Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties

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(unknown) 7/9/12 4:23 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties StevieD_Web 7/9/12 5:26 PM
>Am I correct in that changing the directory will make these links inconsequential and will enable her to have the manual penalty lifted 

yes, you are correct.... in that the bad links would be removed as the page to which they are linked would respond with 404 (not found).  

That said, there are two conditions.

1)  do not 301 redirect the old pages to the new page.

2)  This method is not effective with links to the home/root of the site.


Oh, and removing these links may not be enough to lift the penalty.  Google provided you with a sample list of bad links.  SAMPLE.  Not a complete list.  You will need to address other unnatural links prior to your reconsideration request.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties JohnMu 7/13/12 1:26 AM
Hi brujito

In general, if you remove the page that is being linked to (such as a spammy forum thread) and make sure that it returns a 404/410 HTTP response code, we'll ignore the links to those pages. If these links are primarily pointing at threads that you've removed, then there's no need to move the whole forum to a new URL. If you find that there's a significant number of problematic links that you can't remove which are linking to general parts of your forum (eg the forum homepage), moving the forum to a different URL might be a possibility (but I'd only recommend doing that if you're absolutely sure that these links are causing problems -- we're pretty good at ignoring spammy links). If you choose to move the forum, then StevieD has some good suggestions on how that could be done (make sure that your 404 page is useful to users too). 

That said, I'm also still seeing a bunch of links that don't appear to be made by random pharmaceutical spammers, links that you may want to take care of, if you feel that they're problematic. In particular, I see mostly-irrelevant blog comments linking to the site (eg http://mongu.net/707 , http://blogs.inquirer.net/openforbusiness/2008/11/17/a-new-take-on-chicken-inasal/index.html ), and some appear to be fake forum profiles (eg http://davidchoimusic.com/forums/member.php?u=7496 ). 

Additionally, I'd also recommend going through the questions mentioned in our blog post at http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html -- I find these questions particularly relevant on "advice"-type sites, where it's important that your users trust the content that you provide (regardless of the associated algorithm update). 

My recommendation would be to continue working on resolving any issues that you may find (such as the links that you mentioned), and then, when you've made progress, document that and submit another reconsideration request detailing those changes. 

Hope it helps!
John
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties joshbachynski 7/13/12 9:17 AM
Hi John!

To be clear, just so I understand the procedure, one can 404 the pages, or delete the links, and then there is no need for a resubmission request? If they delete 80% of the bad links will x% of the rankings return without the need to do a resubmission request? Or, although there is no need for the resubmission request, but 0% of the rankigns will "return" because essentially any ranking boost gained from bad links that was taken away is never coming back because the authority is not trusted from those bad links (which are now gone anyways).

It is just that a resubmission request takes time. The more we can do ourselves the better off we are :-) Also my clients are frantic (obsessed really) about getting their rankings "back" as if they had them to begin with. Know what I mean? ;-p
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties fathom 7/14/12 5:43 AM
On Friday, July 13, 2012 1:17:20 PM UTC-3, joshbachynski wrote:
Hi John!

To be clear, just so I understand the procedure, one can 404 the pages, or delete the links, and then there is no need for a resubmission request?

I would never send Google a reconsideration request UNLESS Google actually notified you of a Manual Review.

Bots and humans see things very differently... and all a reconsideration request is... is another name for spam report.

If they delete 80% of the bad links will x% of the rankings return without the need to do a resubmission request? Or, although there is no need for the resubmission request, but 0% of the rankigns will "return" because essentially any ranking boost gained from bad links that was taken away is never coming back because the authority is not trusted from those bad links (which are now gone anyways).

PENGUIN has a threshold... one link detection before that threshold you rank, one link after you don't... "In theory" if you dip one link below that threshold again of the next re-RUN of PENGUIN you recover... on the other hand if you are manually reviewed... the human sniff test is very very different.

It is just that a resubmission request takes time. The more we can do ourselves the better off we are :-) Also my clients are frantic (obsessed really) about getting their rankings "back" as if they had them to begin with. Know what I mean? ;-p

Honestly, in past threads you mentioned PENGUIN devaluations... so you are risking a manual review to get Google to suggest they haven't taken any manual actions. This is like driving by a cop 5 miles/hour over the speed level and sticking your finger up!

I would also caution on 2 things:

1. the delete and get 404 procedure will not likely work for a domain.com (to default page) link or a trailing / link... because - no matter where you edit the new default page to be, those unnatural links will follow it. It will likely only work for absolute url links.

2. the laws of risk/rewards apply. If you link to page also have hard fought natural links you will lose those as well. So be sure the rewards of deleting outweigh the risks of keeping and needing to do due diligence on the unnatural link removal the old fashion way.
(unknown) 7/14/12 2:34 PM <This message has been deleted.>
(unknown) 7/14/12 2:44 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties seo101 7/14/12 2:48 PM
It is just that a resubmission request takes time".

If the site is affected by Penguin, then a reconsideration is just a waste of your and Google's time. Penguin is algorithmic

"Also my clients are frantic (obsessed really) about getting their rankings "back" as if they had them to begin with "

Highly unlikely to happen. They were previously ranking higher due to the spam that is now gone/devalued/penalized. They have lost all that previous link juice.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties seo101 7/14/12 2:53 PM
We gone from this:

"The owner has never done any link building or done anything that would have violated Google's best practices or TOS. She is an author and the website has never sold anything or promoted anything other than her advice and books.

The links that the GOOGLE spam review team gave her as examples of "bad links" are from spammers. 

The spammers posted via/gra and other pha/rma links in her Relationship advice forum and then posted links to these bad posts in her forum with links from other 3rd party websites."


to this:

"After speaking to the site owner I now know that there was an "SEO" (in the loosest sense of the word) working for her about 14 months ago. "


How often do we see that pattern?


(unknown) 7/14/12 2:57 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties isoosi 7/14/12 3:06 PM
implying what ?

I was not aware of those links. If I had have been told that by the owner at the time of starting to help her with this  - I would not have wasted time trying to get the forum issues resolved.

So my lack of research into all the links is the problem?

GWT gives a sample of the links only and I took a good sample from there and didn't find any link the ones John mentioned. We used other tools to do analysis - but were acting on the message the owner received from Google which on 4 requests came back as stating the Forum links were the issue. 
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties webado 7/15/12 9:26 AM
Every time anybody claims they didn't do it, the competitors did it or Google is having it in for them.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties webado 7/15/12 9:28 AM
Implying nothing in particular except that you should ALWAYS doubt what your client is telling you, just like we doubt here what most self-proclaimed  "innocent victims" say at least until we pull teeth and nails to get to some of the truth.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties mantizman 9/9/12 12:55 PM
John - would the 404 help if were served based upon Referrer (like through an htaccess file)?  For example, if we had some spammy links pointing to the homepage from specific sites that we wanted to 'disavow', could we 404 based on upon any traffic Referred from that domain?  Or, would that just cause issues because Google would see the homepage as returning a 404 (and that the referrer does not matter in this case)?  Thanks.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties webado 9/9/12 1:56 PM
Robots do not communicate referrer information.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties mantizman 9/10/12 8:09 AM
Ok, thank you.
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties Minrel Tas 10/1/12 12:06 PM
Hi John,
Thank you for the information on applying a 404. It's been quite valuable to me. I'm a relatively new SEO (new to my client, not to the industry), and I'm cleaning up after the past transgressions of a former SEO that my client had previously. I was hired to come in and build high quality, fresh new links to a page of his that received a penalty (looks like a penalty anyway, based on disappearance of rankings - it didn't coincide with an algorithmic update, though). My client also received an unnatural linking letter that Google sent out a couple of months back. Everything that I've done - all white hat link building - has not been able to help the site recover it's rankings. I did remove as many links as I could, but a reconsideration request came back stating that there were still inorganic links. I think the issue is the volume of links that are certainly unnatural, and that they were so keyword-rich as far as anchor text goes. I couldn't get every unnatural link removed, and there were few natural ones.
I'm seriously considering advising my client to do a 404 because that would eliminate most of the problem - there's one webpage that is the main culprit as far as the unnatural linking went. There were a number of unnatural links to the homepage as well, but that is not a page he is concerned about ranking. So basically, my question is:
If in a reconsideration request my client can show (by the 404) that more than 80% or so of unnatural links are now gone, will that be enough to be reconsidered? I think he just needs to disavow those toxic links with a 404 to that page because it would be nearly impossible to get them all removed. Will sacrificing the page that was so unnaturally-linked-to and starting a whole new page that only has more holistic linking goint to it be enough to show the reviewers this time around that a diligent effort to clean up and begin anew was made so that the site will no longer be "marked" or "penalized". Just want to know if this is enough?
If the action of the 404 is not enough, would there be a possibility of doing a disallow of the homepage in the robots.txt so that any remaining toxic links going there would not be counted? (He's not concerned with ranking the homepage).
Any advice will be much appreciated!
Re: Changing the name of folder to stop bad link penalties webado 10/1/12 6:12 PM
>>Any advice will be much appreciated!

Don't "build" any links. Get your client to build a great website that good relevant sites would want to link to.