Just shy of a few weeks into the campaign, our Webmaster Tools account pinged us with an Unnatural outbound links penalty. Most professionals familiar with Google’s Penguin series of algorithm updates are aware of and constantly reviewing for threats of an “Unnatural links to your site” penalty in Webmaster Tools. This was something different and unfamiliar when compared to many of the “out of penalty” case studies that we had been accustomed to. While we knew that our efforts weren’t to blame, we definitely didn’t want to start off the campaign in this manner. So we quickly got to work.
To revoke the manual penalty by strategically reviewing the website for unnatural external links, and taking proper action to submit an approved reconsideration request.
An unnatural outbound links penalty can hurt a website’s keyword rankings and overall search visibility drastically. Knowing the steps you need to take when submitting a reconsideration request to Google, we quickly formed a strategy.
- Created a Google Spreadsheet to record every instance of a potential offending link.
- Scanned the entire site for suspiciously unnatural external links then removed or assigned the “nofollow” link attribute.
- Created the reconsideration request with attached report of action steps taken.
Just under 5 weeks from the date of the initial notification in Google’s Webmaster Tools our team was able to form a successful strategy that resulted in the removal of our Manual Spam Action. Our teams’ responsiveness helped us achieve the task of removing the manual penalty before any detrimental effects could take place.
Here are our wins:
- Submitted an Approved Reconsideration Request in Under 5 Weeks
- Reported NO Significant Fluctuations in Keyword Rankings