Ever since Google decided to come out with the Manual Actions section on Webmaster Tools in mid 2013, business owners around the internet world have been notified about manual penalties, and thus are pulling their hair out. The root for all this frustration and stress stems specifically from unnatural link penalties.
Whether you hired a faulty SEO company or you are personally guilty of disobeying the guidelines set by Google, a subsequent manual penalty is holding your business hostage.
Fortunately, there are feasible solutions.
But what are Google Manual Penalties, and Why are they Affecting my Business?
To sum it up in brief layman’s terms, the SEO company you hired sucked. They built back links for your website that are unnatural and of low quality, and because of these spammy techniques that Google does NOT allow, your site has been slapped with a manual penalty, and most likely your hard earned (or artificially earned) traffic has gone down the drain.
Okay, so I’m guilty. Now, how can we fix this and return to a peak traffic levels?
So How do I Fix this Manual Penalty so that my Business can get back to Growing like it used to?
Well, it’s not simple, let’s put it that way. And if any company that you reach out to you tells you that it’s easy and that they can get your penalty lifted 100% without a shred of doubt, run the opposite way (or hang up the phone on them).
Lifting a manual penalty is an intricate process that takes a lot of manpower and diligent care. It doesn’t matter if you took ONE day to reach out to every single webmaster that has a back link pointing to your site, because regardless of who responds back and lifts your links (some never respond, while others want you to pay them to remove the link) , it takes time for Google to even recognize these links being dropped.
The main point is, Google wants to see you personally taking the time to reach out and attempt to get the links lifted. You already tried to beat the system by hiring that SEO firm who got you into this mess in the first place, don’t try to cheat the system again by attempting to automate this process or rushing to get it done all in one day (or one week, or even one month).
Below is a quick breakdown of the process of getting a manual penalty removed.
- Gather ALL data
- Start your MANUAL Outreach
Begin reaching out to all websites on your spreadsheet. You can start off by going to the website and searching for their contact us page. If they don’t have a contact us page, utilize this website (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp) and type in the website URL and click search. If you’re lucky, it will provide you with an email address, a personal mail address, and even a phone number. Use all three resources to contact the webmaster to try to get your link removed. Take notes of when you contacted the website, and the result that came out of each personal outreach.
More likely than not, your website has a ton of referring domains (500-2,000+) point to your website. DO NOT try to reach out to all websites in one day. Take it slow and steady. Allow Google to recognize the manual time and labor that you are putting into this outreach process.
Rinse and repeat multiple times.
- Disavow Links
Now that you have done your absolute best to reach out to each and every website on your spreadsheet MULTIPLE times, you should have gotten a decent chunk of links removed. Good work!
All of the websites that never responded back to you and never lifted your links need to be saved in a new document. Utilize this very handy article to learn exactly how to format your disavow list (click here).
Once you have followed the guidelines, save your disavow list and submit it to Google.
- Reconsideration Request
Wait a few days to a week or so after you have submitted your disavow list before you send in your reconsideration request.
This request (which you need to create in a Google Doc) needs to be very comprehensive and prove that you have put in the time and energy to get the negative back links removed. Gather your spreadsheet that contains all of your notes and information.
If you want to go even further, screenshot each email thread that shows a webmaster specifying that they have removed your links and add these to your Google Doc.
In addition to providing all of this information within your reconsideration request, type up a message to Google on who you are, what you did wrong, what you did to fix it, and why they should believe that you won’t do it again.
Alas, submit your request and wait a few weeks (with your fingers crossed) before Google responds back and tells you that the penalty has been lifted.
Don’t let Google Manual Penalties dictate you. TAKE BACK CONTROL of your business today and give us a CALL! We’re more than happy to shed some free insight and knowledge.
While there is no proven fact on this, based on experience with manual penalties, more likely than not it will take MULTIPLE reconsideration requests before Google lifts your penalty. So stay positive, stay persistent, and don’t give up!