The warnings coming from Google about webmasters they detected as having unnatural links pointing to their websites hit an all time high during the months of January and February of 2012. Google sent out more of those types of warnings in those two months than in any time frame since they started messaging webmasters via the GWT Google Webmaster Tools.
If you or one of your SEO clients receives such a warning, there are certain things that you should never do. If you do, you are only hurting yourself as well as prolonging your SEO misery. Here are the things you should not do; learn them well.
Do Not Ever Panic!
Time and again, the first thing most webmasters do once they receive this dreaded letter or a similar one from Google; is go into a panic mode. Everything they do after that is likely to significantly increase the effect of the Google penalty. You must train yourself to remain calm! As frightening as a warning from Google may seem, is not the end of the SEO world. If you know about SEO, the SERPs and ranking, then you know that Google penalties are temporary.
Do Not Engage In Any Knee Jerk Reaction Solutions
We went back and took a look at over nine hundred individual webmasters and SEO clients who received such one or more of these Google warnings and one thing that we noticed is that overwhelmingly, the majority of them engaged in knee jerk reaction solutions that further put them in the Google penalty box. When issues arise, your first step should be setting up a concrete SEO recovery game plan. Knee jerk reactions are for SEO rookies and Internet Marketing novices.
Do Not Contact Google Seeking An Explanation
You may not have noticed this, but your relationship with Google, whether you are an AdSense publisher or an AdWords buyer, is not one of two-way communications. Moreover, Google does not believe in providing AdSense publishers or AdWords buyer with factual information that can help them address issues.
Consequently, attempting to contact Google for clarification is like a Democrat trying to get clarification from a Republican or vice-a-versa. You are never going to get any straight answers from Google, so why bang your head up against that jagged and cold brick wall?
Do Not Submit a Google Reconsideration Request
Contrary to popular belief, you are not obligated nor bound to follow the instructions Google provided in terms of submitting a *reconsideration request. If we were in 2008, 2009 and maybe the beginning of 2010, we would say follow their instructions and submit your site for reconsideration. However, times have changed and a new SEO day has dawned.
If you take the proper steps, there is no need for you to submit your site for reconsideration. The truth is, you should be on top of your SEO game enough that you know how to deal with any type of Google penalty without ever needing to follow any Google instructions.
*PLEASE NOTE: The only time you can actually submit a reconsideration request is when your website was manually reviewed by Google and slapped with a manual penalty. If you received the notice from Google that they detected unnatural links on your website and it was due to an algorithm update/change, your request for reconsideration will not be read.
Do Not Remove The Offending Backlinks
If you know anything about the inner workings of the Google spam team, then you would know that the removal of any backlinks after you receive an unnatural link warning is essentially an admission of guilt. You will also know that your actions of removing those links are added to the Google algorithm and make it easier for Google to act injudiciously against other webmasters as soon as that see that pattern. If Google sends out ten thousand warnings about unnatural links and within seven days, sixty percent of those links are removed by the webmasters, what does that tell Google? Heed this advice; leave of those links alone!
Your thought process should be to assume that Google is going to devalue those links. Having said that, your primary mission should be to add the same amount of links that you believe to be the offending links. You should replace offending links with links of equal or higher PR value.
If Google decides to devalue the links in question, you have lost no additional time, nor have you expended any unnecessary energy unplucking those links. Moreover, in many cases, you cannot do anything with the offending links as far as removing them. I’ve talked with people who subscribed to certain networks where the links were permanent and could not be removed, so what do they do? The answer is, “Engage in link replacement and leave what you believe to be the offending links alone.”
Do Not Abandon Ship Unless…
On the subject of webmasters receiving penalties such as: -50, -150, -250 or even worse, being deindexed altogether, most individuals end up abandoning ship unnecessarily. Meaning, they dump that website and start another one using the content from the website that got penalized.
If you don’t know this, there are numerous work arounds to climb out of the various Google penalties. Consequently, it makes no sense to abandon a web site or domain name unless you have no time or patience to right the ship. As I said previously, every Google penalty can be overcome if you take the right steps.