Google Penguin: How to Remove Harmful Links
Businesses of all shapes and sizes that have been following the rules of white-hat SEO tactics, or have been known to bend the rules in the past have found that they are suffering a penalty from Google, which is having a negative impact on their visibility. The most common root of these penalties from the perspective of Google Penguin is significant numbers of spam-based inbound links from non-credible websites. So how do marketers remove these penalties and regain the right image in the eyes of all-mighty Google?
Step 1: Discover if you’ve been targeted
Before you start panicking, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’ve actually been targeted by Penguin in the first place. If you have received a penalty, there are easy ways to find out, for example:
- Google may have directly contacted your webmaster and mentioned that your website has been flagged and penalized for unfavorable links. This is particularly likely if your site has been synced with a Google Webmaster or Analytics account.
- If you currently track your rankings according to keywords, you can check to see whether your current rankings for your optimized phrases have begun to fall downwards significantly.
Step 2: Audit your Links
Before you start removing links from all over your website, you’ll need to identify which links have been deemed as unnatural, irrelevant or simply low-quality. Depending on the various features of your website, and the analytics that you use to check it, you may benefit from simply using the Google Webmaster Tool to gather a list of all the backlinks that point to your website, and how these links are judged by Google.
Step 3: Request Removals
The advice that most professionals in SEO are handing out today is to begin your process of removing bad quality links by contacting the master of the websites that you want your links to be removed from. This is going to take a degree of hard work and a lot of time, but it can be the best way to remove spammy links and clean up your Google image. Make sure that you let the webmaster know which web page the link is located in, and where on the page it is, as this will make it easier for them to remove the link for you.
Step 4: Ask Google to Reconsider
This is an optional final step for people who have received a penalty alert from Google. Hopefully, your website hasn’t been penalized and you’re reading this article in an attempt to be proactive. However, asking for reconsideration from google will be your opportunity to get your website back into Google’s good books. Make sure that you:
- Are clear about what you are hoping Google will reconsider regarding your penalty.
- Confess what you were penalized for and what you have done to make it better.
- Accept responsibility, apologize, and explain how it’s not going to happen again.