Just imagine, you were driving up north bound 110 towards downtown Los Angeles, and a police officer pulls you over and asked: “Son, you know how fast you were going last year down this highway?” Well, you knew you were screwed as there would be no good way out of this bait question! “Wait, last year???” You asked. “Yeah, we had lowered the speed limit down to 55 MPH this morning.” He replied. Yep, this is how I felt when I saw the unnatural links message from Google.
Google’s reconsideration request had wanted us to provide the link farms that we used orthe SEO company who had “shoot us in the foot.” Man, just by providing this wouldn’t we be submitting to the bait question and admitting guilt? As for the speeding, everyone was doing 65 before this morning, and there is no way that you can cite me based on today’s 55 MPH speed limit! Hack, the 65 MPH speed limit is by far more clearer than the “buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes” guideline.
Sure, I thought, there must be some mistake in this accusation. I knew we had never paid for any back links. Well, except for the Yahoo directory, and that we had carefully selected unpaid and “legit”–by my definition used some form of human approval process–directories with good page rank for any of our directory submissions.
In the beginning of the Internet, and before Google’s search algorithm favors big brands, directory submission was a common practice. In fact, it was a good SEO practice to make sure that your site gets discovered by search bots. We thought a “black hat” technique would be to paid your way into a PR9 directory. No, I knew for sure that we didn’t do that as I pay the bills here, and I also knew our submissions were up to the directories to accept, just like it would be with the DMOZ directory–yeah, the DMOZ is not corrupted?! So did Google just cited us with a speeding ticket today based on the old speed limit that I was traveling last year? Or did all of our directories had just gone rogue? This was not good as our links, many top ten keywords that drove traffics and sales, were slowly disappearing from Google’s search.
So after almost one year, and 6 reconsideration requests, and painstakingly reading and re-reading and dissecting Google’s demands on its reconsideration request, we got a message from Google that its subject read “Message: Reconsideration request for http://www.sungboutiquela.com/: Manual spam action revoked.”
Sorry to our unpaid directories and to the dude who I paid to do the manual submission task that at the end I had succumbed to throwing you all under the bus. It is not a real lessons learned here as mom had always said “don’t put all eggs in one basket,” and we had our multichannel marketing in place. And one of those channels was Google’s AdWords, which stood to reap lot$ of benefit$ had we be able to afford utilizing it as a mean to maintain the same traffic intensity like it once was. Another channel that had also benefited from this was Amazon. The “wide band” fluctuation of Google’s AdWords cost per conversion had all the sudden made Amazon’s standard 15% pimp fee looking like a hero, regardless of its “bend the vendor over” and “I think I am still selling books only” online policy. To me, Amazon’s online policy is not niche market friendly, but that’s another story for now.
When you open a magazine and it is filled with ads from big brands who had paid to create its brand, that’s basically what I see when I do a Google organic search for highly competitive keywords. Sure, Google is the master of its own domain, and it had me in writing that I was “speeding,” and it probably didn’t think that was a winner and looser decision there. Yeah, right, and there had got to be some plannings involved with the “brand centric” algorithm update that had flipped its organic search engine upside down, and the massive unnatural links penalty notifications that basically had told us all sorry we were having a do over that would screw with your business. So if you have received a unnatural links detection notification from Google, yes, it is possible to get reconsidered again, but just know that you probably will have to pay more to play from that point forward. Hey, but just to who, right? And don’t forget to keep your options open! 🙂