Google Link Disavow Tool and Penguin Experiment and Case Studies
Since Google has just released their link disavow tool, I decided it would be a good idea to make a case study using the disavow tool to help bring back sites from Penguin and other penalties. I’ve outlined all of the case studies below and will report on the events as soon as anything changes.
The main tool I have used for compiling a list of external backlinks to my site is Ahrefs.com. I exported the do-follow links that I wanted removed to excel then copied it to a simple text file in appropriate format to submit in Google’s link disavow tool.
Note: The current SEO strategy to beat Penguin seems to revolve around well branded, natural anchor text:
- 60% Brand.com and URL.com links
- 20% Keyword Partial Match
- 10% Exact Match KW
- 10% Generic
Case Study 1: Client’s Site (Unnamed)
I can’t reveal the URL of my client’s site. It’s a very high quality site with a very successful social media campaign (10,000+ natural followers).
They previously hired a black hat SEO firm to build links for them a year ago, which resulted in them receiving an unnatural links penalty from Google in 2011.
October 23rd 2012: Submitted link disavow tool for 99% of the 250 paid links.
Case Study 2: eBookReaders.co.uk
This is one of my personal sites. It was hit by the original Penguin update on the 24th April. I bought around 250 very low quality links from the DigitalPoint Forums, which are frankly impossible for me to remove manually and prevent me form selling off the domain and website.
October 24th 2012: Submitted link disavow tool for 99% of the 144 paid links.
Case Study 3: Snoods.org
This is another personal site, which was hit by Penguin on April 24th. Likewise with eBookReaders.co.uk, I am going to disavow all 50 links next week which were bought from DigitalPoint Forums.
Case Study 4: AffiliateFYI.com
My affiliate blog was also hit by the original Penguin update.
I removed most of the 40 or so paid links to my site back in May, which I also bought from DigitalPoint Forums.
Unfortunately the site didn’t recover in the latest Penguin refresh (5th October). This might be because a large proportion of my natural links are from blogrolls. The blogroll links are all natural therefore I don’t see any point in taking them down. My anchor text distribution is also fairly natural with a number of “Affiliate FYI” brand anchors.