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Penalized for unnatural links... and still indexed
makin



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 2:05 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

I have been penalized three months ago, after receiving an email from GWMT that said in essence: link schema, paid links. After removing a lot of links, using disavow and sending for four times a reconsideration request.. I'm still penalized and always I receive the same auto respond from GWMT: You are still penalized.

Thank God, I'm still indexed in google but all my keywords have drop some positions. Specifically, the keywords with more links density, I mean, my anchor keyword with more links.

My anchor distribution is the following one:

26 % widgets
8% blue widgets
7% brand name

The entrance links are from good websites related with my niche. But not all of them are natural, I mean, some of them are: I link you from the websites A, you link my websites A from your website.

My question are:

Why I'm still indexed in google?
I should to change my unnatural anchors to my brandname? How many of them?

Thanks!

 

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 10:19 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the hell I've known since March 2012 (and am still there for a couple of sites!). Getting an unnatural links notice doesn't mean your site is going to be deindexed, but your site WILL be penalised for the keywords that Google have collected within those unnatural links it found. It's impossible to say if/when Google will lift the penalty regardless of what you do - I know that's as imprecise an answer as you could get, but that's the nature of the problem - it's down to the discretion of Google. One site of mine had bearly any links pointing to it - I did have control over all those links and removed them all (it was a new site back in March 2012). Several reconsideration requests followed, each and every one of them were replied by Google that unnatural links could still be found. ahrefs, opensiteexplorer disagreed with that assessment - they could find nothing, and I removed all the links I built to the site. Maybe I have some uber-stealthy links pointing to my site undetectable by all but Google?

MarieHaynes



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 3:36 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi makin,

There are different "levels" of penalization that a site can get. Some sites will totally drop out of the search engine results after getting an unnatural links penalty, some will just lose a few positions and some will drop for just certain keywords.

If you've got self made links then Google wants to see good effort that you have removed as many of those as possible and for the ones you couldn't remove then they want those disavowed. The trick though is in recognizing which links are unnatural.

ColourOfSpring...for your site that you removed all of your links I have a few thoughts. Did you download your links from WMT? If there were links that only Google could see then they would be in there. Is it possible that you had any sites redirecting to this one? If those sites had unnatural links then they could pass the penalty on. And thirdly, are you positive that the warning mentioned links? Sometimes Google can give penalties for on-page issues as well.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 4:13 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

ColourOfSpring...for your site that you removed all of your links I have a few thoughts. Did you download your links from WMT? If there were links that only Google could see then they would be in there. Is it possible that you had any sites redirecting to this one? If those sites had unnatural links then they could pass the penalty on. And thirdly, are you positive that the warning mentioned links? Sometimes Google can give penalties for on-page issues as well.


Not to hijack this thread, but thanks for your reply Marie. The site got hit back in March 2012 as part of the "sting operation" Google did on a number of blog networks. I had used one network just for a few weeks before it got rumbled by Google. The entire blog network was taken offline soon after so my links disappeared with the network. I'd also linked to this site from a couple of sites I own - I removed those links. It was a new site with no 301'd redirections pointing to it. To be honest, it wasn't really ranking well anyway, but I obviously had plans for this site, so I persevered with the RRs to Google, and they batted them right back to me saying there were still links. At the time GWT didn't report any links I didn't know about, but they DID still show those old links that were removed (I know GWT takes time to update though). I would have thought that Google would recrawl those links after an RR to see that I wasn't just lying. Again though, perhaps there were some links that no tool could find, and GWT also didn't report about.

makin



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 4:27 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you guys, This is what exactly I have do:

In order to remove the unnatural links, I have downloaded all my links with ahrefs and then I have contacted to the webmasters of these links in order to ask for a removal. Some of them have responded me, and the other ones are now in the disavow tool.

As well, my pageRank have drop to 5 to 0. I don't know if it is important to determinate the kind of penalization.

I'm a little disconcerted because I have removed a lot of links that GWMT is still seeing, so, I don't know if I have to wait google to make a full flush of all my links before to resend a new reconsideration...because maybe they are seeing links that I already have removed months ago...

In case I don't have to wait google to make the flush, I have to remove all the links that are unnatural but they are in good domains? I mean, I have links in good domains that aren't organic and no branded. All my competitors hav

The penalization could be done by a bad anchor distribution?

TheOptimizationIdiot



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 5:34 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

As we learned from the help the BBC got when they received an unnatural links notice, unnatural links can be to one or many pages. I definitely wouldn't "remove everything" unless somehow everything was definitely unnatural.

MarieHaynes



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 6:01 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of the more common problems in this type of scenario is knowing which links need to be removed. I wouldn't worry about anchor text distribution directly. But, in reality the majority of links that have anchor text are likely self made and therefore unnatural. In the eyes of Google, the only links that are natural ones are the ones that you earned rather than made.

If you've removed enough of the unnatural links you really shouldn't have to wait until WMT reflects that in order to recover. When you file for reconsideration, the webspam team employee that reviews your site will look at some of the links that they have flagged as unnatural and then see if you've been able to remove any.

Also, (just because a lot of people ask this), if you have disavowed links, these will still show in WMT. Google simply adds an invisible nofollow tag to them.

If you fail this time then it is likely because of 1 of 3 reasons:
1. The right links have not been chosen for removal.
2. You have not done enough work to show Google that you have tried to get links removed.
3. You have used the disavow tool incorrectly.

makin



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 6:39 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

the webspam team employee that reviews your site will look at some of the links that they have flagged as unnatural and then see if you've been able to remove any.


They check the links manually? Are you sure about this? I have some other opinions that don't say the same.

BTW, I think that I have used the disavow tool correctly, I mean, I used comments, "domain:" and full urls, is no way to make a mistake. I hope...

So, As you said, when a no branded anchor text have a higher link density than your branded anchor... you have a high probability to have unnatural link... Actually, I think that I have this problem, because my branded anchor is only 8% of all my link profile, although the links are in located good domains I think that google detect them as unnatural links because they are no branded anchor links... This is my point of view.

What you think about it?

Automotive site

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 7:09 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Same situation I am in with one of my sites. I have Zero pages indexed according to Google's Webmaster tool but still get a good amount of traffic from them. Google does not show any backlinks in the webmaster tool since the unnatural links warning came several months ago.

The problem is, I have not bought or exchanged any links. All my links are natural. Seriously, isn't it the business of Google to discount any links they think are bad? What if someone gets spammed with hundred or even thousands of spammy links. That's a lot of work to update a disavow list. Unbelievable from Google that.

What's more excruciating is that you always get the feeling each reconsideration request will be met with the same, what seems like an automated message, that unnatural links still remain. Unbelievable. Google really does have too much power. Its almost as if they play around with peoples livelihood.

Automotive site

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 7:20 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Its almost as if you are fighting a constant battle against Google. If you do manage to get your site removed from penalisation, you are still on edge not knowing if you will be branded with another of Google's unnatural links email a few months down the line. Sometimes I just feel like giving up this game and getting a steady, even if boring, job.

On the disavow list, do you have to include only the top level domain or every link coming from the particular domain? What I have done is created a disavow list file using notepad and just copied and pasted the urls that I wish to disavow. Is this the right way to go or do I need to include message a as well to go with the list? I would be grateful if someone could please tell me that. Three of my reconsideration requests have been met with the 'unnatural links' response. What's the best way to check for incoming links. Google currently isn't showing my links and Ahrefs is a premium service to get the most out of it. What free link checking tools do you guys use.

Thanks

MarieHaynes



 
Msg#: 4563693 posted 8:11 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

They check the links manually? Are you sure about this?


Here are two videos that may help:

[youtube.com...] - Matt Cutts explains that a real person does look at your reconsideration request.

[youtube.com...] - at about the 4 minute mark they talk about what kind of steps the webspam team will take when they look at your site.

I remember hearing either Matt Cutts or John Mueller talk about how the Webspam team looks at a subset of your links that they have marked as unnatural and sees how many have been removed but I can't find the source right now. I'll post back if I find it.

@Automotive site:

Google does not show any backlinks in the webmaster tool since the unnatural links warning came several months ago.


Something doesn't make sense here. An unnatural links warning would not remove your links from WMT.

On the disavow list, do you have to include only the top level domain or every link coming from the particular domain?


You can do either:
domain:example.com - this disavows every single link from that domain.

or

http://www.example.com/page1.html - this disavows just links from this single page.

Comments aren't necessary. The disavow file is only read by a computer, not a human. The comments are just to help you if you want to modify it somewhere down the road.

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