVERY SINGLE LINK, whether it was natural or not, and what I did to fix the problem. 'Including date/time stamps of emails sent, links successfully removed, and those where the site owner did not respond, with a reference to the disavow entry, etc. 100% documented effort with serious hours behind it. Rejected 4 times in a row with boilerplate replies. 5th time was the charm. No new work done, just more apologetic wording. Or perhaps just more time for spammy links to fall off naturally?'
Exact same experience here! Two sites:
One site (the more important one)
Removed some 90% of possibly bad links, documented everything in a spreadsheet, disavowed lots of links I couldn't take down, shown remorse
Declined some 6 times! Very frustrating - they keep sending the automated e-mail over and over again without any personalised response whatsover. They just don't care.
Second site did a half-baked job of removing links and sent a request and they removed the ban!
Very frustrating - and frankly google search at the moment is crap; they seem to be ignoring what made them number 1 in the first place.
If Google tells me which links are a problem then I can ask they be removed or I can disavow them. Otherwise I'm not about to police the entire internet to protect my site, I just don't have the time, resources, or patience to do it.
Why should I get penalized for what someone else does on their site if I'm not buying links? This is Google's problem, imho.
We have had exactly the same problem. After working really hard for the past ten years or so optimising our site to Googles so called 'guidelines' to now have them slap a de-index on our site.
Since this time we have done everything possible to remove the links which they now say are against their policy, and have used their 'disovow tool' to let them know to ignore the other links which they now deem to be 'against their webmaster guidelines'. But to no avail. Just an automated response after each re-submit stating we are 'still in violation' and have not been re-indexed.
This has been going on for around 4 months and has become quite detrimental to our business, and for what reason? Because Google wants website owners they think have made some money from their search over the last few years to pay it back via adwords maybe (just a thought).
As per the post above I completely agree that Google need to remember why they became number 1 in the first place and should stop monopolising the internet by moving their goalposts and upsetting their loyal supporters in previous years !
Being from the UK I would now like to see our Government slap them with a penalty and block their IP's since they are paying very little tax into our economy, making billions, and in doing so ruining many small business's in the process with their new mentality (which seems a lot worse than building a few links to help with optimisation).
DuckDuckGo please change your name and do some marketing !
I could be wrong but I read somewhere that just adding links to the disavow is not enough - you actually have to make an effort to have those links deleted and submit some kind of report on your action,
I'm in no way an expert on link disavowal; I've never used the tool, so I could be completely wrong.
But my impression was that the tool was mostly for links that you did not yourself build, but that were thrust upon you.
Links that you may have actually built yourself probably need to be removed entirely in some fashion.
At least that was the way I understood it.
|I could be wrong but I read somewhere that just adding links to the disavow is not enough - you actually have to make an effort to have those links deleted and submit some kind of report on your action, |
I read the same thing, and it was from a Google source, too. I think it was Matt Cutts, but he has talked a lot about Disavow Lonks and I'm having trouble finding that exact link.
Not only does Google want to see the effort to delete those links, but they also want a Reconsideration Request after the effort, too. And even then, they often tell you to make more of an effort, and even when they say OK, many members here report that their rankings do not come back. Some have had improvement but that seems to be a lower percentage.
Here are a couple references that might help:
Google's Help File [support.google.com]
Original Matt Cutts Announcement at Pubcon [pubcon.com]
|I read the same thing, and it was from a Google source, too. I think it was Matt Cutts, but he has talked a lot about Disavow Lonks and I'm having trouble finding that exact link. |
This seems to be along the lines of what you're talking about.
Sometimes you gotta love Bing. 1 query, 2 clicks, found it.
What if you donít try to remove links? Given what a pain it is to get links off the web, why wouldnít someone just use disavow? I know Google recommends requesting link removals, but from a technical standpoint, if they donít do that and just disavow, itís pretty much going to work, right?
No, I wouldnít count on this. In particular, Google can look at the snapshot of links we saw when we took manual action. If we donít see any links actually taken down off the web, then we can see that sites have been disavowing without trying to get the links taken down.