Case Study: Unnotified Google Manual Penalty

unnotified manual penalty

Unnotified Google Manual Penalty? Maybe you are curious what this one means but before that I will show the message below (in order that you will notice the difference) and maybe you are familiar with Manual Penalty:

manual penalty

It’s an e-mail sent through your Google Webmaster Tool (GWT) telling that there are unnatural links detected from your website.

And what is Unnotified Manual Penalty?

Here is a situation based on experience or one of our case studies.

It boils down to this statement: “I haven’t received any unnatural link warning message but my rankings and traffic are down.”

There is a client asking for help since he has seen that there is a big difference in terms of his rankings, his keywords are ranking before the second Penguin Update or before May 2012 on the first page specifically ranking #3 or #4 and now these competitive keywords are not ranking anymore and cannot be found on top 100 but the sad thing is that he does not know what to do since he have not receive a manual penalty notification, he only noticed that there is a big loss in terms of rankings or its visibility on SERPS.

And what I did, to know the type of action taken against the site?

Is it a manual penalty or just a penguin update?

What to do?

Checking and Analyzing the Traffic Status

Using Google Analytics I’ve checked the “traffic sources” in order to know that if it is truly just due to an algorithmic penalty since there is no unnatural links warning message delivered to his account. There is truly a big loss in traffic after the second Penguin update.

Reassessment through another test which is filing for a Reconsideration Request

Since we haven’t received a manual penalty, I re-check its status if it is truly a Penguin Penalty through filing reconsideration request.

reconsideration request

And after 3 weeks we have received the following message:

reconsideration reply

It means that there is a manual action that happened, an Unnotified Manual Penalty.

Since when you see something like below, it means it is only an Algorithm Update:

Algorithmic Update

Findings: The website has found to have spammy or unnatural links and therefore a manual action has been taken against it. And it only shows that sometimes when you can’t find your rankings and you are losing traffic even though you haven’t receive any warning message it can have a big possibility of having a manual action.

And for that you have to check your backlinks:

By checking your backlinks you will know if you have violated guidelines or you have unnatural links that are considered as manipulating the keyword rankings.

I have used the following to gather for backlinks:

Google Webmaster Tool

All you are going to do is to download the latest links and check for unnatural links or something that violates Google Guidelines.

download latest links

Open Site Explorer

Checking all the inbound links through and by downloading csv file.

opensite download csv

Findings: By checking the website links I have seen that there are shady links ( Spammy links or unnatural links) included on his website, therefore there is truly something wrong from what’s happening with his website, it is something serious than a Penguin Update. And also by checking your backlinks you will know if your website has been negative SEO .

Next Action Plan:

Sorting Backlinks and Contact Webmasters for Bad links Removal

After gathering for backlinks it is now time for sorting those good links from bad ones. And when we don’t have log-in information to those links we want to remove, what we did is that we are sending emails to webmasters.

Using Disavow Tool

If you have found bad links that cannot be remove since there is no one to contact to or a webmaster haven’t replied with the request or found bad links from Negative SEO, we are going to use disavow tool.

Filing for Reconsideration Request

If you have made sure that you done cleaning up for bad links, it is now time to submit for reconsideration.

Those are actually what we are doing now. Together with my team for Google Penalty recovery, we are helping website owners to revive their site from penalty. Just send me a message and I will give a SEO consultant advice for your website.

What’s up next? I am going to share the results of our action plan.

Keep updated.

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.”