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Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request

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Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request clayts 9/24/12 6:10 AM
Hello all,

So my site (url: http://tinyurl.com/bwndjt2) has been denied its 4th reconsideration request and I am struggling to understand exactly which links are the problems, below is the message from Google...

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider URL for compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to comply with our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have additional questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,

Google Search Quality Team

So here I am... We did hire an external SEO firm for back in 2011 who obviously didn't help us with some poor link building, lesson has been learned and I have been working tirelessly to remove all poor links I can find. Out of 5636 I could pull together with the help of GWT, Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO I have removed so far 4017 (72%) and there is 2% outstanding for which I attached every email and screenshot of all the effort I have put in to trying to remove these links. I have also detailed out the links that remain and those that appear to be showing now as a site error. I sent a considerable length request to Google advising them where we went wrong in the past, what we have done to remedy this and what we are continuing to do and asking for any feedback they could offer if they see links that they don't agree with could they give me an example and again I just received the standard response with no examples, I understand some people receive actual personalized emails - that is what I was hoping for if I was once again denied.

Anyway, below is my excel sheet that I shared with Google and for you to also see. I have removed the email addresses from those I am still trying to contact. Any feedback would be much appreciated. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqetOX20Hn7KdGdtc2I4VWJTaGhxS0UyM0kxdnJNUmc#gid=1

Kind regards,

Chris

Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request clayts 9/25/12 2:27 AM
Can anyone offer feedback? Thanks.

Chris
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request nycwebmaster 9/25/12 12:34 PM
It's all of those backlinks from the front pages of other domains - 
get those backlinks removed.
-------
also, 
london tours 
is your most common backlink anchor 
and
 it doesn't appear natural

------

Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request clayts 9/26/12 1:06 AM
There are only a few links on front pages of sites... these are also from links within some blog posts, where the first snippet of text shows on the homepage of the site. I know that London Tours is my most common keyword, which is why I have removed most of them. Did you look at the excel sheet?
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request JohnMu 9/28/12 12:56 AM
Hi Chris

The primary manual action that is affecting your site is that these unnatural links are being ignored. This is more or less in line with the spreadsheet that you have submitted, and would generally not be affecting the other links to your site. That said, while these things may have been counting for your site in the past, they no longer are -- so it's possible that you'd see some effect in your site's crawling, indexing, and ranking. Past that, keep in mind that the manual action here might not be the strongest element affecting your site's performance, we use over 200 factors in our crawling, indexing, and ranking, and regularly announce updates (such as http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html ). My recommendation would be to not focus so much on this specific manual action, but instead to work to make sure that your site (and how it interacts with users and the rest of the web) is the best it can possibly be. 

Cheers
John
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request clayts 9/28/12 2:54 AM
Hi John.

Thank you so much for your response. Its really very helpful, I did think that the major factor to the sites performance of late was related to the penguin update back in April, since then I have done my best to resolve those issues that I believe have caused the update to hit my site. Of course, I am now waiting for the next update which I hope will breathe a little life back into the site based on the improvements I believe I have made both on and off site. When we receive visitors to the site from Adwords, Organic Bing and Yahoo (I believe) they are very satisfied - based on our good conversion, positive reviews and time spent on site etc. But the problem is that we get 20 times more visits per day from Bing Organic alone than we do Google Organic... something isnt right with that surely.

Once again, thank you so much for your response. I really do hope that you make a refresh of the Penguin Algo shortly, as its tough at the moment for this small business to compete when we have such a huge obstacle placed in front of us which shows no sign of moving.

Kind regards,

Chris
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request businesstrader 9/28/12 4:36 AM

Hi Chris,

 

I would definitely recommend waiting around for the next Penguin Update before making the switch to a new domain. I am currently experiencing a similar situation and my last 5 reconsiderations request were not even responded to other than the auto generated response to say they had received it:

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R8CMAqXKdkPgP_rY73RI2AbuusCF5pUbh9ze684dnII/edit

 

There were a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘mights’ in JohnMu’s general comments. Nothing specific that could really point you in the right direction. For me personally, I actually received an email from Google which included at least 6 examples of inorganic urls that were pointing to my site which I should try and have removed. Until they could see a significant effort, the ‘manual’ penalty would remain. Google’s words!

 

So I have put in a huge effort of the past 4-5 months cleaning up my profile, and to simply have my reconsideration requests ignored is very ‘deflating!’.

 

My advice is to keep chipping away at your inorganic links and hopefully Google can appreciate and reward you for your efforts. If the manual penalty is removed, I am guessing you will have even more joy when the new Penguin update rolls out.
 
Regards
 
Peter
fathom 9/28/12 4:50 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request fathom 9/28/12 4:58 AM
I wouldn't "just wait".
 
Sort your links and content in a variety of different ways to see if you can identify additional issues.
 
In July, Google afforded you to review links by detection date... a key vantagepoint as it affords you the ability to look for different patterns.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request fathom 9/28/12 5:01 AM
Peter it would be better for you to not use yourself as an solid example of cleaning up and getting nowhere.
A two minute review of your remaining link profile shows clear signs of webspam that you seemingly believe are natural links of quality.
Your HUGE effort is far less productive and that is the reason why so much time has passed by without success.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request businesstrader 9/28/12 5:05 AM
Fathom, how nice of you to go out of your way to try and put a negative spin on my situation.....again.
 
If you read my post which you highlighted in the quotes, I did not mention anywhere that I had successfully removed all inorganic links. But it was nice of you to point that out. Good job!
 
What I did say was how my recon requests have been ignored (as I mentioned in an earlier thread http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!mydiscussions/webmasters/bLx11QrL7vQ.........this is a good read!)
 
Fathom, what you did not seem to notice was the amount of links removed and the efforts that went into making contact with webmasters.
 
Anyway, lets not highjack Chris's thread and hopefully fellow webmasters in simliar situations can help him and other out.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request fathom 9/28/12 5:14 AM

On Friday, September 28, 2012 9:05:29 AM UTC-3, businesstrader wrote:
Fathom, how nice of you to go out of your way to try and put a negative spin on my situation.....again.
 
How nice of you to explain your situation which has absolutely nothing to do with http://tinyurl.com/bwndjt2 and their manual review.
 
I'm more than happy to show you the errors in your logic for cleanup on your own thread.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request businesstrader 9/28/12 5:50 AM

Um, my situation is almost identical to http://tinyurl.com/bwndjt2. In fact, we started communicating with each other a while back, giving each other advice, ideas, tips etc about our situations.

 

You want to show me the errors I made cleaning up my own thread? Sure. I am welcoming all advice to help my situation.

 

In regards to the site admins which I contacted multiple times and never got a reply, would there be an issue if I would use a mod_rewrite to handle the situation locally as seen below?


<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} .*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} toxic-domain\.com [NC]
RewriteRule .* http://www.toxic-domain.com/ [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

 

I know that this technique will redirect all of the traffic from those bad domains back to themselves. I am aware that a http referral will not also redirect back to that site the PageRank. But, since John Mu (above) said that unnatural links are being ignored and the majority, if not all of those links have no PageRank anyway, I do not see why after all my efforts (Chris’s and everyone else suffering from a manual penalty) why my penalty can not reversed.

 

I understand that Google would not reverse the penalty instantly in full, which I can understand the reasons and that violating websites should be placed into a probation time to prove that we will not re-offend the guidelines.

 

I heard from many others who have violating guidelines, that they got a reply to the recon request from Google and that the penalty had been reversed, but will take some time until it will be reversed in full. 

 

So what do you advise next?

Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request Webnauts 9/28/12 6:00 AM
Did I understand John correctly, that link pruning doesn't work? Or am I suffering again from a "Buffer Over-flow?
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request fathom 9/28/12 6:36 AM
When you submit a reconsideration request any notable changes that you have attempted and failed and Google can appreciate that you, in fact, cannot make change they will remove such developments from your link graph... but that does not mean those were the only issues you had.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request businesstrader 9/28/12 7:01 AM
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-impact-penalty-15762.html 
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request KORPG Kevin 9/28/12 7:02 AM
Did I understand John correctly, that link pruning doesn't work? Or am I suffering again from a "Buffer Over-flow?

I read John's post more like this:

IF the penalty is that unnatural links are being ignored, AND other factors are more significantly affecting a site's ranking, then link pruning MAY NOT make an immediately demonstrable impact when addressed.

However, resolving the unnatural links is still advisable since they may become the primary impacting factor when others are addressed and may mask any improvement of same.
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request Webnauts 9/28/12 8:42 AM
Businesstrader, JohnMu gave a bit more context for partial revocations. Here you can read more about that: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-partial-penalty-15280.html
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request DaMan 9/28/12 9:20 AM
@clayts - If John says that you have other issues apart from the links I'd really actively look into those. Content creation is one of those fields.

http://www.sightseeingtourslondon.com/windsor-stonehenge-bath-tour-p-38.html
http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=pl&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22Built+high+above+the+River+Thames%2C+Windsor+Castle+has+been+home+to+the+Royal+Family+for+900+years+and+is+still+an+Official+Residence+of+the+Queen.+We+visit+the+magnificent+State+Apartments%22&oq=%22Built+high+above+the+River+Thames%2C+Windsor+Castle+has+been+home+to+the+Royal+Family+for+900+years+and+is+still+an+Official+Residence+of+the+Queen.+We+visit+the+magnificent+State+Apartments%22&gs_l=hp.3...1369.1369.0.1896.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0...0.1...1c.1.8_aNo-J4rE8&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=8e7fd57dd35619c9&biw=1920&bih=864

Whilst you do offer additional information, given the situation with your dowgrade of links, this might not be enough, especially noteing that your site is relatively small:

http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=pl&sclient=psy-ab&q=site:Sightseeingtourslondon.com&oq=site:Sightseeingtourslondon.com&gs_l=hp.3...288926.288926.2.289339.1.1.0.0.0.0.150.150.0j1.1.0...0.0...1c.1.4lm6qscp210&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=8e7fd57dd35619c9&biw=1920&bih=864
(Xenu also shows approx the same number of pages)

Webnauts 9/28/12 10:19 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Feedback on why site still wont get through reconsidoration request Webnauts 9/28/12 10:20 AM
Businesstrader,

my reply to your post have been deleted by the mods here, and I strongly believe it was because I added a link pointing to a post of Barry Schwartz on SE Roundtable. Here is the entire post:

 ---
Google will partially remove a penalty when they see you take significant action on a notification.

John Mueller from Google said in response to a Google Webmaster Help thread that they do indeed do this. One webmaster received a notification that the inorganic link penalty they received was partially revoked. Google said they were able to "partially revoke a manual action" taken against the site.

Here is the full message:

    Thank you for your request.

    After re-evaluating your site's backlinks we are able to partially revoke a manual action. There are still inorganic links pointing to your site that we have taken action on. Once you've been able to make further progress in getting these links removed, please reply to this email with the details of your clean-up effort.

It is nice to see Google not taking an all or nothing approach with these penalties.

John from Google gave a bit more context for these partial revocations:

    That usually means that the team has been able to remove a part of the manual actions being taken due to the changes that you've made. It sounds like there still are some issues that you might want to review & resolve though. Generally speaking, it can take a bit of time for these kinds of changes to bubble up, and to be visible in search results, it would be rare to see a jump right afterwards. My recommendation (not knowing the specific case/site) would be to follow the advice of the search quality team and to continue working on removing any unnatural links that your site may have collected over time.

Just a reminder, those penalty notifications you get via webmaster tools, those are manually sent.

---

And MODs please accept my apology for the inconvenience.