homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

Links.Are Mine GOOD, BAD or UGLY?

 11:28 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

First, this is by far the best forum I have found on SEO and such, so props to the owner. Second, what an awesome tool Internet Marketing Ninjas has developed to find bad back links. So hats off to them.

Anyway, here is my issue. I just ran the Google Penguin Update - Disavow Analysis tool. I have to be honest, it looks to me that ALL our freakin back links are bad. We hired an SEO company that did nothing but build bad links for the last few years. I was able to remove some of them, however I'm sure I need to submit a disavow file, but had a few questions.

1) What is the sure proof way to make sure a link is 100% bad?
2) I don't want to remove all links cause I am worried my site will drop even more. I'm sure there are some semi-good links that might be helping.
3) After submitting disavow file, typically how long does it take to recover? We have two sites, one seems to be under penguin and panda updates and the other received a manual penalty for certain bad links for certain terms.

I went on the Google webmaster's forum and got nothing but ridiculed about how sH#ty my back links were and what a piece of crap for allowing this SEO company to work for us. So that was no help.

Can someone please just give me some solid advice about how to make sure I am pulling out the bad links? And we do not have a budget to pay thousands of dollars to pay a company to remove them, hence why I am trying to get better educated.




 12:26 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)


Have you tried using a link detox? I recommend that you do all that you can to attempt to manually try and remove as many links as you possibly can and them disavow all others. If you've had a SEO Spam company working for you for the last couple of yours, you might seriously wan t to consider disavowing ALL of your links and just starting over as per your link building.

The way things are looking nowadays is, you might be better of not building any links at all.

-Greg Smith


 12:29 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey Greg, Thanks for the reply. I have been able to move quite a few links already. There are just some that are not able to be removed or might have some link juice behind them and didn't want to totally kill them.
I have run the disavow analysis tool and is pretty intense. I only have the links from my Google webmasters, but I do not have an account with detox or moz.com etc.
Is there any other way to get all my links?


 12:32 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I went on the Google webmaster's forum and got nothing but ridiculed about how sH#ty my back links were and what a piece of crap for allowing this SEO company to work for us. So that was no help.

Unfortunately, that's often the case there -- Glad you found us! :)

I don't want to remove all links cause I am worried my site will drop even more.

I definitely understand where you're coming from.

Can someone please just give me some solid advice about how to make sure I am pulling out the bad links?

Without seeing them, the best advice I think I can give is to disavow the "obviously bad" links, but keep the ones you think are "grey" or "borderline" and see if you recover -- Basically, in your situation, meaning you don't "know" what's good and what's bad for sure, I'd "start with the obviously bad" and then "keep going" if necessary.

BTW: People are "fooled" often by [so called] "SEO" sales pitches, so don't feel bad or think you're the only one, because those who aren't "all over things" are often duped by hype and marketing -- I've been involved in SEO for 9+ years and it's tough for me to keep up with all the changes and "new ways" of doing things to make a site rank, even though it's what I do for a living.

Please, don't "get down on yourself" or do anything along the lines of "blaming yourself", because some "SEO" [used loosely] lacking integrity sold you on something so they could make money -- It happens all the time, unfortunately.

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
Things are a bit different here ;)

[edited by: JD_Toims at 12:42 am (utc) on Dec 24, 2013]


 12:38 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)


You should check out majestic. With Majectic -- to get the most out of their free account, simply add the meta tag to your site and then confirm it from within Majestic and Majectic will allow you to run full link analysis on your site(s). This will give you a huge list of most all of your links.

Ahrefs will provide the same. You need to signup for an account on either of these platforms. Ahrefs will allow you 3 reports free with your account.

I would recommend that you get a fill link report from these two places and implement them with a compilation of GWT as well as these other 2. This should make a nice list for you to analyze with link detox through link research tools (LRT).

As mentioned earlier, you might need to disavow all of your links. Although some may have passed link juice, how is the anchors? Are they spammy?

Once a link has been established for a long while, I (in my opinion) don't believe it's very beneficial anymore. Meaning: if the link has been on a spam site for a long time, you've gotten just about all the link juice you're going to get from that.

After you run a full analysis, you not only need to check the links, but check the anchors and other metrice to determine which links you want to keep.



 12:41 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)


If you're experiencing an automated penalty -- you will not be able to recover until penguin or in some cases "Panda" refreshes. Sad but true..

If we go by the past penguin updates, chances are great that there won't be another Penguin update until May, 2014.



 12:41 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi DansSitesRScrewed and welcome to WebmasterWorld!

What kind of traffic decline did you have and when did it happen?

Was it "off the cliff" type of decline that happened on one of known Penguin update dates, was it "off the cliff" decline on some other date (and can you match that other date with some known update or not) or was the traffic fall more gradual over the longer period of time (in which case, when did it start and how gradual it is?)


 12:49 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the replies.
Over the last year and a half this site has been on a roller coaster. But we took a huge hit around Oct 4th this year and then again on Dec 17th. I would consider it a "off the cliff" type of drop. For our main keyword we went from #2 to # 87 overnight. So yeah, we got dumped pretty hard on all our major keywords.
Is there a way to post my url so hopefully people can take a look, but not have a back link to the site?
I really do appreciate everyone's help with this. Makes me feel like there is hope!


 12:58 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there a way to post my url so hopefully people can take a look, but not have a back link to the site?

The only way for a "site review" here is via paid membership or sticky mail -- Paid membership is something you might want to do [in your situation, I recommend it], especially since you're in the "learning stages" of SEO.

Other than that, one of the things that makes WebmasterWorld *great*, in my opinion, is it forces people to think about concepts, ideas, ways of doing things and how to apply those ideas, etc. to their specific situation, rather than "giving them an exact answer" -- I understand it may be tougher to "get" or "apply" initially, but the end result is webmasters become better at solving issues on their own, which is a long-term "win" for the webmaster.

Something about "teaching a Man to fish" comes to mind... WebmasterWorld is by far the best, miles and miles ahead of the rest, in that category, imo.

[edited by: JD_Toims at 1:04 am (utc) on Dec 24, 2013]


 1:03 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

JD_Toims, that is a fantastic idea. I'm gonna join right now...
Is there a special location for a "site review"?


 1:05 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately we cannot disclose URLs, niches nor keywords in public forums. Here is a link to Site Review forum which is accessible to supporters: Review my site [webmasterworld.com]

Back to your problem:

What I do find interesting is that you say that you had a further drop on the 17th of December - and from Mentat's chart that he posted today on [webmasterworld.com...] it seems that his recovery (after disavowing links) was on that very same date.

I am wondering whether this is just coincidental or whether there was some kind of update on 17th.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 1:10 am (utc) on Dec 24, 2013]


 1:10 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's a forum for site reviews in the supporters section at the top of the forum index page -- Click here: [webmasterworld.com...] if you have a tough time finding it.

Personally, I think the subscriber's fee is *nothing* compared to what someone would pay to have a site reviewed by some of the members who post and give advice in that section, so it's really a great deal imo -- Glad you're going to go that direction, because you'll have some knowledgeable eyes on your site giving you much more specific advice than is available out here.


 1:11 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

aakk999, that is a good question. Maybe some kind of refresh or something? I subscribed to this forum, so that should show you how much I think of it! :)
Is there a section that I can go to in order to post my site or any other information to help members see if they see something that I am not?


 1:39 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I put together a jpg of how our traffic and ranking has looked over the last year. you can see how we took some big hits.
[i.imgur.com ]

[edited by: DansSitesRScrewed at 1:47 am (utc) on Dec 24, 2013]


 1:44 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

First: I had to "doctor" the URL to http://i.imgur.com/fZJRoSI.jpg to see what you presented, so you might want to edit it for others to see -- Clicking on the link gave me a 404 Not Found.

Second: That a very interesting chart -- It says, basically, after Apr. 22, 2012 [nearly 2 years ago] your site dropped like a rock -- Hmmm...


 1:49 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yup and since then, we were able to rank fairly well for our major keywords, but these last 3 months has almost completely killed us. I have often wondered if maybe there is an issue with coding or backend stuff, but I have been through it a million times and cannot see anything.


 3:40 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks like your first drop has been caused by Penguin 1.0. But looking at the chart prior to April, it seems that the traffic started to raise somewhere in the second half of March. Has the site a seasonal trend? If not, what happened in the second half of March that caused the site to gain traffic fairly sharply? Because the drop in April 24th seems to reduce the traffic to where it was at the beginning of March.

As for the latest drop (October and December 2013) - do you have Google Webmaster Tools account? If so, could you do the Search Query chart showing impressions that would cover period from the last week of September up to now? (There is no need to see the numbers on the Y coordinate of the chart, the chart line with dates below is enough).


 4:12 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can see by the report that it was smoothly coasting along then around 10/1 the site started to go a little wacky.

[i.imgur.com ]

Yes we took some hits by the Penguin 1.0, but for the most part it has been down hill from that point on.


 11:13 pm on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi there, Dan:

I would also like to echo aakk9999's question specifically about the time BEFORE your drop - i.e., the significant RISE in traffic during March 2012 that preceded your drop.

That does seem to be characteristic of a pre-penalty phase.

Was your rise in traffic prior to the drop a seasonal occurrence?


Getting back to your questions:

"1) What is the sure proof way to make sure a link is 100% bad?"

I don't think there is any 100% threshold of proof, and I would be worried if anyone claimed there is one.

If you listen to John Mueller and Matt Cutts, they never seem to speak in absolutes about good and bad links. They often say things like, "If you have links that look spammy, you might consider adding them to the disavow file."

Look at how they mentioned to deal with Press Release links and guest blogging. They said that they are links that you might want to have nofollowed.

(I apologize in advance if either of them have come out and been more definitive about exactly which links will lead to either manual or algorithmic penalties, or if either has given a more definitive "threshold" of links that would cause problems.)

So long story short, you really want to remove anything that looks obviously spammy.

However, as mentioned above, Penguin recoveries seem incredibly few and far between.


 1:47 am on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Planet13 - thanks for the info.

The rise back in March 2012 was the SEO company we were using at the time I believe was actively adding social links, but I think over did it. It was a temporary boost. That is the point when I figured they were just trying to get a quick result to make it seem as if they knew what they were doing and hopefully doing it the proper way...not sure. In the end it definitely made things worst.

I know what you mean about Matt Cutts being very vague. But in one of his latest videos he does mention that by disavowing a large number of backlinks, maybe a years worth, that would 'show' a sincere action that the person was actually really trying to clean up the links. That is what leads me to believe that Mentat, that posted on another thread, was able to get his site back. He whacked the heck out of his link profiles, only leaving around 100 good links and submitting a disavow. I think that should be my approach with our site. At this point I really have nothing to lose. The only traffic we are getting is from PPC. So I'm sure that makes Google very happy.


 2:02 am on Dec 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ DansSitesRScrewed

do you also have a penalty?

You said that Matt Cutts stated:

"by disavowing a large number of backlinks, maybe a years worth, that would 'show' a sincere action that the person was actually really trying to clean up the links"

Generally, you would only need to "show" an analyst at google in regards to a manaual penalty that you are trying to clean up bad backlinks.

So I am assuming that the vido are referring to is geared for those who are trying to remove a manual penalty.


 2:22 am on Dec 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Planet13, yes I think you are right about Matts and a manual penalty. The site I am having issues does not have a manual penalty.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved