Google’s Matt Cutts: Link Spamming Google For A Specific Time Period? Then Mass Disavow Those Links.

matt-cutts-linksIn a recent video released by Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, Matt answered the question, “How can a site recover from a period of spamming links?”

The example given was when Interflora was penalized by Google for buying links and only was penalized for 11 days. The question was, how can a site with a penalty get their rankings back in 11-days like Interflora?

Matt didn’t give a specific answer to the question, instead he said he wanted to answer it in a general sense.

Matt said that you should disavow the bad links with a vengeance and disavow all the links that might be paid. Don’t use the disavow tool a single link at a time, instead use the domain level disavow option. Matt said this before, explaining that you should use the disavow tool more like a machete.

So, if you know you paid for links between a specific date range, technically, you can disavow all the links you acquired between those date ranges, or at least disavow most of them, at the domain level.

Here is the video:

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Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Link Building: Paid Links | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • incrediblehelp

    “Matt didn’t give a specific answer to the question, instead he said he wanted to answer it in a general sense.”

    Like every answer he gives….

  • Sam

    Yeah bollocks, tried that plenty of times and still no rankings back & still havent had the penalties removed.. so I explored a few niches in PPC and found an industry which has now set me up for life

  • Sam

    ‘Incrediblehelp’ I wish matt would give us that

  • Chase Anderson

    True, but I think it’s obvious he’s indicating that Interflora did remove a lot of links similar to what he describes in his video. Perhaps it’s not exactly what they did but that was the message I think he was trying to get out. Make it obvious you’re correcting the mistake in every way you can.

  • GetOnTheProgram

    I wonder how many new high-quality “natural” links Interflora gained from the breaking news of the penalty? Could 1000s of new links / social mentions arriving from a wide range of the web’s biggest news sites be enough to counterbalance the negative affect a giant dissavow purge of 1000s of “bad” links would have? Most websites who get penalized by Google don’t get the added benefit of the penalty itself making headlines or the free PR (good or bad) from Google mentioning them…

  • Eric K. Cone

    so says the Czar

  • Michael Martinez

    I see you lost your copy of “How To Read Between the Lines and Interpret the Future”. I’ll be glad to sell you mine for $1 million….But only ’cause I like you.

  • Hoa Pham

    I did submit links in Webmaster Tools 4 months ago, but until now I still see them in the link section of webmaster tools.

  • igl00

    it works, ive recovered a few sites. bad side is.. you do googles job for free ;)

  • Ritu Singh

    Thanks for this great post. I am totally agree with this post. First we need to do manual approach to remove bad links. After that if we still not able to remove these then we have to use disavow option.

  • macleay

    He just said use disavow tool but we know disavow is one of the mysterious tools from Google, it can be two sided sword… disavowing link in this situation is good idea but before doing read

  • Mike Lowry

    The beggar has no choice, If your site was penalized and ranking fallen down then you have to follow the procedure and then Disavow all Paid backlinks.

  • Kevin Anchi

    Are PressRelease links considered as paid links cause the do a news blast in their network and thus generate links for the domain, and of course we pay them for the same, so can this be treated as paid links???

  • Durant Imboden
  • Rolf Leurs

    I’ve never seen a video from Matt, where he advices what to do with links you did’nt buy but just appear in webmaster tools. Like forums with 2000 of my links. i didn’t put there. Using the disavow tool is like saying i did something wrong. Now it feels like i’ve been punished for something other people did!!!!

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