Before requesting that Google review your site and lift a penalty imposed on it, you may have to disavow bad backlinks that haven’t been removed.

Before requesting that Google review your site and lift a penalty imposed on it, you may have to disavow bad backlinks that haven’t been removed.

Wrapping up the three-part blog Recovering from a Manual Google Penalty, below, we will outline the final steps to take as you work on helping your website recover from a Google penalty.

Once you have identified which bad backlinks to your website still exist (as described in detail in Part 2 of this blog), the next step will be to:

Step 5: Take Action to Disavow the Remaining Bad Links

Disavowing links to your site is a serious step in that it officially asks Google to not consider specific backlinks to your site when assessing/ranking it. This is a relatively new tool that Google has developed and offered – and it is an extremely powerful one that should be used with caution. This is because using this tool can be as harmful as it is beneficial (if it is used in the wrong way).

As a result, it is recommended by industry experts that, when you are in the process of trying to remove harmful backlinks from your website, you exhaust all other resources for doing so before you attempt to disavow links. In other words, as discussed in Part 2 of this blog, make sure you exercise all efforts to reach out to a website owner who may be responsible for bad backlinks and directly request the removal; this step can, in many cases, do the trick.

However, if this method is unsuccessful and there are still a number of bad backlinks to your website, then it may be time to take the necessary steps to disavow these links officially. As you take this step, be very careful to follow all of Google’s instructions for executing the disavowal.

Step 6: Make a Formal Request for Google to Review your Site and Wait…

After having cleaned up your website and gotten rid of every single bad backlink, it’s likely time to petition Google and request that it consider lifting the penalty on your site. You can make this official request for review in Google’s Webmaster tools (under “search traffic -> manual actions”). Once you make this official request, it’s time to play the waiting game to see if your request is approved or denied.

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