No one likes feeling like the floor is falling out from beneath them. Few experiences are more painful than watching your organic rankings and traffic disappear overnight.
If you know how this feels, you are likely a victim of one of Google’s killer zoo animals, like the link-munching penguin feasting on your rankings.
To be fair, you were warned. Google made it clear they don’t tolerate link schemes, especially buying links that manipulate pagerank.
If You Got Caught With Your Hand In The Cookie Jar, You’re Probably Ready To Say, “I’m Sorry!”
Here’s the thing, there are two ways to say your sorry. In fact, there are two ways to actually be sorry. Which ever one describes your feelings and actions will have a massive impact on whether your apology will be accepted by Google or not.
If you invested in cleaning up your link profile, and submitted a Reconsideration Request with Google, and got the heart-sinking response, ” We’ve reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.” You are probably wondering where you went wrong, Why Google rejected your apology?! Well, I guess the question I have for you is…
Are You Sorry For Participating In Link Schemes, or Are You Sorry For Getting Caught?!
I see this all the time when I analyze my clients link profiles. There are many links I know we need to get rid of…Clearly spammy links, (odds are Google is discounting them anyways). So we send a few link removal requests, and plan to disavow them if it takes more than a quick email.
The Trouble Arises When You Are Faced With Unnatural Links That Might Be Helping Your Rankings.
Your client is annoyed that their rankings dropped. You would hate to be the cause of them losing more rankings and traffic, so you figure… Let’s submit a reconsideration request hoping that Google is penalizing us for other links, the ones that are clearly spammy, and hoping against all hopes that you can keep as many of the links that are possibly helping you. Worst case scenario, you remove a few more and try again. You can just resubmit your reconsideration request until you get it right.
In Other Words, You Are Telling Google… I’m Sorry For Getting Caught!” Instead of actually being remorseful for manipulating search rankings, and clearly violating Googles TOS and Quality Guidelines.
If You Really Want To Recover Your Rankings… You Need To Actually Be Sorry, and Remove All Your Unearned, Unnatural Links.
Every single link you have, you need to ask yourself, “is this link an editorial link that Google should consider in their ranking algorithms?” If the Answer is Yes, leave it. If the Answer is No, you NEED TO REMOVE IT… Sure, there is a chance Google did not detect that your advertorial was a paid link, and its helping your rank, but odds are if they didn’t catch it today, they will tomorrow.
If you are ready to play by the rules, great. If not, don’t be surprised when Google rejects Your Reconsideration Request.
If You Are Leaving Even One Unnatural Link, You Are Leaving Yourself Exposed For The Next Animal Google Releases Out In the Wild.
So, If you want to recover your rankings, you need to be truly sorry for spamming google’s index. If you are truly sorry, you won’t think twice about leaving an unnatural link, even if you think its helping your right now. (In fact, it is very short sighted to leave it in place… trust me, Google makes more money from having a clean index than you do from spamming it.