How to Remove a Google Penalty

January 24, 2015

You’ve heard the horror stories. And if your website has received a Google penalty, it can be like a living nightmare.

Google is constantly developing more complex algorithms to make the Internet more organized and relevant. You need to know what to do if the worst should happen—and nothing is worse than a Google penalty.

We at SEO Inc. can help. We have a 100% success rate in Google penalty recovery, the result of nearly two decades in the business. We know what work needs to be done to get your site back in the guaranteed top search engine ranking.

This guide will take you step-by-step through our process, showing you what needs to be done to recover from Google penalty distribution. By its end, a Reconsideration Request will be on its way, and your Google penalty will be removed.

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Site and Search Engine Ranking Assessment

Once you’re onboarded, the very first thing we do is assess your site. We perform a thorough scan of your website using several software tools, including Google Webmaster Tools, to export all the links currently linking to your site.

This allows us to gain a top-level view of your entire backlink profile. From here we can determine who is linking to your site and from where.

Step 2: Link Breakdown

After exporting your site’s links, it’s time to go more in-depth. We look at each link in your backlink profile, paying attention to details such as URL, anchor text, and what type of anchor text is used. This could be branded anchor text, compound keywords, or “money” keywords (the keywords you most want to rank for).

Our process lets us see which links need to be prioritized for link detox, as well as which have the highest risk. We cross-reference these links with Google’s guidelines, flagging them if they break any rules. For example, if a link breaks a guideline for inorganic link placement in the text, we immediately red-flag it.

Breaking down each link lets us determine which links are helping your site and which may be hurting it.

Toxic links can lead to a manual google penalty.  We had better clean that up

Step 3: Locate the Worst Links

Our next course of action is to identify the worst offenders. These are links with poor levels of power and trust on each page or domain. For this step, we’re essentially weeding out irrelevant or damaging links—“junk” links that have low power and low trust.

Your site can be hit with a Google penalty if Google sees such links as irrelevant to a user’s search for your site; therefore, we want to focus on getting rid of these links first. With these links out of the way, it will be much easier for us to maintain a healthy link profile for your site.

Step 4: Request to Remove Toxic Links

Now comes the hard part of our Google penalty removal service. We go to the source of each bad link we found previously and either:

  1. Request that they remove the link; or
  2. Add a “nofollow” attribute to the link.

Additionally, we compile notes to track our actions not only for our own organizational purposes but as evidence to show Google later. This lets us know how much time we spent on each link and serves as a kind of work-tracking function.

If a link is using a money keyword, we’ll add a nofollow attribute to it to avoid penalizing your site while still giving the link some power. But links with no value whatsoever we will contact the webmaster of the offending site and request they remove them outright.

This step takes time, but at the end we’re able to compile everything (emails to webmasters requesting removal, etc.) into the Reconsideration Request. This shows Google that we’re actively trying to improve your site according to their guidelines. In fact, Google frowns upon simply disavowing bad links without putting in the work. Google wants to see us physically trying to get bad links removed; therefore, it’s worth it to make the extra effort.

What this does is remove any irrelevant associations to your site. Even if the contacts never respond, as many emails are fake, this is an imperative part of our process. Our proactive approach will show Google any removal efforts while instilling trust back into your website. Our intention is to tighten up your site’s backlink profile so a Google Reconsideration Request form will follow.

Work on building a strong backlink profile to remove the google penalty and improve your search engine ranking

Step 5: Reinforce Strong Links

Once we have completed contacting the worst links, we will implement a backlink enhancement strategy. We work on solidifying your best links, starting with your site’s power trust as a baseline. Strong links are those connected to sites within your industry or a similar field—links that Google will see as relevant to users’ interests.

We’re constantly working to improve your site—even while waiting for the offenders to respond. We will keep strong links that have a comparable power trust to your own site—ones with less are either removed or ignored (as long as they aren’t doing any harm). This allows us to reinforce your most effective links while working towards eliminating harmful links or dead weight.

Step 6: Disavow Toxic Links

For the final step of our Google penalty recovery service, we perform a follow-up on the removal requests sent in Step 4. If we still receive no response after three removal requests, we will disavow the link. This gives plenty of time for the offenders to remove the link of their own volition.

Through this process of elimination, we are able to determine which links we can safely disavow. The result is a high-functioning backlink profile that contains only relevant, healthy links.


In the early days of digital marketing, any links were good links. But the times, and the search engines, have changed. The demands for user relevancy and focus on a better user experience means that a Google penalty can severely damage your search rankings.

Unquestionably, we all know which search engine is used the most. And as such, Google has the power to distribute such penalties.

But it isn’t the end of the world. You can get your Google penalty removed, and you can return to higher search engine rankings.

Whether you’re recovering from Panda, Penguin, or whatever update Google will throw out next, you can turn to us for help. With our 100% success rate, we have the know-how and perseverance to get your Google penalty removed.

However, we also have the foresight to prepare for the future. Every Google update causes us to review our methods. This enables us to keep up-to-date and use only the best practices.

A Google penalty can happen to anyone. It can even be outside your control. But whether you’re the victim of a manual or algorithmic penalty, no site is beyond our help. Our link detox and backlink enhancement methods will strengthen your site and return you to your rankings.

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