Google Penalty – How to Avoid a Failed Reconsideration Request
Let’s imagine for a moment that your site has been hit with a Google link penalty. Ouch, I know, that does not sound good but it can happen. Now let’s imagine that you did what you thought you were supposed to do in order to clear up the problem and you’ve submitted your reconsideration request. As you wait in anticipation for the good news that your penalty has been lifted, imagine how deflated you feel when your request fails. That, too, can happen.
How do you avoid this situation? It’s not easy, I will admit, but it is possible. Following are some of the most important things to do when seeking a reconsideration:
- Be Persistent
The disavow tool is not enough to warrant Google granting your reconsideration request. You need to proactively contact webmasters to get the links removed. But, don’t just send one or two emails to a webmaster and call it good. When you don’t hear back, it’s time to play detective and get creative in finding new ways to contact the person. Social media, for example, can offer an additional contact method. You have to show Google that you’ve really put effort into this.
- Let Go
Don’t be a link hoarder, afraid to let go of some links you think could help you or that once maybe even did. You can always garner new (better) links later on. Starting your reconsideration process with just a few links and then adding more later is not a good strategy. Be comprehensive from the get-go.
- Include Indirect Links
Direct links are not the only ones that can cause problems for you. Make sure you check out all indirect links and include these in your request as well.
- Collect A LOT of Data on Links
Don’t settle for capturing link data from one source only. You should find and document this information from at least 5 sources if not more. At a bare minimum, you should use Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
- Properly Identify Unnatural Links
Too many times, companies fail to do this and either list a natural link as unnatural or fail to capture an unnatural link. Use of tools to find these links can often be the source of this problem.
- Get the Full Scoop
For each link, you will want to provide details about the pages and keywords targeted as well as what tactics were used to obtain the link in the first place.
- Document, Document, Document
Now’s the time to become a data nerd. You should document and track every little thing related to the bad links and your efforts to get them removed. The more information you have to show Google, the more likely they will take you seriously.
And now, it’s time for perhaps the most important tip of all—never rely solely on link-detection tools or services. Doing that is often the single biggest reason that reconsideration requests are denied. These tools generally fail to capture the full link picture, leaving you out in the cold.
The fact is that getting bad links removed is hard work. There is no way around that. Part of being successful with these requests is not fainting in the face of this hard work but doing your due diligence and making sure that Google sees that.