Search Marketing Consultant

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

How manage and what to expect from a Google Penguin Cleanup

Google Penguin


After nearly 12 months of Google Penguin there are still a considerable amount of sites suffering from drastic losses in traffic, their once efficient, laser focused anchor text links turned into lead and dragged them to Google Hell. Many sit there in hope that sooner or later the evil penguin will leave , others think they know exactly how to manage the situation when in actual fact they don’t.

Google Penguin Cleanup Requests

I was recently approached by an individual who requested a quote for a penguin cleanup. I sent my estimate along with some preliminary considerations derived from the website link profile and illustrated what I would do. After a number of Emails across the Atlantic, and push came to shove, I got this ultimatum to comply to the following schematic:

We are looking for someone to resolve our Unnatural Link problem with Google. Now, that might be 500, 1,000, 10,000, 25,000, or 50,000 links. You’ll need to do your due diligence by determining the magnitude of the problem, and create a game plan for solving the linking problem we have with Google. Here’s some suggestions for how I think we need to proceed:

A. Identify those links that are:
(1) Toxic;
(2) Suspicious; or
(3) Healthy

B. After investigating further and more research, re-classify those links that were initially in Suspicious to either Toxic or Healthy

C. Those Revised and Updated Toxic links will have to be REMOVED by the site webmasters. You know what all this involves. 3 emails with follow-ups! Hopefully, these three emails will be submitted within 3 to 7 days after each other.

D. For those Toxic Links NOT removed by the site webmaster, YOU will submit a Disavow Request in the proper format and containing the correct and needed information to Google

E. If this Disavow is Rejected, then continue with these efforts until the Disavow is Accepted by Google

F. With 10 to 15 days After Google has accepted the Disavow, prepare and submit a Request for Reconsideration (RR) in the proper format and containing the needed supporting info.

G. If the RR is rejected, make whatever changes are need until the RR is approved by Google

Then, and only then, is the Project is completed.

Obviously I was suppose to submit a proposal to fit this plan of action at a fixed firm price.

Understanding Google Penguin

There are a number of big mistakes and wrong assumptions in this request (which I pointed out to the prospect but to no end).

Toxic Links

Incoming links from sites of questionable reputation which are not in theme with the linked website will raise more than one eyebrow, HOWEVER, Google Penguin isn’t about this kind of link, it’s all about GOOD LINKS planted in legitimate websites with keyword rich anchor text to manipulate rankings. In most cases toxic links as mentioned herein are not an issue. So a perfectly legitimate link coming from a “healthy” website can (and is) a BAD LINK from the Google Penguin perspective – it will depend on the anchor text, link positon just to mention the most important signals Google will use .

Webmasters Shall Remove Toxic Links

In the name of God almighty you (webmaster) shall remove those links! This was by far the most outrageous assumption. Webmasters are ignoring these requests and asking for money to remove links – this is what’s happening out there. Redemption for activities requesting link removal are discouraging to say the least with a miserable 20% to 30% in most cases (this is my experience of course) and link removals are very expensive as the process is lengthy and very time consuming. How can an SEO budget for this activity is the number of links has not been identified?

Recovery from a Penalty is a Trial and Error Process

And it requires a close and constant cooperation, along with a step by step plan of action and budgeting when dealing with a very large backlink profile to examine. It’s not MY business but OUR EFFORT and it must work out for both the SEO and the Client – the key ingredient for a long term reliable relationship…

Voice your opinion and Google Penguin cleanup experience – let’s compare notes!

Seeking help or advice on how to proceed with a Google Penguin Cleanup? Contact me now!