How to Remove Google Penalty for Unnatural Outbound Links

internet-search-engine-1433323_640Nothing can be more stressful for a website owner than seeing a notification of manual action from Google in your Google Webmaster Tools account. After all, this basically means that the tech giant is hounding your heels for having bad links, and unless you act immediately, your website’s traffic and search ranking will definitely suffer for it.

It is common knowledge that Google is keeping a close eye on potential violators and it is holding no punches when it comes to punishing those who have committed infractions. In fact, Google has taken down MyBlogGuest, a large guest blog network of more than 73,000 users just recently. Matt Cutts, Google’s distinguished engineer, said in a tweet that the action is a “reminder about the spam risks of guest blogging.”

Since then, many website owners are seeking help with removing manual action for unnatural links, especially for unnatural outbound links. Chris Dyson of Search Engine Watch said Google penalties can be avoided and removed by simply “taking prompt action and working hard to resolve the issue that may be causing the penalty.” Once the issue is addressed, website owners can expect traffic to return “quite quickly.”

If you have received a notification from Google, Dyson said the first thing you need to do is weed out the root of the problem. Unfortunately, the tech giant doesn’t specify the links or pages it believes to be causing the problem. As such, you have to conduct a thorough manual sweep of your site.

First, you have to look at any link that you have sold. According to Dyson, if anyone has paid you for a sponsored article or bought a link from your site in the past, you should immediately make those links nofollow. And if you have been using a lot of reciprocal links as part of your link building campaign, or setting up a links page on your site and allowed it become a “hoard of cluttered random links” Dyson said you have to fix it immediately.

Meanwhile, everybody knows that allowing guests to leave comments on your blog or site is beneficial because it allows you to obtain feedback and engage your audience. However, it can be a double-edged sword because links on those comments can potentially get you in trouble with Google. If you allow comments, make sure you use a commenting platform with better spam protection. Similarly, if you allow guest posts on your site, review guest articles and look for those with links to commercial pages or the home page of other websites.

After manually checking your site for unnatural outbound links, you can now file a reconsideration request. Go to your Google Webmaster Tools, visit the reconsideration page, and then select the penalised site from the drop down menu.

Dyson said you should keep your message straight to the point. Also, don’t forget to create a Google Doc where the links you have cleaned up are listed, and send it to Google. If and when Google lifts the penalty, you will notice quick improvements in your traffic or search rankings. But in case the tech giant refused to lift the manual action, it means that you haven’t fixed the problem completely. Don’t be afraid to try again.

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