After 31 successful reconsideration requests I am publishing my personal disavow process for others who are still suffering. This process take about 3 months to complete if your client has been a really really spammy!
Lets assume that you know that you have a penalty on the site and its backlink related.
Here is an outline of my process.
- Ensure that you have Google Webmaster Tools configured and linked to the domain. If this is a manual penalty you’ll have direct communication with the Webspam Team through the disavow tools. If you don’t have a manual action, you’ll still need access to Webmaster tools to download their list of backlinks to your site.
Assemble all the backlinks that you know about
- Magestic exports / Moz
- Webmaster tools
- Your SEO Company “reports”
- Other public web data
- I also subscribe to a number of services including ahrefs.com
- Download and combine these lists into your “master list”
Time for some software
- Sign up for Link Research Tools – upload your lists there for computer based classifications of links
- Algorithmic – This is the time where you’ll have to do some combing of your backlinks manually trying to find porn, foreign, low quality backlinks.
- Take a look at your backlink profile and find the groupings of money keywords and then use the most blatant / obviously spammy links with the highest density (sort in excel) and find the ones to trash from here.
- I have had zero luck removing Russian or other Eastern block links so I just disavow the domains.Depending on the severity of your penalty Algorithmic vs. Manual you’ll have to approach this from very different perspectives.
If penalty is manual
This is where you have to get extremely smart and aggressive in the removal. LRT has a rating score for your links – typically I listen to them and immediately disavow the toxic links. From, on my first go round I’ll pick an arbitrary number – Say 600 and I’ll work on all links that are higher than that.
- When I say “work on it” the process is a mixture of manual link classification, amazon turk workers to find contact forms, emails and classification of sites in BULK.
After doing some classification magic – I go to rmoov.com setup a campaign. Don’t fucks around with the link “classification sites” because they just cant handle the volume of a large backlink profile.
http://Rmoov.com – setup an email at the domain, change their default message to webmasters, setup a google doc and then upload your list of backlinks you want removed.
- About 80% of the sites will have contact details, the rest you’ll need to research – amazon turk workers. [email protected] really does not get you the results you need…people need to go to the site and see if they can find actual contact details.
- Once this is competed you can then start your rmoov campaign. I set them to 15 days – this gives me enough time to craft my story for a reconsideration request and them enough time to email two or three times to the account holders.
Webmaster Tools –
- I immediately disavow all toxic links
- Within 15 days I submit my first reconsideration request and I am completely honest with them. I say that I have been tasked to handle this for my company. Take ownership and say that after the notification that you fired xyz seo firm that was building links for you after they assured you that what they were doing was ethical.
- You have done your own research now and know that what they did was OUTSIDE THE GUIDELINES and you are taking it upon yourself to clean this up. Let them know that you haver submitted a disavow for domains that you could not get removed. Let them know that you contacted the webmaster 3 times in multiple ways and have links to your google docs from rmoov.
- Make some site changes and make this part of your story of discovery – first we thought it was something on our site, so we make change 1, change 2 change 3…but then we realized that it was way bigger.
- Tell them that you have the links from your SEO provider and are going through them.
- If you can’t get this cleaned tell them that you went to fiverr to get the links and that the persons profile is down now. Just show them that you were sloppy – that is why you have so many links, because all of these people had big promises – but you did not realize just how bad the quality would be.
- We promise to become in compliance with webmaster guidelines, our SITE is compliant, but now we are working on the links that others are pointing to us (don’t use terms link backlink profile, or mention the tools that you are using at this point)
- Point to Matt Cutts videos – about disavow and use terms like hatchet and really show contrition that you wish that you’d never done this to begin with.
- Tell them that you know that you have a lot of work ahead of you but you’ll keep them 100% in the loop of actions that you are taking.
- Say that this is the first batch of links, and would appreciate guidance on the links that are bad that are pointing to your site.
Rmoov is in the background getting the links removed, and checking to verify that they are really down… You need to wait the 10 days to get a response from google before taking additional action.
When they respond with a denial – all I do is look at the links that they are saying are bad. There will be 2 or 3 examples…or if you have WAY TO MANY there will be none. Hoever if there are some – go to your LRT classification and see what the link TYPE / site classification is… Are both links directories, or article sites – adjust your tactics to attack these first and go down to 300 in the LRT ratings for these and hit them hard to clean them up…
- Start a new campaign at rmoov and get these cleaned and setup a new google doc.
- Wait for the other to “finish” and make sure that you are about 50% cleaned up. Disavow ALL of the links and then resubmit a reconsideration request with ALL of these original links and the TWO links that google mentioned in their rejection.
- Use Amazon turkers to find the “contact us forms” URL from all of the sites that you could not remove.
- Next set of turkers take the URL, and your cut and paste text and fill in the forms. Ask for removal of the link and the URL for removal. You’d be surprised how many removals you’ll get.
- Put in the email address that you created for rmoov and monitor the inbox – some webmasters may not be able to find your link and some with be FUCKING pissed that you hacked their sites… and how their blog was destroyed. Agree with them that this sucks, and tell them that you used a company onNow write letter 2 –Tell them your experience – link them to the google docs, tell them that this has been a huge learning lesson and that some people wanted money to remove links but you did not pay.You emailed them 3 times, and used their contact us forms to contact and request removal. Disavow EVERYONE that was in rmoov – no matter if they responded or not.Rinse- Repeat. – each time you reclassify links, download the links again, ahrefs again, scrapebox again, find all of the links…
On average I have to get down to LRT suspicious 300 on partial match non sitewide penalties.
And if it is sitewide – I only keep healthy links. I am not fucking around with clients sites any more… I have also rebuild client sites on alternate domains
This is the basic overview… here are some screen shots these are from clients that I have cleaned personally.
A webmaster tools notice of penalty removal – SUCCESS!**
- I use sendgrid with rmoov for outbound emails. I don’t want to send them through google.
- I validate the backlinks with scrapbox because importing MASSIVE campaigns into rmoov is a problem. But I disavow all of the domains.
- I use excels text to columns to get the domain names separated from the entire url. Remove the www. And then contatenate domain:ToTheLTD.com for the disavow file.
- Google “local” profiles are still ranking for this clients and their money keywords because of backlinks