Proven Six Step Penguin 2.0 Recovery Strategy

manual actions Google’s Penguin 2.0 has impacted a lot of websites as it has gone deeper to look for spam, analyzing internal pages as opposed to just the homepage of websites in the earlier Penguin 1.0 update. The problem being addressed here was unnatural, manipulative inbound link profiles. What makes a bad link profile?

Backlink Audit





Google focused on links that were from

  • Automated link exchanges
  • Low quality article submissions
  • Artificial blog networks
  • Fake Profiles
  • Blog Comment Spam
  • Site wide Link Spam (Header/Footer Link)
  • Artificial Blogrolls
  • Network websites
  • Link Exchange Site (reciprocal sites)
  • Malware Attacked sites
  • Paid links and Link farms
  • Adult websites
  • Irrelevant websites
  • Foreign language websites
  • Domain expired sites
  • Sites with server error
  • Poor quality sites
  • Links from Class C IP
  • Links where the anchor text is overly optimized (i.e., exact-match anchor text)

Google analyses the rate of link acquisition, which is called link velocity, based on whose signals Google figures out which links to trust as credible and natural, and which links not to trust.

For a better understanding of unnatural backlinks, here is Matt Cutts video that would shed light on it.

Intent on gaining page ranks, if you had indulged in buying mass links, spamming low quality directory sites with your links, or comments spamming, there's a good chance your site was affected by the Penguin.2 update.

Check for manual action message

First check if you have been notified by Google for manual action taken. For this you need to click on Manual Actions under Search Traffic on the Webmaster Tools page.

manual action


If you have not been penalized by Google and there are no manual actions taken, this is the message you will see.

manual actions

If your site has been found to be having a lot of unnatural links, you might have received a manual penalty notice to your email inbox, which would typically look like this.

manual penalty notice


To view the message on the webmaster tool page, click on manual actions under the search traffic menu



And this is what will show up

manual penalty


Here “Site wide matches” says none, the Partial Matches has a message. So click on it

Site wide matches


The Google notification on “unnatural links to your site – impacts links” appears.

If your site hasn’t been under Google direct spotlight but has suffered a drop in rank and activity since the Penguin 2.0 Update, now is the time to set your site right.  Here are six simple steps you should try to recover from the Penguin 2.0 penalty.

  1. Perform a Link Profile Analysis

The first step is to conduct a thorough backlink analysis. This involves downloading all the links to an online Data Sheet and reviewing it manually, line by line, to determine what might be harming you. For this,

  • login to your webmaster account
  • Click on “Search traffic” in the dashboard

Search traffic

  • Click on “more” to view entire list

Search traffic

  • Click on “download more sample links” which would generate a link profile of all the sites linking to yours as an excel sheet.


  1. Identify Unnatural, Toxic links

Now that you have downloaded your entire link profile, use this to create a text file containing only the links you want to disavow—one link per line – for later use.

Meantime, it is time to identify which links are irrelevant and which might be harming your site. While options of automated link-detox tools remain, the best way would be to manually identify the harmful links.

Check if the link–

  • Is from a Network websites
  • Is from a paid links and Link farms
  • Is from an Adult websites
  • Is from Irrelevant websites
  • Is from other language websites
  • Is from a domain expired sites
  • Is from Sites with server error
  • Is from a poor quality sites
  • Is from a Malware attacked site
  • Is from a Links exchange site (reciprocal links)
  • Is from a site with same Class C IPs
  • Links where the anchor text is overly optimized (i.e., exact-match anchor text)
  • Or any one of those mentioned at the top of the page
  1. Remove Suspicious links

Now that you have identified the suspicious links it is time to weed them out.  Try to remove the links that can be removed with your login, eg anchor texts, links from article submission etc


For all other links that need the webmasters support, send requests to the respective webmasters. Give them a few days to respond, and sent a reminder or two, if there is no response. Keep your webmaster requests polite as they are under no contract to remove your bad backlinks and never commit to pay.


  1. Create a list of bad links

If at the end of your waiting period, say 30 days, you still haven’t found cooperation from some webmasters it is time to create an online txt. file with these headers to be sent to Google.


Website name        URL   email Cont. Date 1                         Date 2                        Status

This txt file should contain documented evidence of previous attempts to contact the webmasters.

While creating the txt file, make sure you fall by the following format guidelines

  • Use only TextFile .txt (Notepad)
  • Use # for comments eg: # this is a paid link but i did not pay for it
  • Single link URL per link
  • Information about excluded links can be added with each line of description beginning with the "#" character (all lines beginning with # will be ignored).


  • For removing an individual link

Eg:  # Contacted webmaster to remove the link but no response s.html


  • For removing the Entire Domain

Eg:  # Contacted Webmaster but no response

  • Right syntax to remove entire domain - domain:
  • While updating the links, download existing file and append the links
  • Domain names are not case sensitive. (Use -->  Domain: or domain:
  • Space is also not considered (domain: or domain :

Forget not to Mention Your disavow.txt File

If you have filed a disavow.txt, then mention it in your request.”

  1. Use Google Disavow tool

When you have exhausted your waiting period, it is time to employ the “Disavow” tool to prune all bad links from your site.

Login to your webmaster account and go to

This is what you will see.



If you are dealing with multiple sites on your webmaster account, select the site name for which the back links have to be disavowed and Google will display a warning.

disavow links


Click on the tab “Disavow Links” and this is the pop up box you get to see.


disavow links


Now choose the file, and click on submit. Google requires 45 days to confiscate the bad links harming your site.

Don't upload the entire list of links to your site. The text file that you upload is the list of links you want Google to ignore.

  1. Filing a Reconsideration Request

Once the webmaster contacted list has been sent to Google WebSpam action team, please also file a reconsideration request. Google will check to see how much effort you put into removing links before granting favorable reconsideration.

Submitting a reconsideration request to Google is only going to be helpful if you have a manual penalty in place, which will be indicated via Google Webmaster Tools as discussed above.

To file for a reconsideration request, click on “manual actions” under the  Search Traffic menu,

Manual Action


and this is what will be displayed

Partial Matches


Click on Partial Matches and this is what you get to see.

Site Wide Matches


Now click on “Request a Review” and it pops up into a Message Posting page




Ahead of this, prepare a request that also mentions the effort that you had put into abiding by Google Guidelines and file your reconsideration.

Check out a sample reconsideration request here

Here is a video by Matt Cutts on how to file for reconsideration request

Meantime, increase your effort in improving the quality of your site – either by adding great new content or keep making improvements to your site and working to build the best links possible.


Category :

SEO News

Tags :

Penguin 2.O Recovery, Disavow Links, Unnatural Lin

About Lazarus Rankish Hunt

Lazarus Rankish  Hunt Hi … I am Ranki, a Journo by profession now enjoying a free fall into the future of SEO. Writing is a flow of my being, an extension of the self that is unstoppable, even if it isn’t embraced, embalmed and mummified by recognition. I am here to enjoy the ride, since I have no fixed date with destiny. I Manage Media and Strategize Content at Submitinme. I fill up spaces on pages with the feeling that I am shouting from the roof tops for the Eared crowd to hear and find the latest break-outs in the field. There could be more or less of me, if you care to .... more info