Documenting your way out of a Google penalty due to unnatural links
When marketing a brand, building links is a big part of your SEO strategy. However, if you’re not too careful, Google can give you a penalty for unnatural links.
But luckily, this can be avoided.
Collecting backlink data is one way. But there’s one often overlooked strategy that you must never forget: Documentation. This allows you to track down all your work so you’ll know where you are at the unnatural link removal process and spotting low-quality links. Also, this can help you when submitting a reconsideration request to Google so they’ll know what you have done and may fix the issue with your site.
Google products like Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet are the best tools for this. For starters, Google trusts its own products. And you can easily link your reconsideration request to the Google document you have created. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to know that Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet are for free.
You can easily organize your spreadsheet by creating tabs. For instance, you can create tabs for data gathered from Google Webmaster tools, or Open Site Explorer. It’s completely up to you.
However, please note that Google Docs only allow you to import 50,000 characters at a time. This may sound like a great deal of characters, but you’d be surprised with how quick you can reach this limit. But you can always work your way around this limitation. Try creating separate spreadsheets for each tool you have used. It’s a whole lot faster and you won’t have to deal with the character limitation compared to combining all data in one spreadsheet. Plus, it’s more organized and it will allow you to find what you are looking for easily.
Once you have done documentation, you can now start sending webmasters email requests to have links to your website removed to be fully compliant with Google’s webmaster guidelines. But be nice. Don’t threaten them that Google will block their site unless they remove the link to your website. In this way, you will be able to get rid of the penalty sooner.