Google’s Disavow Process and Penguin Recovery

Arnie Kuenn, of Vertical Measures, was kind enough to invite me to participate in a recent panel discussion on Google’s Disavow Process and Penguin Recovery. Bill Hartzer, Jim Boykin and Jody Resnick participated, as well, and we had a great discussion. Some interesting examples of successes and failures were shared, along with some good advice on how to best handle the recovery process.

Making use of Goggle’s Hangouts On Air, Arnie put it up on YouTube, so you can hear what the four of us had to say about it. It’s a short one, only about half an hour, but well worth checking out if you deal with recovery on a client’s behalf.

We discussed what degree of effort was necessary to get links physically removed before submitting a disavow request. We also talked about the different reasons for disavowing and how that might affect the necessity of going through manual removal efforts before disavowing, such as whether you’re dealing with a manual action, a Penguin algorithm or simple proactive cleanup activity.

We also touched on whether anyone felt that a Penguin refresh was necessary before any recovery was possible. Popular wisdom has been that only a refresh could bring relief, but all of us seem to have seen results before a refresh took place.

Jim made a good point, saying that initially, he tended to not worry as much about questionable links that had existed for several years, thinking that their value would have already decayed greatly. But he found that not to be the case. So when pruning bad links, he recommends a machete approach, rather than a scalpel. I agree.

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Doc Sheldon has been writing professionally since the 1970s, and has worked in marketing since the 1980s. He owned and published weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines during the ’80s, before becoming a business consultant and ultimately "retiring" in 2008. He began studying SEO in earnest in 2003, and now specializes in technical SEO. His passions are the development of the Semantic Web, trying to figure out what changes may be coming next from the search engines and eliminating misinformation.

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