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Redirecting The Good Links, Not The Bad
Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:41 AM
Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:55 PM
Because redirects are about requests for URLs and not links, you'll only be able to use redirects to keep the good links and lose the bad ones if the bad links happen to point to URLs that the good links don't, and that's obviously a very unlikely scenario.
It sounds like the one site that's linking to the client's site 18,000 times is problematic in that Google has (probably correctly) determined that the links are commercial rather than editorial in nature. Would these happen to be run-of-site links using mostly the same anchor text, and is that anchor text a fairly competitive keyword phrase rather than something like the name of the practice? If that's the case, I'd say your first task would be to get those links dropped and file a reinclusion request.
It might be helpful to get in touch with the agency. I'm guessing they set up these links in the first place. They might also be able to tell you about other sites from which they bought links. That might require a bit of diplomacy on your part. You want them to believe that you understand that they were using a tactic that used to be beneficial, but no longer is, and that that's not their fault. That's not true -- it was never a smart long term strategy, but there's nothing to gain from alienating them.
Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:35 PM
Many thanks for your thoughtful response. I'm waiting for permission to re-access the GWT account and hope to get info about the links at that point. Google did say that their action would apply to select pages, not the entire site; perhaps a good strategy for the client would be to drop just those pages. I have not had to ask a website manager to remove links, but haven't been encouraged by people who have tried and claim that abandoning the URL is the way to go. And from what you say, a 301 redirect shouldn't be employed or the bad links will follow. That makes sense.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:20 AM
As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole.
This means that those links are no longer helping rankings. It does not mean that they're harming rankings.
If you are able to remove any of the links, please submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took.
This means that you should try to get the links removed, and then (whether or not you succeed) submit a reconsideration request. Getting those 18,000 links removed shouldn't be too hard, and would be a good start.
Your client should definitely be keeping their existing domain. The two new domains is a separate issue, and may or may not be a good idea.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:51 PM
It's good to note the distinction between hurting vs. not helping ranking. I was introduced to the notion of abandoning the URLs in Danny Dover's Search Engine Optimization Secrets, then a seo professional, who has extensive experience, I met said that is also how she would handle the situation. Yet it seemed like a drastic measure, so I thought I'd better ask the forum. I really appreciate your input!
Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:03 AM
All the advice given on the spammy links is quite sound, just persevere with it until you feel you can do no more then tell Google what you've done and been able to achieve.
As for the 2 domain approach, I personally would avoid that.
Amazon didn't do it when they branched out beyond Books into Music, Films etc.
I would choose sub folders: domain.com/cosmeticdentistry and domain.com/plasticsurgery
The Home Page and other root pages could then be quite general and merge between and across the 2 market sectors.
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