Cause: Bad backlinks from irrelevant sites, other languages sites, article directories, paid links, low quality directories, low quality PR sites, low quality social bookmarking sites, site wide links, Link farms, reciprocal links and etc…

Recovery Actions:

To recover this type of manual penalty, you need to do the backlink link analysis and remove the all unnatural links. The process steps are explained below,

How to download the backlinks from the WMT?

  • Initially check the version (www or non-www) of your site which has been indexed by Google.
  • Collect more backlinks from webmaster tools and other tools like ahrefs.com and majesticseo.com.

Here is the video URL which will guide you to download the backlinks from webmaster tools

How to conduct the Backlink domain audit?

Backlink audit is an important process in penalty recovery so we recommend you not to rely on online automated tools because automated tools may remove important backlinks. It will never give your site a successful penalty recovery. Do the audit manually and disavow the bad domains which are not relevant to your specific niche. We have mentioned some of the domain audit tactics below,

  • Split all the links into No- follow and Do- follow.
  • Conduct the backlink audit for Do- follow domains.
#1 Be aware of…
Google mostly penalizes domains or URL’s containing “buy links”, “paid links”, “article”, ” links”, ”high PR links”, “free links”, “free list”, “SEO link”,” link directory”.

Some metrics to find out low quality sites,

  • Low quality Article, Low quality web Directory, Low quality Bookmarking and Low quality social media sites.
  • Links from SPAMMY Blog Comments
  • Forum Signatures
  • Links from Banned Network IP’s
  • Paid Links
  • Links from FFA, SPAM & Link farms
  • Links from Malicious Sites
  • Links from Irrelevant Sites
  • Links from Foreign Language Sites
  • Links from Content Scrapper Sites
  • Site wide and Footer links

Blog Posts and Article Directories: Remove the blogs if the post makes no sense, every single post has links to your site, the blog is shoddy in design, the post is not socially active, the blog is not indexed and has no page rank, link is heavily anchored and out of the place.

Bookmarking Websites: Remove if the user is not active, the site has no followers, the book marks are obviously anchored only for SEO.

Press Release: Remove if content is bad; the PR is not news worthy, over optimized anchored link and if the PR site is not indexed.

Web Directories: Remove if the directory is not indexed by Google, the directory is not relevant to your website, if the directory is not updated; too many links came from a single web directory.

Here is a sample audit file:

How to conduct Anchor Text Audit?

After the backlink audit process,

  • Categorize the domains into good and bad domains.
  • Analyze anchor text density for the good domains. Anchor text density is a major criterion and if you have a high density of anchor text you need to contact the webmasters to change the Anchor text to suitable phrases. You need not check the anchor text density for either the bad backlinks or the no follow domains because disavowing the bad domains entirely is mandatory and “nofollow” domains don’t impact the site at all(neither positively nor negatively).
#2 The Ideal Density of Anchor Texts:
  • 30% – Exact Match Main Keyword (E.g.: Nike shoes)
  • 15% – Exact Match Variation (e.g.: cheap Nike shoes)
  • 20% – Secondary Keyword (Nike Sport Shoes)
  • 5% – Secondary Keyword Variation (Cheap Nike Sport Shoes)
  • 10%– Brand (e.g.: Nike)

We suggest you some solutions to reduce the anchor text density:

  • Add “rel=no follow” attribute to the high risk anchor text. This will not affect your website's traffic, but there is no added value in having this domain as a backlink to your website.     (or)
  • Contact the domain owners to change the anchor text to suitable phrases. (or)
  • If not, disavow certain links which can bring down the high risk anchor text count.
#3 Be Aware Of…
  • Choose possible and relevant long tail keywords.
  • Use keywords with brand names
  • Use generic keywords like “Click here”, “For more details”, “Read more”, “Go to domainname.com” and “Visit website”
  • Use synonyms with the chosen keywords.
  • Image link with proper alt text is a good idea to reduces the risk
  • Use different landing pages for different keywords.
  • Use of special characters with the keywords decreases the risk of high density risky anchor texts.

How to outreach to the webmasters?

Before entering into the disavow process try to remove the bad links from your side as much you can.

  • Get the contact email of webmasters(the ones that you want to remove from your backlink profile)
  • You can get the domain owner’s contact email either from the particular website’s Contact Us page or from WHOIS Database (http://www.whois.com/whois)
  • If the contact email is not available on the website, then you can try contacting them via the contact form.
  • Try every possible way to collect the contact details of the webmasters (search for the details in Social Media Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Here is the best example for link removal request message for contacting the website owners:

If the webmasters fail to respond to your initial request, send the reminders (Reminder I and Reminder II) with sufficient gaps between them and patiently wait for their response. Add the domains to the disavow file if the links are not removed during the link removal process. You should streamline all the efforts that show how you are effectively sending the link removal requests with the reminders.

How to create Disavow file and send to Google?

  • Choose the correct indexing version of your website while sending disavow request to Google.
  • Create the disavow file with all the domains or backlink which are harmful to your website.
  • Save the list in the text file ( UTF or Unicode)


Here is a sample of how a disavow file looks like:

#4 Points to Remember…

  •  # - The HASH tag considered as a “Comments” Google ignores these comments;
  •  “domain : domainname.com” Disavows all the pages from the particular domain .
  •  You can also disavow specific pages by entering URLs in the disavow file as shown in the above disavow file
  •  According to Google, 2MB of the disavow file is permitted


How to file the Reconsideration Request?

Finally draft your reconsideration request to Google. Explain all the efforts that you have taken to fix the issues. Document your efforts to remove the unnatural links by adding all the contact details and screenshots in the reconsideration request message (Share those details in the Google Docs and place the link in the reconsideration request message) apologizing for the issues and inconvenience.



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About Guna Nadar

Guna Nadar

Brief Info about Guna Nadar +

I mostly write technical aspects and not much into creative writing. For the past decade I worked along with top notch SEO & Internet Marketing professionals which naturally lured me into the world of Search Engines. When I am not writing I read from comics to philosophy.Antiques, Fishing, hunting are my passions. Currently I am working on Google Penalty protection and .... more info