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Published on September 10th, 2012 | by 011100110110010

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I’m Wasted Here, I Should be Matt Cutts’ Wingman.

I’m getting increasingly lazy with age so today we have yet another awesome guest post this time by Patrick Hathaway who when not busy being married to catwoman (stealing Google quality rater guidelines above) does some online marketing stuff for Ideasbynet the stress toy specialists.

Anyway enough from me…

Before I start, let’s just get one thing straight – Yes, Google need our websites so they have content to serve their users, but we need Google a hell of a lot more than they need us. We have no ‘right’ to be included in their index, nor do we have any right to good rankings. It’s their party and we should play by their rules.

It doesn’t mean we have to like it.

As per my recent rant on the Zazzle Media website, Google penalised my company for unnatural links, and I got pretty pissed off about it. Using both internal and external resources to get links removed for resubmission, we have wasted LOTS of time and money. Despite all my begging and pleading, Google won’t take their foot from our throats (if fact I think they forgot they had it there in the first place).

2 things piss me off more than anything else:

  1. Apparently the penalty they placed on our site is manual (hence the drop to page 6 in the SERPs), but whenever we submit a reconsideration request they perform an automated check.
  2. We have removed thousands of links. But there are thousands more that we cannot get removed as the sites have been abandoned or their owners do not respond.

So here’s my brand new idea* - Google should monetise the appeal process.

*Based on no research, evidence or indeed, facts

Literally – if we want them to look at our reconsideration request, we should just pay them to do it.

WTF? Why Should We Pay Google?

I’m not talking a fortune, maybe £1000 or so, enough for someone at Google, an actual real life human being, to actually look at our website. Look at our content, look at the links we have developed over the last 2 years, look at what we are trying to do now rather than what we have done 5 years ago. If they came back to us and said that we were going in the right direction but still had to get rid of a big list of links, at least we’d know and could get on with it.

If they accepted that we aren’t the devil’s spawn and removed our penalty, I’d do I little Irish jig and give myself a hi-5. I’m not even Irish.

The crucial thing is that we wouldn’t waste money doing it unless we genuinely thought it might get us somewhere.

According to Matt Cutts himself, around 20,000 domains have received unnatural links messages. It would only take 5% of these sites to pay for a manual review once for Mr Cutts to make himself a millionaire. You can thank me later Matt.

I Ain’t Paying Google Shit. I’ll Just Wait For The Link Disavow Tool

A lot of SEOs have expressed concern that this mystical link disavow tool will give black hatters an unwieldy amount of power, as they could test throwaway domains and figure out the optimum spam link balance. Well, why don’t they just monetise that as well?

Say you had to pay £1 for every link you wished to ‘disavow’. Maybe some black hatters will still do their experiments, but it would certainly be a big turn off.

I, on the other hand, would go and write Mr Cutts a cheque for £1000 for the 1000 links I simply couldn’t remove. I doubt we’d go the whole hog and spend £10,000 get everything removed, as there may be more cost effective ways of doing it. But at least the option would be there if we are struggling.

Maybe Google Just Want You to Spend More on Adwords

They probably do, but they surely don’t want companies to just abandon organic search altogether. In our case, I believe that our website no longer deserves the penalty, but Google will not listen to me. If I paid Google to listen, hopefully they’d agree with me. I’m not sure I even care whether they agree or not, if I at least know they’d definitely looked at it.

Either way, there must be thousands of other sites in a similar position, whose re- inclusion in the SERPs would be beneficial for the user. If Google still cares about its core product at all, they will obviously agree  that a better user experience for organic search users will increase PPC revenues anyway.

With all the time spent removing links over the last few months, we have stopped producing quality content for our website, contrary to what Google wishes us to do. Ditto for agencies whose client content budget is now being wasted on link removals. Time and money is being spent on removing links, so why not spend it with Google and save ourselves a load of time? Then we can all get on with making videos of cats and babies.

</rant>

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About the Author

One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



15 Responses to I’m Wasted Here, I Should be Matt Cutts’ Wingman.

  1. Hey Patrick, cheers for the post.

    Personally I’d be more than happy to pay for a quicker appeal. Lets hope that Matt reads this and gets this implemented before the link disavow tool.

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    • No problem Sean, thanks for once again letting me post on your revered industry blog.

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      • By the way, I don’t think Batman is actually married to Catwoman is he? I’m not geeky enough to read the comics so I may be wrong…

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        • Are you Batman?!

          Look up who played Batwoman and you might see some similarities :)

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          • Of course! My old mucker Anne. And not the Shakespeare kind.

            How dense of me.

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  2. Oh man id 1000% pay for a quicker appeal, top draw thinking :)

    If you still have links that you cant possibly remove and owners are demanding payment, mention in your reconsideration that domain owners are asking for payment for removal and that you are unwilling to consider this as a viable option as if you pay them they will just create more links from other domains and request payment.

    Adding this along with sorry etc has proven to be a successful combo. Google want you to feel some pain on this one. But dont forget the person on the other end is human and will react to hard work on your part + emotive reinclusion requests.

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    • Thanks for the response Tim. I’ve tried the old emotive angle already twice, with no luck. When I read it back to myself it made me cry. Those Google folk are a bunch of heartless bastards.

      Colon, left bracket

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      • Whats your documentation like? Create a big spreadsheet with all the urls/whois/ first email sent / replies/ second email sent/ result etc (create a monster) and include it .

        The first site took my 7 requests I think before i got it lifted I feel you pain :(

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        • Yeah spreadsheet is like that already. It’s just got longer and longer as we try different options. Won’t have any links left by the time we’ve finished!

          7 requests – bloody hell!

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          • I wonder how many companies have gone beyond the website’s worth in terms of hours spent reviewing/contacting and reviewing ‘poor’ quality links.

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  3. Yeah a lot of pain! but got there :) We removed a hell of a lot on most cases, also worth noting traffic didn’t return to anywhere near pre penalty figure, no doubt due to links being disavowed/removed. so if you can link build whilst removing you will shorten the time it takes to return to basking in the glory :)

    Good luck you’ll get there!

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  4. Keith says:

    Good post, and I’m waiting for the link disavow tool as well. So much spam in hindsight that I paid good money for 3-5 years ago. Many sites just sitting out there waiting to be revived, and I don’t have the guts to pull the plug on the them altogether.

    I’m curious as to what point you kill a pandalyzed/penguined site. Is it 50% drop in traffic with 10% drop quarter/quarter? At some point it isn’t cost effective to fight the inevitable right?

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    • Hi Keith, thanks for the comment. It’s bonkers isn’t it that we are now effectively paying (if only in time) to get these links removed that we already paid for once.

      Regarding your question, they are the sort of answers I wish Google would help with. With no proper response either way it’s very difficult to judge when to pull the plug – been debating the same issue myself. But also then if you’ve spent a lot of time/money removing links, if redemption is just around the corner you don’t want to give up! Give us a clue Google!

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  5. Anthony Pensabene says:

    good read and idea, Patrick. +1 for the ‘not the Shakespeare kind.’ I would definitely inquire about my cutt if this goes through to the G ‘house of lords.’

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    • Trust you to pick up on the Shakespeare reference (you swot).

      To be honest I’ve actually given up on SEO altogether and have pinned all my hopes on Big G going for this idea and granting me half the profits. I hope the eggs stay in the basket and not on my face.

      Touché on ‘cutt’ BTW

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