you are lucky - very lucky and don't count your lucky stars yet.
My experience is much more distressing.
We've received the classic manual penalty message last year and for the umpteenth time our request for reconsideration was declined - we keep getting the doom message:
'We received a request from a site owner to reconsider ..... for compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.'
We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.'
Why are google being so harsh!? We've tried our best to remove all unnatural links and expended hundreds and hundreds of hours into trying to get the manual penalty lifted instead of working on improving our site. We have worked to remove most article directory links, most press release links, most directory links...etc and disavowed the few we couldn't get removed - we removed at least 95% of them. We even documented everything in a spreadsheet. It wasn't easy to get some article links removed - we've had to pay some webmasters or threaten legal action or ask the host directly yet there is no way to satisfy google staff. I'm no newbie and have been in this area since 2003 - so know well enough which links might be considered artificial.
Note our site is an affiliate site but it is a good educational resource - could this be Google's way of saying we don't care about you and we will keep rejecting you whatever you do? I'm really on the verge of appealing directly to Matt Cutts as there is very little else we can do!
Ironically, we had another smaller website on which we had received the penalty message and it was really easy to get the penalty removed on that by just removing a few press release articles. [however, even after the manual penalty was removed, our rankings didn't recover]
We've now practically ended with a site with very few links but with the penalty still on - and have slipped in the search engines even more than before because before at least we had some rankings for secondary keywords. We've hoped to be able to start again with a clean slate but NO.
Conclusion: Google isn't the 'do no evil' we've known in years past and are now ruling the internet, not just providing search. Demonstrating to google that you're genuinely sorry and expending many hundreds of hours into trying to get inline is useless. They've used us small webmasters to climb the hill and now they are spitting on us.
we didn't receive any unnatural link warning... we just loose the serp positions.. we don't have too much backlinks anyway..
|We've received the classic manual penalty message |
let me say further something because today I got the bad news that my main site (online since 2003) will remain penalised because they say - they still see artificial links.
The irony is that the two links they pointed out to me 1) I didn't even create it! the 2nd link) was a reciprocal link setup some 8 years ago.
At the time I believe Matt wasn't against a few reciprocal link setups - how things change!
Google has changed - not for the better
Meanwhile Matt Cutts mocks us with tweeter postings like the one below:
Some deep wisdom here: "It's Frickin Hard to Build Links if Your Site Sucks" [goo.gl...]
Pushing a searchenginewatch page - right - one scratching another's back.
@luckystrike: how exactly did they communicate to you those two bad links? Was it in an email to your WMT address with a ticket number in the subject? If that was the case, write back to them exactly what you've written here. Those examples they provide are not usually the most egregious cases, they simply pull a straw from a (huge) hat and give you what comes up. However, a human is reading those ticket numbered emails and they were very reasonable last time I had to argue with the two examples they gave me. The penalty was revoked. Just make sure you manage your expectations: the penalty was revoked about a year ago but I only got about 20% of the original traffic back, and even that was taketh away since then.
yes it came in an e-mail with a ticket number and I've responded. I figure I now have to wait.
There is really little more I can do - I've already disavowed and removed all the mess created by some SEO companies we used in the past to help us due to lack of time. Even allowing for that our primary site has many natural links and it can stand on its own in a 'fair' world. I can't believe we have reached this stage - are google really out of their minds to come to such measures? They must have really lost the war against spam and substituted it by manual police which will only encourage more black hats since these last only care about doing a quick buck and slash and run.
Google recent update has taken a toll on our traffic, this month we are down by 50%.
we are following the so called Google guidelines and have used disavow to clean up unwanted inbound links from bad directories.
These days it is to spam your site by submitting your url to a spamming software , and you have n protection.
The interesting thing is that our site has the ultimate content professional written and updated weekly with new pages.
would it be any good to email google to re consider the site, even though we have not received any messages from them?
How do you know that you have been Penalise?
How do you know that you have been Penalise?
I sent them a reconsideration request even though I never received a penalty message
and I got the classic artificial links response!
Be very careful about removing links because there is a real risk that you will end up with very few links but with the penalty still on which would decimate your traffic further.
These are difficult years, it was much better starting in 2003 than in 2012 - I would say today it is very, very difficult to start a project from scratch. Google is no longer search - at least there is bing/yahoo and hopefully facebook will start giving search more importance
This is the only basic problem we have with google, spam sites are still coming on top pages.
|They must have really lost the war against spam |
If its due to unnatural links You will definitely get a warning, same with manual penalty, otherwise it would be an algorithm effect.
|How do you know that you have been Penalise? |
Yes they are there, but still they don't know how to capture the market, till then we had to depend on google, i guess.
|at least there is bing/yahoo |
Apart from that i have only two request to google:
1) Be a little bit transparent about things so that inexperience webmaster can also resolve any issue easily.
2)Why not just avoid the bad links. How easy and difficult is this, i don't know.
luckystrike: Exactly same thing happened to us. We've spent hundreds of hours cleaning up things and still get the penalty notice.