Let me set the scene for you. You purchased a website last year, or even six months ago that was ranking near the top of Google for all the major keywords in your industry. It was bringing a lot of traffic to the site and conversions were decent, but you knew that you could help increase those conversions. The website was a good price and a good industry, so why not buy it. Now fast forward to today. The site is no longer ranking, your traffic has decreased by at least 50% and sales are barely trickling in. What the heck happened?
Google “animals” happened, that’s what. And you were penalized because the previous site owner was involved in paid link services, spammy web content, articles spun for 20 different article sharing sites with exact match anchor text for each article, and all of the other classic SEO methods that will get you banned by Google.
There is good news though, there is something that you can do about it. You are going to have to work a little bit, but success doesn’t come by just buying something, you have to work to be great at SEO. So, here are 5 tips for Google re-consideration after you bought that penalized site.
1. Review Current Links
The first step is to figure out who is currently linking to your site. There are several ways to do this. You can run a link report by using Open Site Explorer from seoMOZ or you can export your links from Google Webmaster Tools. The GWT link export allows you to sort by the newest links, so you will be able to see the links that you helped build as opposed to the ones that the previous site owner was building with those old-school SEO tactics.
Once you have these links, you are going to have to start sorting through them and figure out which links are good and which are bad, which is a whole other blog post by itself, but just as a quick note, if it’s a spammy directory or link farm or article site that is using the same exact match anchor text as the previous 100 links you went to, then it’s a junk link.
Another good tool to use to help you separate your inbound links into different categories is a tool called Link Detective. Check out the review of the tool.
2. Contact Bad Link Sites
This next step is also very time consuming, and to be blunt about it, hardly ever works. However, it can be worth the time to send these e-mails out because even if only a few out of a 100 respond, you accomplished removing a few links. You may hear others talk about creating a custom e-mail for each one of these sites, absolutely not, you will spend days doing this and the return is just not worth it.
Create an e-mail template where you can just copy and paste the exact URL to the link that you want removed. Make the link removal for them as easy as possible. The more work they have to do, the less likely they are to actually remove it.
3. Create Great New Content, Receive More Links
This step is self-explanatory. Start creating amazing, unique content that is better than your competition and people will begin linking to you. Of course, you are going to have to share this content via all your social media outlets, but the more content you start creating now, the more links you can acquire, the more anchor text diversity your link portfolio will have. Acquiring high quality links has always been an important part of SEO, so this is no different, but it just makes it even that more important in a case where your site was penalized.
4. Use Google’s Disavow Tool
Let me be clear, this tool is not the magic, save your site tool that you may be looking for. It is a tool that allows you to suggest to Google which links you feel they should not look at that are pointing to your site. There may be multiple reasons for this including, a previous SEO company building spammy links, you previously built spammy links, “negative seo” and many other reasons. This tool should be the last resort in cleaning up these links and getting your site reconsidered by Google. Before you do this step, please complete the previous three steps that were mentioned.
This tool also does not mean that Google is going to automatically disavow every link that you included. This is another reason why you should attempt to get these links removed by yourself first. Once you gather all of the links that you want to include in this file, it’s time to upload it. Here is a link to the Google post with all of the details.
5. Submit Your Re-Consideration Request
Now that you have gone through all of these steps, it’s time to send that re-consideration e-mail to Google. In this request, you are going to want to include a detailed file of the websites that you had reached out to and any additional notes, for example, whether or not they responded, if their site was down, etc. You will also want to include that you have submitted a disavow file and have gone through all possibile options and solutions to get these links removed.
Once again, this is not a guaranteed tactic that is going to get your site back into the good with Google.
Just always remember this, content is always king. Create great content and links will come. Google is a business and they want to rank sites that are providing great content for their customers. So, be the company that creates it and understand that SEO is not just a simple process. It takes work, it’s not magic, it’s hard work.
For more details and information on creating great content and helping to create a path to a reconsideration by Google contact CSI Marketing Solutions.