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Google releases guidance on Backlinks and Reconsideration requests
Whitey




msg:4586569
 10:22 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

When talking to site owners on Google Webmaster Forums we come across questions on reconsideration requests and how to handle backlink-related issues. Here are some common questions, along with our recommendations.

When should I file a reconsideration request?

Should I file a reconsideration request if I think my site is affected by an algorithmic change?

How can I assess the quality of a site’s backlinks?

How do I clean a bad backlink profile?

How much information do I need to provide?

How long does it take to process reconsideration requests?

What are the possible outcomes of a reconsideration request?
[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au...]

 

Whitey




msg:4586636
 2:29 am on Jun 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Should I file a reconsideration request if I think my site is affected by an algorithmic change?

Reconsideration requests are intended for sites with manual spam actions. If your site’s visibility has been solely affected by an algorithmic change, there's no manual action to be revoked, and therefore no need to file a reconsideration request. If you're unsure if it's an algorithmic change or a manual action, and have found issues that you have resolved, then submitting a reconsideration request is fine. [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au...]

(4) Do not write the story on why you are disavowing in the disavow text file. Do that instead in the reconsideration request, not in the text file. [webmasterworld.com...]

Matt Cutts @ 1.01 speaks about the 1st attempt at a "reconsideration request" [youtube.com...]

This is one of the first things I've picked up. Do you, or don't you send a reconsideration request after submitting a disavow file. This needs clarification doesn't it?

jakebohall




msg:4587126
 1:21 pm on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Make sure to identify poor links first, then make a strong effort to get them either removed or nofollowed. Then use the Disavow Links Tool to deal with remaining unnatural backlinks.

chrisv1963




msg:4587131
 1:54 pm on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you're unsure if it's an algorithmic change or a manual action, and have found issues that you have resolved, then submitting a reconsideration request is fine.


Can't Google simply send a message in Webmaster Tools when there's a manual action against your website? It would avoid a lot of unnecessary reconsideration requests.

Garya




msg:4587268
 9:04 pm on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google said it is not necessary to send a reconsideration request after submitting a disavow file.

But if you want to it is OK, as a reconsideration request is only for a manual penalty.

That is what they told me last week.

Whitey




msg:4587323
 3:08 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

That is what they told me last week

@Garya - who / where were you told. A Googler? Can you reference this if poss.

Garya




msg:4587326
 3:18 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Whitey

I received email from google

"We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team."

Whitey




msg:4587343
 8:34 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Garya - that's pretty standard, if no manual warning action notices are in WMT then there's no need.

This is what MC tweeted as good practice as part of the approval process :

Step 3. Request the link source site to remove the link. They will honor this request roughly 5-10% of the time.

Step 4. Perform disavow requests on all the bad backlinks via Google Webmaster Tools. You should disavow all the bad links (even the ones you successfully get removed) only after completing your removal requests.

Step 5. Resubmit your site to Google for reconsideration. [searchenginejournal.com...]

The article is discussed here : [webmasterworld.com...]

Am I misreading the OP quotes from MC/Googlers? Anyone ?

Garya




msg:4587350
 8:57 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Reconsideration requests are intended for sites with manual spam actions. If your siteÕs visibility has been solely affected by an algorithmic change, there's no manual action to be revoked, and therefore no need to file a reconsideration request.

mirrornl




msg:4587405
 12:00 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

What about two possibilities? Maybe the disavow tool can help both with an algorithmic and a manual penalty.
So you might or might not need to fill a recon request afterwards.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4587457
 3:10 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

The needless complication of the disavow tool and the palaver of getting a straight answer out of them on how to use it makes me think “user friendly” isn’t important for webmasters!

Should be simple, list of back links in WMT, checkboxs next to each link, select the ones you don’t want, hit submit. End of! Why all the clock and dagger, why so convoluted? Just so needless, everything about the disavow tool is bad, not least that it doesn't seem to work for any algo penalties, at least the clients sites I have used it for.


treeline




msg:4587463
 3:54 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

If they made it that easy, someone would use it as a tool to create a zillion bad links and see which ones they can't detect, then make a zillion more of those.

The disavow system will discourage bad link creation altogether.

Copeland




msg:4587488
 5:26 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why would Google, via the disavow tool, essentially provide site owners with a "get out of jail free card" for their previous sins regarding unnatural back-links?

Personally I can't think of any good reason why Google would allow a site to disown the "bad" back-links. Particularly given how hard Google has worked the past 10 years to try and identify bad back-links and devalue sites sites who abused loopholes in their algorithm.

I DO however think that the disavow tool is a brilliant tool to get site owners, en masse, to self report all their back-link sins. What better way to validate their own algorithmic "bad-link" detection methods than to compare it to what site owners self-report as bad links? As long as site owners believe the tool is legit, Google gets a ton of valuable data.

But back to the original question I asked, how is Google making their results better by letting site owners disavow bad links?

econman




msg:4587534
 7:47 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Question:
how is Google making their results better by letting site owners disavow bad links?


Answer: This provides a nice, low cost, high quality set of data obtained from webmasters who self-report all of their "bad" links.

Since the definition of a "bad" link has been intentionally left vague, webmasters are reporting to Google all of the links they are nervous about -- particularly the ones they purchased, the ones they built using link wheel software, the ones they purchased from some mysterious guy who was advertising 1,000 PR 1-7 links for $12, and the ones from some strange site they never heard of, but when they take a look it is so filled with autogenerated garbage text, they better list it, just to be safe. :)

The beauty of this approach is that it allows Google to compare various data sets -- essentially comparing the links webmasters know, or think, are "bad" against the links Google currently thinks are "bad" based upon its other data sets and analytical tools

This allows Google to tweak the dials, giving more weight to some "signals" and less weight to others, and to refine the algorithms they use to spot patterns in various large data sets, all in an effort to identify "bad" links and provide search results that are unaffected by the "bad" links/spammers.

Brilliant.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4587535
 7:58 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Copeland

>>>Why would Google, via the disavow tool, essentially provide site owners with a "get out of jail free card" for their previous sins regarding unnatural back-links?<<<<

Why bother having the reconsideration ability for any and ALL other types of so called “spamming” in that case? Why a second chance for other "spamming"? Why don't we just throw away the key for everyone who has ever sinned?

>>>Personally I can't think of any good reason why Google would allow a site to disown the "bad" back-links.<<<

if you post your domain name I can give you a couple of thousand reasons ;)

Vamm




msg:4587558
 9:14 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@CaptainSalad2,

A couple of thousand reasons would be for the site owner, not for Google. Google can afford not to care about most any specific site.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4587587
 10:12 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Vamm

im not a genius but it seems to me they can fix the WHOLE negative SEO issue by simply doing away with "disavow" and adding an "allow link" section to WMT, all incoming links are ignored unless you manually add them to WMT urself, a history should be kept so once YOU add them you cant then REMOVE them. Lets be honest you wouldn't game the system by trying lots of links if you then couldn't remove them, you couldn't blame someone else for them, you would be VERY careful..... and if you add low quality ones your held accountable via any penalty, fair enough. Completely removes the ability for negative attacks and if you game the system... well, do the crime do the time..

Puts the webmaster in control of the links without an ability to "game the system" and prevents NEG SEO.

What am I missing?

aakk9999




msg:4587603
 10:47 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

What am I missing?

Test domains.

Create a test domain, point many links to it and keep "allowing" them one by one and watch the effect. Then use ones that work on your good sites.

Dymero




msg:4587605
 11:03 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@CaptainSalad2:

The disavow tool was hugely requested by webmasters, including many here at WebmasterWorld. Then when it finally came out, they started complaining about it.

Release this kind of tool and they'll say many of the same things they do about disavow: "Google wants US to determine which sites are good? Why can't THEY do that?"

Lorel




msg:4587629
 12:36 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

what am I missing?


All those people who never heard of Gwt will have no idea why their website tanked or what to do about it. Of course, there are a lot of those now.

treeline




msg:4587639
 1:44 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

A key reason Google wants there to be a way to redeem a site is it relieves political pressure that would otherwise build up with a wrongly demoted webmaster as the poster child. If a path to redemption exists, it's your fault you don't take it.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4588095
 8:20 am on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can a reconsideration request hurt? Not as far as I can tell so put Google to work if you lost traffic and made changes. Google doesn't give you a definitive list of specific changes you need to make so you're working on a best guess basis anyway.

np2003




msg:4588406
 6:45 am on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Who cares about these BS reconsideration requests that don't work 99% of the time. Just take down your competitors. Use a sponsored WP theme and put your competitors links on there. The site gets toasted in 2 months time.

skibum




msg:4589138
 6:48 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seems like we're moving back to the days of the human edited directory.

kellyman




msg:4589153
 8:22 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google can save so much time and effort if only they put a simple message in your WMT to say if you have a manual penalty

Why would Google, via the disavow tool, essentially provide site owners with a "get out of jail free card" for their previous sins regarding unnatural back-links?


Many site are owners may have employed a 3rd party to manage their site, that 3rd party did not do a good job so why not give those people some help, or would you rather them create just another similar site to compete with as that's the only alternative if not available, more pages for the web

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