Google Partially Removes Penalties

Jun 11, 2012 • 9:16 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Partially PenaltyGoogle will partially remove a penalty when they see you take significant action on a notification.

John Mueller from Google said in response to a Google Webmaster Help thread that they do indeed do this. One webmaster received a notification that the inorganic link penalty they received was partially revoked. Google said they were able to "partially revoke a manual action" taken against the site.

Here is the full message:

Thank you for your request.

After re-evaluating your site's backlinks we are able to partially revoke a manual action. There are still inorganic links pointing to your site that we have taken action on. Once you've been able to make further progress in getting these links removed, please reply to this email with the details of your clean-up effort.

It is nice to see Google not taking an all or nothing approach with these penalties.

John from Google gave a bit more context for these partial revocations:

That usually means that the team has been able to remove a part of the manual actions being taken due to the changes that you've made. It sounds like there still are some issues that you might want to review & resolve though. Generally speaking, it can take a bit of time for these kinds of changes to bubble up, and to be visible in search results, it would be rare to see a jump right afterwards. My recommendation (not knowing the specific case/site) would be to follow the advice of the search quality team and to continue working on removing any unnatural links that your site may have collected over time.

Just a reminder, those penalty notifications you get via webmaster tools, those are manually sent.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to ShutterStock for referee flag

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Ryan Burnsworth

06/11/2012 01:29 pm

I noticed this with one of my clients. We had fought pretty hard to get all of the link spam cleaned up that another SEO company had brought on, along with a lot of onsite optimizing. Once we submitted to Google, around 3 weeks later, the site began to rank on the lower end of the front page for his keywords that were previously lost due to Penguin. Its not a full recovery but it is good enough to build off of.


06/11/2012 07:05 pm

I have thousands of forum profile links that i didn't make and i can't remove them. I know who did this to me and why but that changes nothing. Negative SEO is very easy this days. It's not a competitor but a guy i pissed off by telling him a few things.

Peter Watson

06/11/2012 11:09 pm

Johan, I'd try making conact with the forums in question, but it won't be too long before Google releases a link 'devalue' tool in GWT allowing you to block links pointing to your site. This will give you full control over your link profile. I can't wait!


06/12/2012 03:58 am

This is what i think everyone is waiting for. Will be interesting how seriously Google take it.

Richard Merry

06/12/2012 11:58 am

They need to do something like this or just devalue what they think are spammed links. Link building isnt in the webmasters control and you shouldnt get a penalty for having so called spammy links. Why cant they just devalue those links, how hard is it for them. Negative SEO just should not exist.


06/12/2012 05:47 pm

Right Richard, simplest and best way to go, but that would be too easy for google to do, so they didn't do it.


06/29/2012 01:09 pm

@google-b386eddbc2e6e30ea295acaaeb1675ac:disqus Bing has just unveiled that exact tool. I saw it today in Bing Webmaster Tools

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