Recovering from Penguin, the Google update that targets manipulative link spamming, is as basic as getting rid of unnatural links. Yes, at first glance, it may seem simple, but in reality it’s no easy task, especially if you have hundreds of unnatural (artificial) links pointed to your site.
So you’ve done your initial clean up by sending out as many requests as possible to get those ill-fated links removed. But what if some website owner’s don’t respond to your requests? And then what about links that appear in places you have no control over? What happens then? Surely, there must be some recourse, right? Right.
There are a few ways to disassociate your website from unnatural links which you can’t remove yourself. Here are 5 tips I found most helpful for your Google Penguin recovery:
Remove deep-linked pages
Yeah, that sounds scary, but bear in mind that your site’s problem is not with page content, but links. So first, find the specific pages these links are pointing to and remove them from your site. Once off, set up HT access to respond with a “410 Error”, which tells people trying connect to your site via dodgy links that the page no longer exists. The end result is that the links won’t flow to your site anymore; therefore, removing the negative impact.
If you’re (naturally) hesitant about removing any pages because they contain really good content, simply move the content to another existing page or better yet, create a whole new page for that valuable content.
I hear you say, “But what if the links are pointing to my homepage?” Well, that’s pretty problematic because you can’t really remove your homepage now can you? Not to worry, there’s a way to get around this, too!
Use disavow tool
The only sure way to disassociate your homepage from incoming unnatural links is by using Google’s Disavow tool.
Disavow is a feature of Google Webmaster Tools that tells Google to blatantly ignore certain links that redirect to your website.
Yep, That’s right, give ‘em the cold shoulder. If you’ve exhausted all efforts to remove links to no avail, just “disavow” them and the links will no longer be counted as part of your link profile.
Get a new domain
Holy moly, yeah, I know that’s a big step. But even if a completely new domain seems like too drastic an option, if there are too many bad links and no way to rid of them, a new domain is something you really have to think about.
Granted, setting up a new domain may prove to be painful and costly. You’ll have to overhaul everything with your website on it: signage, business cards, receipts, stationery and if you have ad placements in other websites, you’ll have to revise them too.
Although setting up a new domain is likely your very last option if removing too many deep linked pages leaves you with hardly any left and the disavow tool isn’t proving helpful.
Use a 302 redirect to your new domain
So, if you decided to launch a new domain, round up your old site’s visitors with a “302 Redirect”. The 302 redirect will display the site as “temporarily moved”. It will then allow you to redirect visitors (and that lovely link juice!) to your new site without poisoning your new domain with all the old site’s bad links.
Another option, which I don’t really recommend unless you can’t get someone to create a 302 redirect, is to place a Java script link or your new URL in your old site to encourage visitors to type in the new web address. This might be extra effort on the part of the user, but the benefit here is that it keeps your new site totally safe from those unnatural links.
Utilise other traffic sources to your new domain
If you have links in high quality sites that you can control, such as a Best Of The Web listing, YouTube channels, and other official social media accounts, use these resources to point to the new domain. You can also tell your old website’s visitors about your new domain via email blasts.
If you think your site’s affected by Penguin and ridding unnatural links is looking a bit overwhelming , feel free to get in touch today. Our team of marketing & SEO experts will be very happy to help assess your situation and help you with your Google Penguin recovery. Just click here to contact us.