How to recover from Google penguin penalty easily?

The first thing that you need to know is what Penguin targets.

What does the Penguin algorithm target?

There have been thousands of blog posts ever since the Penguin algorithm was released but do you know for sure what it actually targets.

Many bloggers don’t have an idea of what it actually targets.

I have experimented with sites to find out what lands a site into the Penguin trap. I gave a site wide link from one of my oldest blogs to a new niche site with the exact match anchor text.

This was done just days prior to the Penguin 2.0 and guess what happened- the site dropped like a stone in the SERPs and guess what happened when I removed the site wide link.

It came back for every keyword that the site was targeting.

If your site has anchor texts targeting the main keyword which is also called the money keyword for over 60% of the links then your site would definitely land in a penalty.

Not only have I done experiments on this but even SearchEngineWatch says so. I dug out a May 6th 2012 post with all the analysis.( know what.. I gave the 1k th like)

That is just one aspect of Penguin. However Penguin is a double impact missile.

The sites from where you get links need to be relevant to your site. If you are running a niche site on fitness then get links from sites that are built around fitness, health etc.

These are the two most important things that you need to be know about Penguin.

Recovering from penalty, the problem

If you visit the top SEO blogs out there like Searchenginejournal, Searchenginewatch etc. you will sometimes see posts on recovering from Penguin, identifying a negative SEO attack, guides on removing bad back links etc.

However what irritates me the most is that they always suggest Link Detox for this. From their posts it seems that Link Detox is some magical tool that would automatically erase all the spammy links that have attached themselves to their sites. But it is quite a simple automated tool — which asks you to enter your URL — and then finds the bad links and tells you that you need to disavow them.

When it shows the bad links, just to make you jump they will name it as toxic.

I feel that the reason why those SEO blogs suggest this tool may be because they have their clients as some huge e commerce site or finance sites who can afford shelling out that much.

The other thing is that most of these sites have millions of links that needs an advanced tool like Link Detox.

I find that option very costly since automated queries can cost as much as $1800 per month.

There are also many tools like Ahrefs, majestic SEO which will show you your backlinks but then you have no option that would tell a bad link apart.

The solution

.A month ago I discovered a tool called Monitor Backlinks that has the potential to help us recover from Penguin penalty because it can identify hard to find bad back links. The service is quite reliable as they fetch back links with the help of ahrefs api and when ahrefs starts at $79 per month this one is very cheap at $19 per month.

If you connect with Google analytics then these guys send you e mails whenever new links are built and whenever links are lost.

It would be perfect for someone who fears a negative SEO campaign or wants to monitor the progress of a link building service.

Just see some of the bad links to my niche site.backlinks after penguin

It checks these things:

  • 302 found
  • 302 not found
  • 400 bad request
  • 403 forbidden
  • 404 not found
  • 500 error
  • 503 error
  • no follow
  • ok
  • server down
  • moved temporarily

plus the page rank, moz rank and domain authority of the links. You can also export the links after checking them.

But what is really cool about this service is that and this is something not even the developers are advertising.

You can import your backlinks to this tool and get them analysed,even up to 15k links.

penguin updates

The price does increase for that but but for small niche sites this is ideal.

It works great if you are using a link building service or tool and your site gets slapped. Since you already have the backlink profile you just need to import and see what you need to remove.

There are however a few problems:

Once you enter your url and check the links, the only job that remains is to export all the backlinks to the disavow tool

And I have just named the next Google update. 

penguin updates

Share your thoughts

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Share with me in the comment box

Meet George Mathew

George Mathew has written 1 post in this blog.

Hi, I am George, freelance writer and SEO consultant. If you want to see how I rank sites and make money from them in as short as two weeks check out my SEO video tutorials


  1. Lisa
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Thanks George for showing us a tool that isn’t as expensive as most out there to accomplish this. But doesn’t webmaster tools show us many of those errors too? (Except for the no follow) I think even that would show when you download the links into excel. I will have to do that again soon and see. I don’t think it would show the tags as your program does though, that’s a nice feature.

    Love your new name for the next one :)
    Lisa recently posted..Emails Dazzle Inboxes To Get Opened and Read TodayMy Profile

  2. Yep it does help and I would be lost without it for my multiple niche site projects
    George Mathew recently posted..My niche site makes its first sale[Update: Second sale]My Profile

  3. Hi George,
    Thanks for showing this tool which has very low cost and helpful too.
    Muhammad saleem recently posted..Article Marketing: What is it and its AdvantagesMy Profile

  4. Very nice tips matthew, tnx for sharing, it is very important to monitor your backlinks everyday, i use attracta in monitoring mine. Its feels good to know the steps you just shared because before now i never knew it could be this easy.

  5. Hello! I have had this question on my mind for a while, but can internal links harm a site as well? I have used Smart Links plugin in WordPress and if I set one word always to link to a certain site the first time it is mentioned in every blog post), will that be dangerous, or is this more speaking about external links? Thanks for the article!

  6. Hey Matthew,

    Nice write up and thanks for sharing. For me, the best way to recover is to remove those bad links first. Even though you MIGHT remove them all, it would still take time before it goes into effect.

    So, don’t expect an ‘instant’ clean up system because there is no such thing :)
    Reginald recently posted..Optinskin vs Hybrid Connect – Best Mailing List PluginMy Profile

  7. Olivier from Agriya
    Follow me on Twitter:

    The main keyword over 60% of the links to our site is spam- oh now only I got it , I thought the penalty was from the EMD ( Exact Match Domain). Monitor backlinks new to me I wish to try for my site. is ‘no follow’ is considered to bad backlink? Great post indeed learns lots of new thinks . Thanks George :)
    Olivier recently posted..Agriya’s Products over different IndustriesMy Profile

  8. Nikhil
    Follow me on Twitter:

    We need to take care while building a backlinks because most of bloggers just working to get rank in Search Engine without caring their visitors.
    But always remember that your content is most key point in your blog because most of peoples visit to your blog to finding their answers.

    Do not build large amount of backlinks, build very few backlinks with quality.
    Nikhil recently posted..What is the best SEO strategy for failed content consultant?My Profile

  9. Great post bro, I have recently find 404 pages on my blog with the help of broken link checker plugin. I have fixed it now. Hope Google will check it and remove message from my Google webmaster tools.
    Himanshu recently posted..Best 15 Premium WordPress Hotel ThemesMy Profile

  10. Rupak from make money online
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Hi George! Your methods and suggestions to recover from Penguin attack are thought provoking. If not taken this issue into consideration blogs or websites are sure to loose serp and page ranks. The tools you’ve mentioned are affordable and effective. Thanks for summing them up!!!
    Rupak recently posted..Useful gadgets for students that help to save time and effortMy Profile

  11. Nice post George,
    had you posted this article before some days I could have easily managed to escape Google’s penalty but you were a bit late for me mate. I don’t know why but I could not find out the bad links from a large chunk of backlinks I was getting from different niche websites. But now I can take care of it with the help of the Monitor backlink & disavow tools. You are lucky enough to get away with the penalty by removing just one bad link of your website, not everyone has their luck with them. Keep sharing, Good luck
    alan recently posted..Download Dolphin Browser for PC, Dolphin for Windows7/8/Vista ComputerMy Profile

  12. Update from google penguin algorithm should be very wary, there are some blogs I fell so and it took a long time to bounce back. Always we are building backlinks naturally so not suspected by google penguin
    Thanks for the advice and tips to recovering from google penguin penalty, this is can be a reference for us
    Rina recently posted..Create CSS Responsive Pricing Tables Design For WebsiteMy Profile

  13. Leon Bailey says:

    Good post. People really got to pay attention to what Google is doing with the SEO stuff and not just try any method possible to get high page ranks. Recovering can be done, it just takes a little work like you say. I will share this with people. :)

  14. Thanks George for clarifying this topic, i appreciate your open-mindedness, thanks for mentioning those tools, i gona give a try.

  15. Hari P V
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Great post bro, I have recently find 404 pages on my blog with the help of broken link checker plugin. I have fixed it now. Hope Google will check it and remove message from my Google webmaster tools.
    Hari P V recently posted..How To Increase Alexa Rank Of Your BlogMy Profile

  16. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this information. Even I have been penalized by Google for Unnatural Link building and Penguin and from that time, unnable to recover my blog from it. Hope to use this tool and get some rid of some unwanted and spammy links out of my blog and recover back my traffic and ranking to my blog.

  17. 23rd august was a very bad day for All of the bloggers and webmasters.This guide can help Most of them.
    Sourya recently posted..Dolphin Browser For Android,Download Dolphin Browser.apkMy Profile

  18. I agree with sourya this day is the worst day for beginners . And this article is really going to help them a lot.
    Abhay recently posted..Dolphin Browser For Android,Download Dolphin Browser.apkMy Profile

  19. By limit blogging and ethical practice described by google and adding site to G webmaster tool. You can easily improve site penalties and appeal in google for reinstate.

  20. hello george, many of my sites have been hit by Google penguin update.
    thanks for sharing this tool. i will be using it and will let you know the results soon.

  21. “Disavow Links” Is a clear indication that your site is used some SEO tactics.I highly recommend NOT to use “Disavow Links”. After you use that next time on wards google will treat you as a spammer & seo linker.So you will gradually lose your rankings.

    You could better by contacting webmasters to remove thus links, i know it’s really hard.But it’s the safest way!

  22. “Disavow Links” Is a clear indication that your site is used some SEO tactics.I highly recommend NOT to use “Disavow Links”. After you use that next time on wards google will treat you as a spammer & seo linker.So you will gradually lose your rankings.

    You could do better by contacting webmasters to remove thus links, i know it’s really hard.But it’s the safest way!

  23. Hi George

    I appreciate with the points which you have mentioned in this article. It’s true that If penguin finds those site which has sitewide links and penguin penalizes those blogs.

    But I have also experience that If your blog will have high quality backlinks and after having such good backlinks, If you have some sitewide links then penguin wouldn’t harm your blog.

    Penguin only harm those blogs which has low quality backlinks or has bad links But If your backlinks are qualitative then You don’t need to worry about it.

    You have shared really a great article George, So Thanks for it and HAPPY BLOGGING ;)
    Chetan Gupta recently posted..HostGator Coupon Code 2015 – Guaranteed Genuine DiscountMy Profile

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