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Partial penalty from Google - advice needed

     
9:07 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Back in early June a colleague of mine decided to purchase a batch of blog links from <a blog advertising agency> for three of our websites to assist with SEO rankings. Between 10-50 links per site I think.

Within two weeks we had gone from 1st page listings on all our main search terms to the 5th page.

The agency denies that it was their links and wont contact the blog owners to remove them. We have found the blogs and tried to contact the owners directly but without much success.

None of our sites have duplicate content and we have had the sites indexed succesfully for 3-4 years.

We still havent seen any improvement, if anything we have slipped to the 7th page for some terms.

We've not been "excluded" from Google so not sure if a reinclusion request is required?

Can anyone shed a little more light on this as we are running out of ideas?

Cheers
Matt

[edited by: tedster at 10:19 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2008]
[edit reason] make agency anonymous [/edit]

11:19 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We've not been "excluded" from Google so not sure if a reinclusion request is required?

It's called a "Reconsideration" request these days, and you do not need to be completely tossed out of the index to fill one out.

12:02 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Within two weeks we had gone from 1st page listings on all our main search terms to the 5th page.

Perhaps it is just only the ordinary Google dance ...

12:12 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>> purchase a batch of blog links
maybe Google understood you bought links.
3:23 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have heard that those bloggers from whom you purchased the links will take them off if you pay them to do it. It may sound ironical but it is also fair to compensate someone to go back and delete a post. Just reach out to them and pay a fair compensation to either add a nofollow tag or delete the posts.
6:00 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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A bit OT:

>>Between 10-50 links per site I think

Were the majority of the links with the same anchor text, or very similar?

The same thing has happened to me in the past. The trick is to use the blog links very carefully, and vary them a lot.

6:31 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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defanjos - yeah there were only 5 search terms per site targetted, so the same anchor text was repeated several times in a short timeperiod.

ecmedia - we have offered an incentive to a few bloggers to remove the links but in the majority of cases, there is no "Contact Us" option so we cant reach them. As they are blogs, WhoIs details are not usually reliable either.

Will certainly try Reconsideration via Webmaster Tools - what have we got to lose?