Link removal and link pruning. Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s important to remember that removing bad links isn’t enough to bring your site back to the level it once was at in terms of rankings, traffic, search queries and impressions.
Here are some reasons why it isn’t enough to just remove bad neighborhood links, sit back and wait for a penalty to be lifted:
- Sending a link removal request to a webmaster doesn’t mean that they’ll remove it. Some contact information could be dead or webmasters might even charge a fee to remove these old links.
- It might take time for Google to crawl these low-quality pages and recognize that the links to your site are removed.
- If you use the disavow tool, it could take weeks for Google to address the links you want disavowed. (It’s helpful to get things straightened out and to send a Google reconsideration request and disavow request at the same time with accurate details about what you’ve tried to remove.)
- Removing links means that the credible link juice to your site must be replaced. Of course, if you’ve removed dozens or even hundreds of links, it will take awhile to replace those bad links with natural and relevant links. As bad as it sounds, think about it as having your site earn Google’s trust again.
- There are 200+ factors that Google’s search algorithm relies on to rank websites. Doing one thing isn’t necessarily going to be a cure-all for your site.
This sounds fine on paper but execution and the waiting for results is the difficult part. For the DIYers, you can check out and participate Google’s Help Forum to see what other website owners are dealing with and see what you can learn from their experienced. This forum is often frequented by Google employees and if you’re lucky, they might even respond.
Remember to contact your SEO as soon as you suspect your rankings have been dropping to discuss the best plan of action. Feel free to also contact us for a free consultation about your site’s specific scenario.