SEO Reality:Fighting Off the Penalty with Proven Effective SEO Strategies

alseoblog survived and rank

Just like a glorious success which can never be considered complete without having gone through the test of times. My site would not also be like the way it now if I have never experienced dropping down of my site when Panda and Penguin had subsequently rolled out unexpected updates.

It is when my personal blog AlSEOblog was greatly affected, that I almost got no idea on how to get back and recover all that I have lost – my keywords were taken off from the big G results.

alseoblog link warning message

But, of course, I could not blame the current Google Algorithm for I understand that the rules are intended to enhance the users’ experience. That was really the experience that had taught me great lesson about the penalty. It can bring a horrible disaster to the site’s traffic and ranking, but now such lesson serves as my ultimate guide to provide what the Google and the users need. And this post will share the essential things with you based on that experience.

First I want to share : Why ALSEOBlog existed Online?

Relevant and updated contents are all created for the benefits of the users, specifically, for their regular online search activities. And further, the reliability of my sites is also an advantage if ever they decide to use them as a direct source or reference. It is a way for me to share the value of everyone’s website and at the same time how can SEO strategies and online marketing help.

Why My Site Got Penalized Before?

The main cause of our penalty before is having unnatural links and other similar causes which were not yet previously known to us. And we really had a hard time removing all the bad links from our site just get our high traffic and ranking back, and we also did modifications in our SEO strategies to follow the current updates in the webmaster guidelines. I have actually featured in my previous posts the updates of Google about the unnatural links and the human quality raters on which I have also made a helpful analysis and solution.

However, just recently, Google had released its Link Disavow Tool which is intended to help webmasters (who have hit by the updates)  to remove the links, and fight the unethical practice of negative SEO. And presumably, there have already been many webmasters who have used the tool for the same purpose.

How My Site Recover?

#1.  Analyze and identify what are the unnatural backlinks.

#2. Take note all the unnatural links.

#3. Remove all unnatural links.

#4. Recheck if there are still spammy links connected to my website.

#5. Submit for reconsideration request. And while waiting for reconsideration request I focus on the quality of the content to be share and how to make a website search engine and user friendly.

How long does it take to receive response form reconsideration request?

Base on experience, the response whether approved or denied is given by the team not more than one month from the time of request.

And interestingly, with the recent webmasterhelp videos, Matt Cutts answered:

reconsideration request time frame

Anyhow, to make this matter more clear, here is the summary of the important points from Matt’s answers regarding the question :

Having Response for More than One Month is Not Normal – Matt was asked if receiving response after two months when the request was made is just normal, and he answered “that’s not normal” and you must ask another reconsideration and add to the message that you haven’t heard any response from your request. And he added that his team is currently trying to make the service faster for the webmasters to resolve their problem on links as early.

Backlog of Requests is the Main Reason for the Delay – this is what he cited as the reason why the response for some requests seems to be too long, and that is the proof that there are still many who still got concerns about bad links and take advantage of the use of the tool to eradicate them.

Try to Do Something if You Have Not Yet Received any Response – Matt also advised that one solution if there is really a delay on the response is to check if the request was successfully submitted or not, or do a manual action first to remove the links.

Clarifying the Delay in the Webmaster Forum is one Solution – if there’s a consistent delay, the best step you can make, according to Matt, is to clarify the matter in the webmaster forum from which you can ask for the reasons why you have not yet received a response to your request.

Here is the full video for :

How long does a reconsideration request take to process?

What to Do if the Reconsideration Request is Not Granted?

In the previous webmaster video by Matt Cutts, he said that if such case happens, you should proceed to the disavow links to know make the changes as advised to you in the response made by the team. It is so because there are instances where there the links can be manually removed or when the links submitted were not first examined.

How About the Spread Sheet of the Removed Links?

Having a spread sheet for the links which have already been removed is helpful since you can check the status of a certain link which you have not detected before.

How did We Completely Change our SEO Strategy?

As the algorithm changes, having a traditional or obsolete SEO strategies are not already effective, and that is why we have shifted to the “Modern SEO” which is more valuable to the clients, the search engine and the users. We are now adopting change for the safety of our sites and make sure that we are doing the best optimization for the consistent high traffic and ranking of the sites while converting them into leads. We see here how essential the process of on-page optimization and off-page where you need to consider not the ranking factors and the elements that can make your site user friendly. And at the same time we see that there is an opportunity for maximizing the search engine optimization potential when you are going to mix it with Social Media Marketing plus the instant visibility power of PPC.

Quality in every strategy that we do is essential. We always focus on white hat natural SEO strategies through creating quality content and making everybody happy (the user and the search engines).

How to Make Your Site Algorithm-Friendly?

The answer is simple: Ensure that your links are naturally acquired and your content is valuable or of high quality, or simply, always follow the webmaster guidelines to avoid the penalty. To know more about this, here is our previous post regarding the more transparent update in the previous webmaster guidelines.

It is too risky for the safety of your websites especially if most of what you have gained are spammy or unnatural which would then lead to penalty. It is the greatest lesson that we have learned from our previous experience, but now it guides us on the right SEO strategies to ensure SAFETY, EFFICIENCY, and QUALITY of the websites we optimized.

An update for this article: Straight from Matt Cutts

What Google Wants to Include in PROPER Reconsideration Request?

Since the time when the disavow tool had been made into use by Google, there are already a lot of webmasters who have used it to eliminate the unnatural links that their sites have and fight off Negative SEO. It is one way of avoiding the possible penalty which may cause by that kind of links as the updates or warnings have continuously reminded that having such is a serious violation to the guidelines. However, one major concern in using the said tool is the delay of the response and the details which should be included to make the request valid.

As you can probably recall, Matt Cutts had already clarified why the response takes longer to get or have in a previous webmaster video, but the query regarding the information to be included in reconsideration request has not yet been given answer. And this was Matt had just focused on in a subsequent video, specifically, he had mentioned about these three important information which should be comprised the reconsideration request:

Details about the Sources of Unnatural Links – Matt is somewhat emphasizing the “networkers” or the sources of unnatural links which one is trying to remove by the use of disavow tool. There was, however, no emphasis or clarification given as to whether those are the result of negative SEO, but considering this matter, it is apparent that one reason why the initial attempt of request may have not been granted because of the incomplete or insufficient details about those kind of links which likewise make it harder for the Google team to track down.

Include All the Information in the Spreadsheet – for the reconsideration request to be granted, Matt was trying to instruct that the spreadsheet should have complete details as to what really the webmaster is desiring to remove. Nevertheless, if you think that your previous request was already complete and that you have followed the guidelines for such, then it would be wise if you address that concern in the webmaster forum so you will be clarified or informed of the error or lacking information to avoid further delay.

Recheck the Links before Submission – as already stated or emphasized by the Google team, the unnatural links should be tried to remove first through manual action, or recheck them before submitting the request because Matt said it is one way for the request to be acted immediately or they would not spend time to do such process and suffer from delay.

How About if Nothing Happened with Your Manual Action?

If your initial request was not granted and it was recommended that you should do manual action again, and as you did, there is still no favorable outcome, then as Matt was trying to say you should explain in the reconsideration request that you have tried to remove the links, or clearly explain the matter for them to grant it. Otherwise, you can also clarify your concern in the webmaster forum in which you might become more enlightened by the recommendations of Google authorities.

Undeniably, all these clarifications or updates made by the Google team through Matt Cutts are part of their way in making the quality guidelines known to the webmasters and site owners, and in ensuring that the goal to enhance users’ search experience is not just taken for granted for the site’s traffic and ranking.

[Here’s the link for the full video of Matt Cutts talking about what to include in a PROPER reconsideration request:]

Overall what I have really noted from that video is that you must have a clear promise not to do that violation again or must have a clear vision for a GOOD change.

Actually the updates have made me learned lot’s of lesson and with a clear vision for change together with my SEO team a strategic solution was made that can benefit our clients and at same time promoting quality user experience, making everyone happy.

online strategic solution

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”