• Chris Koszo

    Great article. Some people get too eager with killing links (I’ve experienced first-hand), while others are too laissez faire and eventually get some sort of penalty.

    The only time I don’t touch the links or file a reconsideration is if a site has a manual action on “some links only”, that is only affecting only those incoming links (in effect making them nofollow), and not dampening the site’s ranking. Even Google says these links can be outside the webmasters control so there’s no point in admitting you built those.

    Some more background: say 99% of your links are great, but you once bought a paid link a few years ago on a blog network site.. Well of course Google found and devalued that blog network recently and all their outgoing links, and then sent out that ‘manual action on links’ notice to all the sites that were linked from the blog network. If this happens to you, you have nothing to worry about and I wouldn’t file a reconsideration, since Google doesn’t know if it’s a negative SEO attempt or if you built the links yourselves, and thus they err on the safe site and just devalue those links. This is exactly how it used to work for years, the only difference is they now send you a notice. If you start admitting to building the link though and open Dialoge via a reconsideration request, you have the potential to screw yourself.

    If you have warnings on “some incoming links” I’d just try to remove them, while at the same time start getting some new quality links.

    My 2 cents.

  • http://www.glamorousbite.com/ GlamorousBite

    Glad we read the article before starting to remove links. We are not quite sure which of the links for http://winedinedaily.com/ would be keepable so we will take a look at running some reports. Cheers!

  • http://pageonepower.com/ Jon Ball

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, Chris. I agree that it’s probably wise to hold off on a massive backlink cleanup if you only have a manual action on “some links only” and aren’t noticing a huge difference in how your site is ranking. Your example is definitely a case in which it would be appropriate to conduct a gradual backlink cleanup.

    This kind of penalty is a notable exception to the rule (as long as “99% of your links are great”), though really, massive cleanups should be a last resort unless your backlink profile is seriously affecting your rankings. Simply knowing the difference between what a massive cleanup looks like and what gradual backlink removal looks like and what situations they commonly apply to should help people determine which response is right for their particular sites or penalties.

  • http://pageonepower.com/ Jon Ball

    Thanks. I’m glad this was useful for you! Good luck with your backlink audit.