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4/30/19
'Unnatural Link Penalty" just disappeared from GWT [WNC-646702] 0 Recommended Answers 8 Replies 4 Upvotes
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On February 26th, my website was penalized for unnatural inbound links. The next week, I submitted a reconsideration request, which was then rejected 4 weeks later. After another two weeks of cleaning up additional links, a second reconsideration request was filed on April 15th but was also rejected on April 20th.

Since then, I've been working on cleaning up even more links, even though at this point I am getting rid of completely natural links, but I have yet to file my 3rd re-consideration.

Well, today, when I logged into GWT, the penalty is gone. Under "Manual Actions", it says "No Issues Detected", and there is no email, message or any sort of notice informing me of a penalty still existing, or the penalty being removed.

On top of that, if I try to search my site's brand name, it still doesn't appear anywhere on the first page. So, it looks like the domain is still penalized. (Traffic hasn't returned whatsoever)

Has anyone experienced this? A penalty just disappearing on its own?
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4/30/19
Hi Martin,
 
There can be delays between penalties lifting, reinstatement in the serps and messages, but I don't want to give you false hope, seeing as you hadn't resubmitted a request, I kinda suspect this is a search console snafu.
 
Happy to see if I can get some eyes on it, but I guess people would need to know the domain in question, can you share that? (Feel free to use a shortener like https://bitly.com if you want to mask it a little)
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4/30/19
Hey dwsmart, thank you for your response.

Yes, I am not getting my hopes up yet, but if you could find an answer for me, that would be great. The domain is: #####

Edited it out since you now have it.
Last edited 4/30/19
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4/30/19
Thanks for sharing the domain. Will ask around, but not sure if / when I might hear anything.
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4/30/19
This sound similar to what happened to us. We received a notice in WMT on Saturday and an email on Sunday. We hired an SEO consultant who traced the unnatural links to a negative SEO attack, contacted the hosts re spam abuse, got 95% of the links (which had nothing to do with us and were clearly automatically generated spam) removed, disavowed all links we didn't recognize. We contacted Google twice on Saturday via WMT to inform them of our progress. We've had no email response other than an acknowledgment. Today the manual action has disappeared from WMT and the is a green tick with "no issues detected" and there's no button to contact Google - so what are we supposed to do now?

Al of our rankings have gone from #1 to #50+. So far it has cost us lost 95% of sales from Friday through to the present, £800 in SEO consultants to work out what has happened (this is well beyond my expertise). It has completely crippled a successful online business which has taken 9 years to build.  I am devastated and having to consider looking for another job. If I'd known the world of websites was like the Wild West I would never have spent years and effort building a useful site. Even if this is somehow resolved I'm very reluctant to put that much hard work into something again now I know it can be destroyed at the touch of a button with a 'manual action'.

If anyone has any useful advice, it would be really appreciated.
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4/30/19
Our domain is http://bit.ly/2IRq1k5
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4/30/19
Hi Thomas,
 
It might be better for you to open your own thread, it makes it easier to keep up with for people trying to help.
 
Again, I suspect this is a search console bug and the message will be back, I'm seeing a few people mentioning the disappearing messages.
 
I got to tell you though, I think you probably still have a way to go, and rather than blaming a negative seo attack for this, I'd be looking perhaps more at the the links that appear to have been built on the sites by https://primarysite.net/ and others, a lot of very similar, keyword rich anchor text links across a lot of different schools.
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4/30/19
Primarysite? I have nothing to do with that website. How can I be responsible for someone else making links to my site? I'm not trying to be awkward - I'm just desperate because I'm about to lose my business and I'm prepared to do whatever is necessary to get my website back working.  And please don't imply that we are somehow to blame and the like - that's offensive - I run a book review website for teachers in the UK and we've grown organically since 2011 through real people and schools in the UK following us. If tens of thousands of strange links from Russia and India (markets we don't serve)  etc appear out of the blue I think I'm entitled to suspect we've been attacked!

You say we have " a way to go " - what does that mean?
Last edited 4/30/19
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4/30/19
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