Google penguin, a Google update that actually changed the art of work in SEO in last 3 years.The Google Penguin update was first launched in Apr 24, 2012 with a motive to reduce the web spam related to the backlinks. And it did a miracle with affecting 3.1% of queries on the first update. At that time no one was aware of penguin or anything related to such update was in news, but it badly hit a significant number of websites.So far Google has launched 6 versions of penguin update, out of which the latest was on Oct 18, 2014 which affected less than 1% of total English search queries.
You might know that Penguin mainly attacks the poor backlinks, but it’s not completely true. The penguin update does check the backlinks, but actually it looks at the link profile of the website. Link profile of a website clearly shows the total work done(High/poor quality) till now and can be easily identifiable by Google bots before penalizing any website.Even you can check your link profilewith Ahrefs or other site explorer tool in easy steps:
- Open Ahrefs and hit your website name in the query box
- Once you check the website dashboard and scroll down to near bottom at “Anchor text Cloud”.
- Check the maximum percentage of anchor texts used.
- Site with more branded anchor texts are the best and natural link profile
- And so… more exact match anchor text counts to be bad link profile
- Also, you can check the number of quality backlinks i.e. number links coming from high URL rank website else the site will be surrounded by bad neighbours which is also a clear sign of bad link
If your site has more exact match anchor text and more links are from low DA or URL Rank sites then just start the link removal process to keep it safe before the next penguin come and hit you hard.
Site is already penalized?
If you can see a message in manual action of the Google webmaster tool of “Unnatural links to your site” than surely you are hit by Penguin update but don’t worry I am going to cover the part of how to remove the penguin penalty in later section of the article. Google has nearly 11 mannual actions for many different reasons of webspam.
Now as you know well the reason of penguin penalty, lets read below to know how to revoke it.
- Download the backlink sheet
You can use Moz site explorer, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Raven or Cognitive SEO tool to extract the site backlink sheet BUT I would recommend to use Google webmaster tools to get the backlink sheet, as Google knows your site better than any other tool. Open the Webmaster account and go to “Search Traffic” then open the “links to your site” section. Click on “More ” to see all the referring domains linked to your site and then download the latest links button present in the top center of the page in Google drive.
Once downloaded the sheet, sort it according to domain name so that all links from one domain stay together and would help while performing link evaluation. And also add the following fields in the sheet
- Website name
- Contact detail
- Quality (Good or bad)
- Status (Removed or No response)
- Date of First Link removal request
- Date of second link removal request
- Date of third link removal request
- Perform link evalution
The next part is the link evaluation which you have to perform manually, open the links and see the following things before deciding it to bad link or good link.
- Website Domain Authority
- Website Alexa Rank
- Anchor text
- Is the link present in a profile? Is the profile up to date?
- Is the link present in a Directory?
- Is the link present in Article directory?
- Is the link coming from link farm?
- Is the link sitewide?
- Is the link from spammy website?
Links from a web site with low DA and high alexa rank are generally poor links. Now categories all backlink with Good and bad links in the sheet.
- Find contact details
After categorization of all links find the contact details of all the website with bad links which you can find in the following places
- Contact page
- About page
- Privacy policay page
- Whois page
But in any case if you didn’t find any contact info then just mention that contact details not found.
- Shoot the mails
Now shoot the mails to all website owners with the bad link and ask them to remove it. If they respond then update the sheet and take the follow up atleast three times because Google want to see your efforts on improving the link profile before they revoke the penalty.
- Create Disavow sheet
After complete updation of Google drive sheet, create the disavow sheet with links or domain name which didn’t responded your mails or removed the links.
- Send Reconsideration request
You are almost done, just write a compelling mail to Google with a request that you are now following all Google webmaster guidelines and made efforts on improving the link profile with the public link to the drive sheet and ask them to revoke the penalty with assurance that you won’t use the such practice any more.
To above all, if you follow them orderly then I am pretty sure that Google will revoke your penality in very short span of time.
If you have any query related to Google Penguin update then comment below with love.