Top Tips for Unnatural Links Google Penalty Removal

google-links-featuredThere  is no quick fix to removing Google penalties however there are ways to speed up the return of your page rank and get back on the good side of Google and here is how to get started.


There is little more devastating than logging onto your webmaster tools to see that you have been hit with a Google penalty which basically eliminates all of the work your digital marketing agency and SEO teams have done to increase your visibility. Fortunately these penalties are usually lifted fairly quickly after resubmission provided that you take certain steps to analyse and remove any issues.


It takes a lot of back research, time and resources to get back on track and so ultimately avoiding anything that goes against Google’s quality guidelines in the first place is advisable. This is of course great advice now as if you have already been slapped you will be looking at ways to get back on track and fast.


There are a number of penalties that Google hands out to webmasters and the most common of these is the unnatural links penalty. Google are looking to get rid of black hat SEO practices and are interested only in advancing natural SEO. If then you have spammy links, paid for links or indeed anything that goes against the Google grain you need to take steps to find them all and eliminate them the best you can before submitting.

Collating Backlink Data

The first step to getting your penalty lifted is to get together a comprehensive list of all the links pointing to your website. There are a number of tools you can use and many recommend using a combination of these to cover all bases while others say to focus on Webmaster Tool Links.

Top tools include:

indexGoogle Webmaster Tools – Login and click the website you believe has been hit by a penalty. “Links to your site” may be found under the “search traffic” option. Once there click “more” under the “Who links the most tab” and this will enable you to download “More sample links”.





Open Site Explorer- Visit the site, type in your exact domain name and once the page has updated you need to click the Advanced Reports tab and then select “Links that come from: External linking page”. You will now be able to export the data you are looking for.

Ahrefs – This is an extremely usefully tool which enables you to quickly analyse data and see info such as followed/ no-followed links, site-wide links and more.
Majestic SEO – Enter your exact domain name on the site and look for and select the “Historic Index” tab. Click on the backlinks tab and download your data from the bottom of the page. Once you have your data you need to take steps to put things right.



 Track Your Work

The chances are you will have a fair bit of work in front of you so the first step is to set up a Google spreadsheet to show where you are with the link process (Google prefer to deal with their own products apparently). Ensure that when you put your master spreadsheet together that you include relevant data such as the contact name, email address and website contact form as well as social media urls, the dates of the first, second and third contact, any notes and of course the current status of the link.

This looks like a lot of work, however it is the only way to show Google what you have done in order to have suspect links removed and this needs to be done thoroughly before you resubmit your site.


Contact Webmasters Nicely and Show Google you are Sincere

A great idea is to enter into your spreadsheet some contact examples. These could be copies of emails sent to various webmasters asking your links to be removed. Keep this friendly and non-threatening (remembering that Google will be reading these) and explain that you are asking for your links to be removed as you are looking to ensure that you are working within the Google quality guidelines and as “this” link does not adhere to these guidelines you would appreciate it being removed. The more polite your email, the more likely you are to get a quick and positive response.


Research Links

Removing high quality links will result in a loss to your site and won’t affect your penalty status. The best way to ensure that you are removing poor links only is to check them manually. Don’t delete good links off your spreadsheet, mark them as positive and leave them in as this shows Google that you have done your leg work.


Resubmit Your Site to Google

choose-file-637x322When you believe you have completed your link review the very best that you can do is save your spreadsheet and send this as part of your resubmission request to Google.  Do make the effort to make it clear that you are now better aware of the guidelines and will be following these closely in future and highlight what you have done to remedy the issues that resulted in your penalty.



In order to ensure that your digital marketing and search engine optimisation efforts in future result only in advancement and not in penalties focus on natural and organic SEO methods and key an eye on the Google guidelines.

About Cayenne Red





Demystifying How Search Engines Rank Your Web Pages


Whether you are in digital marketing, an SEO consultant, a web designer or simply a business owner wanting your website to be more visible it is important that you know how search engines rank different web pages.



002Digital marketing agencies are set up to utilise a number of digital tips, tools and tricks in order to best push a business and website into the limelight. The end goal is to of course increase sales and profits however many important steps along the way all include working to boost visibility via the search engine ranking systems.


There are two key elements to consider when a site or web page is ranked and that is to look at crawling and indexing.


1.   Crawling

This pertains to the search engine’s ability to navigate around the site it needs to index.


2.   Indexing

This is the process of actually listing pages from a website into the search engine’s index.


If you look at your website stats once in a while in depth you might see who or what has been crawling around your site. What you can’t see is how easy your site was to crawl and the immediate results of indexing so it is instead worthwhile taking steps to make access easier in order to “score” higher.


The way that Google looks at websites here in 2013 is much different to the way it has in say 2010 or even before. SEO experts and those in digital marketing will confirm that the landscape has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to Google updates which ultimately have been geared more towards organic and natural links, better quality and relevant content as well as all things socially related.


Signals and Graphs


Search engines use “signals” for want of a better term to look at the site demographic, geo-location, how it is or should be categorised and more.  Those involved in web design, SEO and even digital marketing need to understand what these signals may be and in short they include information such as the internal link ratios, how trust-worthy a site is and what authority it has, local information, the Meta data each page should include, anything link related and more. The list is extensive and you can read more on signals here which will give you an idea of what is considered when your web site is crawled and indexed.

Graphs are all about classifications. When a bot crawls a web page it adds it to the master list of other crawled pages in the same category. Called graphs these categories refer to:


  • Entity Graphs

Anything named for example “things”, events, people, places etc

Links: The links which connect to any sites which increase trust and authority in a given field as well as their relevance


  • Social Graph

This includes behavioral information, how the page is connected etc.


There are other categories or graphs to consider however it should have become clearer by now that these are the ones which need to be given more attention in order to help Google and other search engines index a website. How much effort the people responsible for SEO on your site put into these categories will affect how successfully the site is ranked.


Despite this breakdown of the ranking process which has hopefully enabled you to pick up some information which will better your changes of a better ranking no-one truly knows the ins and outs of Google or indeed any search engine’s crawling and indexing criteria. More may be found from Google webmaster tools however generally speaking being relevant, getting rid of those nasty backlinks and ensuring your site is informative, engaging, relevant and sports top quality content is the best way to work toward more successful rankings.

Simple Ways to Get the Most from Your Search Engine Optimisation

Whether you use an SEO Consultant or do it on your own, it is important to know the basic and fundamental aspects of search engine optimisation, in order to get thbigstock-Seo-cubes-d-render-illustrati-29763737-2e most out of your campaign. SEO can often be time consuming and costly, but it is worthwhile if you manage to get it right. There are simple but effective ways you can get the most out of your search engine optimisation.


Good Website

There is no point in having a good SEO campaign, only for your website to let you down, so make sure yours is well designed and has accurate information at all times. Your SEO will lead readers to your website and the website will be the reason they decide to make that all important purchase, so if yours isn’t quite hitting the mark, re-do it and get it up to scratch.



They say patience is a virtue and this has never been truer than when it comes to your SEO campaign. Many businesses will start their SEO campaign and give up after a few weeks because they fail to notice any results. It can take weeks or even months to achieve results from your SEO campaign, so give it a chance before you decide to throw in the towel.


Unique Content

The content of your website or any blogs you have should be relevant and unique, as this will attract visitors and retain their interest so they want to find out more. You should update the content of your website regularly and if you don’t have the time or resources to do this, an SEO consultancy will be able to help.


Social Media

Social media is used by millions of consumers on a daily basis, so it makes sense to utilise this as part of your SEO marketing campaign. Most social media platforms are also free of charge, so investing a lot of time and effort into it will not usually cost much or will be completely cost free. You should be active on the social media platform, for instance, engaging in conversation and posting updates but don’t over-do it or people will quickly get fed up with you and may even click on the ‘block’ button!


Press Releases

As an important form of online PR and a way to get your message out to the masses, press releases are becoming an increasingly popular form of marketing for businesses. You can incorporate SEO into your press releases and they can help you to build relationships with the media and enhance your link building. This short video will explain more about the benefits of press releases.


Human Content

Many businesses will publish articles which are littered with keywords and not only are these frowned upon by Google; they are also unlikely to help you achieve results. Always write your content as if you are part of the audience and keep it engaging enough for human consumption, rather than just an article thrown together for the sake of SEO. Use SEO wisely in all of your content and don’t saturate it with keywords. This article will explain more about writing for humans to benefit your business.

How to Use Web Marketing to Optimise Results for Your Business

Local-Search-Engine-OptimisationIn order to ensure your business grows and becomes a success, it is important to make use of web marketing to help achieve better results. Web marketing has very little cost associated with it, but it can help with your branding and to build your customer base. Most businesses make use of web marketing in one way or the other these days and it is important to take advantage of all the benefits it can offer. There are various marketing strategies you can use to help optimise the results for your business.


  • Website Content and SEO


In order to engage consumers and keep their attention, you need to take careful consideration with your website content. Instead of throwing your content together, you need to make sure it is interesting, up-to-date and relevant; otherwise it is highly unlikely that you will gain enough interest to convert your visitors to sales. You should also incorporate search engine optimisation into your content, as this is the how you will drive traffic to your website and improve your ranking on Google. You can find out more about the importance of content and SEO by reading this article.


  • Article Writing


Writing articles and posting them onto other sites is known as ‘guest posting’ and it can be a really effective way to get your business name known to the masses. Again, you need to make sure the content is informative and relevant to the website you are posting on; otherwise visitors to the website will be unlikely to click on the link to read more about what you have to offer.  There is usually no cost associated with this form of marketing, although high ranking website may ask you to pay a small fee.


  • Pay Per Click


Pay per click does have some associated costs and will depend on how much you are willing to spend. This type of web marketing involves bidding for keywords, in order to rank in the sponsored part of Google. It can be hit or miss and there is no certainty that you will achieve results from it but if you have a marketing budget to work with and are a larger sized company, it may be worth giving it a try.


  • Press Releases


If you want to let consumers know about your new business, special offers or perhaps a new collection, press releases are a good way to do it. The content of your press release must be written in a way to entice consumers to your products/services, otherwise you won’t really benefit from it. If you are not really sure how to write these effectively, it may be worthwhile to enlist the help of a marketing agency to do it for you. You will usually find these to be relatively inexpensive, but they can help you achieve some good results. You will also need to know about the most popular PR websites to publish your press release, in order to attract as much traffic to your website as possible. For more information on writing press releases, please take a look at this short video.

Maximising the Potential of Your Guest Posting Campaign

imagesGuest posting is a common marketing tool used by businesses to gain more exposure. It involves writing an article with a hyperlink to your business at the bottom, finding a relevant website to post it on and requesting to do so by the website owner. It can be a really effective way of promoting your brand and gaining as much exposure as possible. In order to maximise the potential of your guest posting campaign, you should try and incorporate search engine optimisation as much as possible.


Good Content


The most important aspect of guest posting is to ensure that what you write is high quality and engaging for the reader, otherwise your campaign will be pointless. The aim of guest posting is to encourage traffic to your website, so you really need to give the reader a reason to want to click on your hyperlink. High quality content is the way to do this as it will encourage the reader to sit up and take notice. Take time to write your content, rather than just throwing it together. If you don’t have the expertise for this, a specialist external agency may be able to help. You should aim to use a target keyword in at least the title and the first paragraph of your article.


Relevant Topics


The content of your guest post should be relevant to the website you are posting on, so make sure you bear this in mind before you write it. The readers will already have some sort of interest in this subject if they are on the website, which is why you should write content which is relevant to them. Visitors are much more likely to click on your link if they believe your website will offer information that they really want to know about.


High Ranking


There is no point in using a website for your guest post which rarely has any traffic; otherwise it will be a wasted effort. You can easily check the page ranking of the website and whether it is high enough to be worth posting onto. The website may look good, but this doesn’t mean it is popular so a bit of research will be required. The higher the ranking, the more traffic, which means the better your results are likely to be.


Social Connections


If you use Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms as part of your business, you can incorporate these into your guest posting. Depending on how many links the website owner will allow you to put on the author bio, you can have a link to your website and to your social media page.


Sporadic Posts


It is important to gain exposure but also to ensure you don’t saturate the market as this can be very off-putting. You should choose your guests posts wisely and keep them to a minimum. It is more important to post onto a high ranking website, rather than the amount.  You can find out more about using guest posts to your advantage by looking at the following video. Further reading on the benefits of guest posting can be found at here.

Content Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business

business-boost-logo-webThe Internet has become our number one source of information, so it is no wonder that businesses are paying more attention to the content of their websites, social media, blogs etc. When you are sitting with your friends and someone poses a question, what is the first response people have? It’s usually ‘I’ll Google it.’ Informative and up-to-date content is the reason why consumers will be attracted to your website in the first instance and will keep coming back for more. There are various content marketing strategies you can implement in order to boost your business results. This video will tell you a bit more about content marketing strategies and how to make them as effective as possible.



  • Unique

One of the most important content marketing strategies is to ensure all your content is unique and not a replicate of any other work you have seen. People want to read fresh and interesting news, they don’t want to read content they already found elsewhere two months ago, so resist the temptation to do this. It is perfectly acceptable to take bits and pieces from other relevant articles you have read, but always put your own spin on it and make it as unique as you possibly can.


  • Invest

In order to get results from your content marketing strategy, you will have to expect to invest a lot of time and money into it. If you don’t have the time to keep on top of your content marketing, you should hire an agency with the expertise to do it. You don’t just need to consider the quality of your content but also how to incorporate SEO and to improve your ranking on Google. All of these aspects have to be taken into account as part of your content marketing strategy and it is not always easy to do this without some good investment.  You can read more about web content and SEO by reading the following article.


  • Regular

If you want to operate a successful marketing strategy, you will have to ensure you update your content on a regular basis. If you remain static it will not only affect your Google ranking, but it will also put off your potential customers. If you don’t have the time or resources to do this yourself, you will need to hire an external agency to take care of it, as it is vital as part of your marketing campaign. You should aim to update your web content on a weekly basis at least, more frequent if possible.


  • Imagine

You need to use your imagination when implementing your content marketing strategy. Instead of thinking about what you would like to read about or what your colleagues may be interested in, try to put yourself in the shoes of the consumers. Consider what is relevant to them and how you can engage their interest. If you are not quite sure where to begin with this, you can always conduct some market research to get a better insight. Again, you may want to invest some time and money into this and this may be in the form of an external agency that has more expertise.

The Importance of Effective Content Management and Marketing for your Website

A website is only as good as its content and tired, old and irrelevant copy and media will not help with SEO or encourage lead generation. Effective content management is what is needed to succeed.


Content-MarketingThe majority of businesses have a website. Some are better designed than others however even ones made with a free template will do the trick provided that all of the boxes are ticked with regards to design, usability and of course the quality of the content.


Tired web copy, out of date blogs and pictures that are well past their sell by date do not inspire visitors and will add a negative edge to the brand identity that has taken so long to build. The way to really make your website work for you is to have a content management system which is current, up to date, focussed on the brand message and engages with the public.


  • Focus on Different Website Types

Deploying an effective content management system does not mean that every three weeks you need to rewrite your static pages such as your “About Us” or “FAQ” sections. These do need to be periodically updated, especially when changes to your business or terms and conditions come into force. This content is however less important in terms of being updated very regularly to keep it fresh though should always be relevant and up to date.
Dynamic pages which might include your blog, special offer pages, news updates and similar do need special attention as these are the places that people will look first for what they need.


  • Consider Media Types

Lots of text is fine when it is needed. Some visitors however don’t want to feel they are sitting down to a lengthy article in the Times when all they want to know what the business is up to nowadays. Keep web copy brief, break it up, and use audio, visual and interactive content types to display information in an alternative way which grabs the attention and keeps people’s interest. From a content marketing point of view it is much easier and indeed fruitful to share attention grabbing content than it is plain blog post after blog post.


  • Be Consistent

When you refresh your content do make sure that new posts and information are grammatically correct, engaging, brand orientated and fit well with the overall tone of voice that the reader expects from your brand. Many business owners hire copywriters either in-house or as a freelancer to produce ghost written copy on a regular basis in order to keep content fresh and SEO optimised.


  • Structure Your Content Marketing to Allow Flexibility for Current Events


Having scheduled blog posts, tweets, updates and more may be advantageous in terms of organisation and maximising exposure however do allow for some flexibility so that your business may benefit from special events that are out in the public eye. The recent birth of the new royal baby is a great example as many businesses used the announcement to launch a sale, offer congratulations to the happy couple and similar. Those who did not missed out on a valuable marketing experience.


With a little forward planning your content marketing campaign will completely alter the effectiveness or your business website or blog to your advantage.


Written by Duncan Cumming

How to Ensure Your Web Content is Worth Link Clicking


The whole point of creating content which is engaging and interesting is to encourage readers to click on the link which will lead them to your website. If you don’t create good web content, visitors will pass the page without bothering to delve any further, which is not what you want to happen. You can find out more about strategic link building by clicking on this video. You can publish content on your own website or you may wish to use guest posts to explore your options; either way there are various methods you can use to ensure you captivate the interest of your readers.


  • Relevant Content

Whether your article is going to be published on your own website or that of someone else, you need to ensure it is relevant. It should tie in with the general theme of the website, otherwise you won’t be targeting the right type of people, which means they are unlikely to want to be interested enough to click on your link. Guest posts can be a good form of marketing to get your website well known and you can guarantee that website owners will not accept your article if it is not relevant to the theme of their website. You need to use a targeted approach when creating articles, so you ensure you are engaging the right type of audience.

  • Use Keywords

It is important to optimise your content with the right keywords, so that readers will easily find it when they search on Google. There is so much content on the internet these days that it is highly competitive, so you need to ensure you make use of search engine optimisation to enable you to achieve results. If you are unsure about the best approach to use when it comes to search engine optimisation, you may wish to enlist the help of an SEO consultancy who have the expertise required to ensure your content is easily found by the right audience.

  • Be Unique

There is nothing worse than reading the same types of articles over and over again, which don’t really inform you in any way, but instead are quite obviously just thrown together for the sake of it. Your content should be engaging, interesting and offer something different from the vast amount of similar articles out there on the internet. There is no need to fill it with jargon, just simple language which will relate to the masses. Take time over your web content and ensure you have something to bring to the table. It should inform the reader and allow them to find out new information that perhaps they had never even heard of before.

Google is becoming increasingly selective about the type of web content they will rank highly and this is why you no longer find the vast amounts of articles which are just littered with keywords and are in no way beneficial to the reader. You should bear this in mind and create worthwhile content which will make the reader unable to resist finding out more. You can read more about the benefits of web content by reading this further information.


Are current SEO methods for everyone, or just the realm of SEO consultants?

SEO used to be different, getting to the top of Google was easier, and much less time consuming or expensive, but things have changed. If you built a decent website as the internet boomed a decade ago, threw in a few chosen keywords, basic content and basic meta information you were probably well away, SEO consultants had a much easier job.

SEO – What has changed?

For a full run down on the internet, the development of search engines and the beginnings of SEO we love this slideshare from Hubspot which gives a thorough timeline view of the key events:

Code to Embed:

<iframe src=”″ width=”427″ height=”356″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”” title=”The History of SEO” target=”_blank”>The History of SEO</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”” target=”_blank”>HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software</a></strong> </div>

In 1998 Google launched with PageRank (to become known as Link Juice) ranking websites based in incoming links. In 1999 Meta Tags are most important and in 2000 a PageRank Toolbar tells SEO consultants where to find valuable links, by 2003 sites are being penalised for keyword stuffing and the “nofollow” tag is launched in 2005. This was then used by SEO experts to channel “link juice” but Google soon stopped this tactic. In 2006 “cloaking” or invisible text is banned and BMW’s website is blocked for this, XML sitemaps are born. Real time search improvements in 2009 mean that fresh social media content can be indexed rapidly and reaches the top of the search engines and in 2010 it’s confirmed that Twitter and Facebook influence SEO. Black Hat linking strategies are penalised by the Google Panda update in 2011 and the focus on quality begins in earnest. In 2012 the Penguin update penalised low quality link practices and article spinning, blog networks and directories are all frowned upon by all powerful Google.

Today if you post too many link heavy articles, posts or press releases you run the risk of lowering your search engine ranking or being removed all together.

How should my website be optimised for 2013 and who should do it?

Although Google is keeping SEO consultants and website owners on their toes the focus for SEO should be on:

  • Good domain authority
  • Quality Meta Data
  • Accurate and natural use of keywords
  • Naturally written, well structured, quality content
  • Relevant linking from reputable websites
  • Social media
  • Including rich content in websites, blogs and social media for credible shareability

SEO is still very much the realm of SEO consultants and experts, who have a wealth of experience and are ready to respond to Google’s every whim, but every webmaster and contributor to a website should have SEO in mind with their every action, tweak or addition, paying particular attention to natural keyword use.

Google (and your customer) wants to see original, real content created by real people, content that is rich, well written and actually enjoyable.


Cost Effective Ways to Market your Business

If you mention SEO or any other type of online marketing to many people, they will wonder what on earth you are talking about. There are many businesses who don’t even consider the prospects available to them by implementing a marketing campaign and many would shrug it off as being too expensive, without knowing the true costs. Marketing does not have to be costly and in fact, there are many strategies you can use which are actually cost-free.


Web Content

It is imperative that you start your marketing with your website and make sure this is flawless before you move on to any other marketing strategies. The content of your website should make use of SEO, although it should not be littered with keywords. You should have around 2/3 keywords on each page and ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate around so that when visitors find your website, they will want to stay and re-visit. You can learn more about SEO in your web content in this article.


Another cost effective way to market is making use of SEO in articles. You can create articles which have a link to your website and post them on free directories or submit guest posts to other relevant websites with SEO incorporated within them. This can be very time consuming though, so if you don’t have the resources, it may be worthwhile looking into a digital marketing company to take this task on for you. It can still be cost effective to do this as you will be getting insight from experts who will dedicate a lot of time and attention to marketing your articles.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective ways to target a captive audience and one of the best features about this is that it is absolutely free. You can set up a fresh page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other platform you can think of, advertise your products and incorporate SEO into it. Social media is only ever effective for a business if you have the time and resources to put into it as you need to make sure your content is always kept relevant and up-to-date.


Build up a network of businesses within your own niche as they may be able to help you with your marketing campaign. These things often work on a ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back’ basis and you never know where this could take your business. For instance, you may wish to post an article on a very highly ranked website and the owner may agree as long as you post one of their articles on your own website. These situations are common ways of marketing in the industry and can be a highly cost effective way of achieving some good results. The more you grow your network, the better your chances of a successful marketing campaign. You can learn more about networking by reading this interesting article.