Robert_Charlton - 7:26 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
mcskoufis - Yes, your post is not only acceptable, it is very helpful. Thank you. I think, btw, that our conclusions are somewhat similar...
If the site does/did have an actual following, or a known brand, I think that disavowing and rebuilding is likely a better choice than starting over, but it depends on how close the domain came to getting completely burned.
And your conclusion...
Now if the only links you have are crap, I don't see any chance of recovery... Sorry! It can be harsh if you developed a great site to have it burned from bad link building practices.
turbocharged - Sticking to the algorithm for the moment, one comment you made jumps out at me....
Altering the anchor text of existing links has also been largely a failure.
As I'm understanding it, yes, this would not work. If you've gotten unnatural links from a domain, my approach would be to disavow anything on that linking page, if not that entire linking domain. Altering the anchor text, I've come to think, is essentially like putting lipstick on a pig. It's assuming that Google isn't keeping track of things. You're trying to hang onto too much. It's the arrangement that's at question, not just the anchor text. No matter how you change the anchor text, the link itself is probably still unnatural.
I feel that if you do have a brand that has at least a partial basis in natural links, is a good site with unique content, and has traffic independent of linking, then disavow may be more efficient than starting anew. I hope more to come on this soon.
Planet13 - I really would check the backlinks to the pages that I redirect. If you're redirecting internal pages from a site with admittedly questionable resources, it may well be that those backlinks to internal pages weren't natural. Depends, of course, on the pages.... I'm just guessing based on what I've seen. Again, I hope more to come on this soon.
Whitey - I'm not sure one can simply forget about disavow, unless, like the site mcskoufis was working on, it was a known brand with popular products and a presence both off the web and on. That said, it's unrealistic for many sites to expect that disavow is going to be sufficient. I think they've got to look carefully at what drops they had when, to compare with known updates, and to get some outside opinions in order to evaluate what needs fixing.
These penalties also run together. If you've depended on artificial linking, chances are you haven't pushed your actual site engagement. Most affected sites I've seen have loading problems, structural problems, design problems, content problems, and targeting problems, and aren't much differentiated from their competitors. If you're primarily technical, maybe your site has weak writing and design.
In planning your content, think hard about all the things someone searching for "red widgets" might want to know... when in the buying cycle, or maybe they've come back for service and support.
I'd work on the weaknesses in some kind of prioritized order before I'd start tweeting a lot. Also, find out where your natural audience is on the web. Not everybody has an audience in the social arena. That's maybe where advertising might come in. Advertising is probably of greatest help to a good site that's not ranking yet or has lost its rankings. If it's not a good site, or doesn't have good offers, you may be wasting your advertising dollars. So, fix things first.
It's likely that any successful approach is going to take a lot of work, creativity, and time. Cookie cutter stuff won't cut it any more. Kansas is far behind.