5 Main Steps to Take When You Encounter Penalty
Site-wide links are also a good thing to disavow because they appear across every page of that website, so you can either try to remove them or at least nofollow them. Link directories are also often bad and usually need to be removed, and you can spot the low-quality ones if they list every kind of business and website there. On the other hand, there are some good link directories and they are usually targeted to a single niche and industry and are manually reviewed.
Step 3. Remove the bad backlinks
Once the first two steps are done, you can proceed to try to remove all those bad backlinks that you’ve found through your research.
Email the webmaster
When emailing the website where backlink is placed, you should always be very polite and be very specific. You are requesting someone’s time so make it easy for them to help you out. Always use your company’s email address and don’t use Gmail, Yahoo, etc. You should keep track of all emails that you send. Most websites will have a contact page where you’ll find email form or email address. If the webmaster refuses to remove the link for some reason, you can simply disavow it instead.
Step 4. The Disavow tool
This tool is something that you should use only when is absolutely necessary. An instance when you should use it include the case when you simply can’t remove all the bad links, and in that case, do it before submitting a reconsideration request. You must not use it to avoid doing the previous work as that will not work. Google wants you to put in the hard work and try to fix your mistakes and not be lazy about it. By the time that you come this step, you should already have that spreadsheet with all the links where you marked ones that are bad and ones that you’ve already removed, but also the ones that you were not able to remove for some reason.
When you submit links for disavowing, you can either disavow the entire domain where the link is placed or just that specific link, is up to you. When submitting the file, don’t include http:// or www prior to a domain, just use the root domain. You should put each domain in a new line but also write comments about which links you haven’t removed, why, etc. For more detailed instructions, you can check Google’s guide on how to use the disavow tool.
Step 5. Writing a Reconsideration Request
This is the last step that you have to make in order to try to lift a penalty. In the request, you should explain to Google what exactly you’ve done wrong in the past, what have you done to remedy the issue (send them the spreadsheet), explain how you won’t be doing the same mistakes again, and sincerely apologize for the issue.
The worst thing that you could do when submitting the reconsideration request is not being very specific. You should tell them everything: the links that you’ve paid for, comment spam that you did, etc. If some SEO company did a very poor work and got you into trouble, you should mention that as well and basically note that you take the responsibility, but that you’ve learned a lot since then and that you are committed to not crossing the guidelines in the future.