The dreaded letter sent to you via your Google Webmaster Tools. A number of webmasters have gotten it in the past few months, particularly in light of the Google Penguin update, and if you don’t see your rankings disappear by the time you receive the letter, odds are the drop-off isn’t far behind. The letter goes on to specifically advise you to look for artificial or unnatural links, giving you the benefit of doubt via copy.
Letter From Google
Here is a complete rundown on how to identify Penguin links or rather the bad links which could be hurting your rankings in this post Penguin Google whether you’ve received a letter or not.
Odds are you were the one whom created the bad link or links to your site which need attention and correction. If you’ve been caught in Google’s search light for your linking habits or even if you haven’t gotten that letter yet but know that you have bad links to your site, you have 5 options in terms of how to overcome a bad link or links, so let’s take a look at them now.
Build Good Links
First, you can always combat bad links with high quality links. For info on what constitutes a good link nowadays, check out this post on what works in post Penguin Google.
Wait With Optimism
You can always wait out a plunge in rankings and hope for the best. If you can’t find the bad link or links which Google is having problems with like in the event that you’re not the one whom created them, then you don’t have a lot of options. Some webmasters have carried on as if nothing happened and *eventually* found success.
Cut the Bad Links
If you CAN identify the bad links and have control over them, then by all means get rid of them. After you’ve gotten rid of a bad link or links which you think may have caused or attributed to the letter, then you can write Google telling them that you’ve taken steps to get rid of the bad links so that they can check your site again to see if you’ve done enough.
Cut Your Page
If you know the specific page on your site which is receiving a bad link or multiple bad links, then if you cannot locate and remove the links yourself then you can go ahead and delete that problem page altogether. It’s cutting off the infected appendage to save the rest of your site.
Appeal to Google
You can also appeal to Google, telling them that you are unable to remove the links yourself and they may take that into consideration or give you more instructions on what you can do about it.
Failing all of this, when you’ve gone as far as you can go and you’ve done all that you think you can, it might be time to move on altogether. Unfortunately a lot of webmasters who invested in tons of links from institutions like Build My Rank did that.
Note that none of this is an exact science. Some webmasters believe that the best course of action is to work with Google (using most of the above methods) whereas others don’t trust them to the point where they advise against contacting Google altogether. These are the conspiracy theorists whom believe that the letter is just a way to get you to admit that you’ve done something wrong and believe that giving Google access to your site’s analytics via Webmasters Tools or Google Analytics will increase your chances of getting caught with whatever black or gray hat methods you’re trying.
Bottom line is that you should take any advice you get from someone guaranteeing you the best way to handle a situation like this with a grain of salt.