Google penguin update – what to do

Google penguin update – what to do

If your rankings have been affected by google’s latest update, here is what you need to know to take action according to

1. Identify: You need to gather a comprehensive backlink profile for the site in question. There are several tools available that would accomplish this, including Google Webmaster Tools Backlinks Report, Majestic SEO Site Explorer and SEOmoz Open Site Explorer.

2. Investigate: Go down the list of backlinks to find the rotten ones. It’s a time intensive step that requires you navigate to each link to evaluate its quality. After a while you may start to get a sense of what’s bad by the URL of the linking page alone. If you opt for using Majestic SEO, you have the benefit of their proprietary ACRank, a quality score that you can use to judge link value.

3. Send Requests: Create a template email requesting link removal that you’ll send to the webmasters in charge of the links identified as low quality. The template should candidly explain that you are an SEO or site owner trying to recover from a Google penalty and would he or she please remove the following links. List the URLs where the links can be found, the URL on your site they point to, the anchor text ─ all the info needed to easily find the link you’re requesting removed. To send the request, you may find contact info on the site, you may need to do a whois search, and you may need to do some sleuthing to get names and email addresses.

4. Follow Up and Repeat: Expect to receive four types of responses to your requests:
● Remove link and tell you.
● Remove link and not tell you.
● Not reply or do anything.
● Will remove the link if you pay them. 

In the case of the first, verify by going to the page where the link was and if the link was removed, check it off the list. If you haven’t gotten any response back from a contact in 2 weeks, check to see if the link has been removed. It may or may not. If it’s been removed, cross it off the list. If it hasn’t been removed, send a follow-up request.The process of link pruning requires multiple cycles. Each successive cycle will see more links removed. If you run across a webmaster requesting payment for link removal, let’s just say there’s a search engine who will be very interested to hear about this.

Communicate with Google: Throughout this process you must keep detailed records of your actions. A spreadsheet with columns for the linking URL, the contact name, the contact email, the date a request was sent, and responses or actions taken by the linking site. In the end you will not be able to extract all dubious links from the site but you will want to be able to show you’ve done everything in your power to extract manipulative links from your backlink profile.