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Existing links in article & blog submission networks

     
5:24 am on Feb 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi…

I've just discovered that back in 2010 a SEO consultant placed 33 articles (plus spun variants) into an article & blog submission network. The network stats are reporting those articles have been distributed almost 10,000 times. Yikes!

The linked-to sites have not received a manual action message in GWT, or warnings of unnatural link profiles, but the sites definitely took a big hit with the first Penguin. So an algo induced problem related to links seems likely.. hence the focus on this issue.

All the articles have now been deleted from the network to stop further spread but it will be impossible to track down the 10,000 sites now carrying those articles and individually ask for a link removal…. and the chances of that happening even when there is a contact is not good. You just know that most of this is going to be auto-generated, bottom feeding crud.

So how can you nullify the effects of EXISTING links generated from article submission networks? A reconsideration request advising that the offending articles have been deleted and membership of the network has been terminated seems a bit far removed from the framework of the RR format.

Any suggestions?
2:22 pm on Feb 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Do you have a lot of natural links to the same pages?

I guess the first thing I'd start thinking about was whether I ccould slightly modify the URL of the destination page, let the links 404 or 410, NOT put in a redirect, and then file an RR explaining the issue and what I'd done.

But it depends on where the links point. If it's the home page, or an otherwise popular page, that's probably not gonna help.
3:31 pm on Feb 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why can't you track down the 10000 sites? If you have copies of all 33 articles, you can search Google and Bing for a couple unique sentences from each article in double quotes and get a list of sites that a) have republished the article and b) where the article on those sites are actually indexed.

Yes, it's might be a big task. But it might turn out to be much smaller than you think... perhaps only a few hundred sites. Most of those sites were likely low quality mashup sites that got hammered by Panda and/or Penguin and likely no longer exist. Others that might still exist probably don't even have that particular article indexed.

I'm not even sure I would waste time asking for the sites to take down the article. If this was the main cause for them being hit by Penguin (which is algorithmic) then why not simply disavow all of those domains that republished the articles? It's not like a manual action where Google is going to manually review the site and want evidence that you've worked to take them down. You cannot even submit a Reconsideration Request to give them any such evidence unless it's a manual action. It's algorithmic and when the algorithm sees they are down and/or disavowed, then you "should" see some form of recovery.
3:40 pm on Feb 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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In addition to exploring netmeg's suggestions:

You can also do Google searches for snippets of text (in quotation marks) from the articles to try to find some of the domains where these articles are published. Presumably the top results are rated highest by Google's algorithm. Then you can use the disavow tool to disavow the domains that you find.

Most likely you can also find some of the domains harboring these backlinks in Webmaster Tools and other backlink checking tools, and add them to your disavow list

This could be a lot of time and work on your part, none of which would be necessary except for flaws in Google's ranking algorithm.

Edit
ZydoSEO
Sorry for repeating some of your suggestions, but for some reason I didn't see your post until after I submitted mine.