Backlinks are connections from other websites to yours, so removing unnatural backlinks to your site involves persuading the operator/owner of the remote website to remove the link(s).  The process involves:

Identify the unnatural backlinks

There are a number of excellent tools now available to collect backlink data to determine if the link is potentially unnatural, but the most relevent information comes direct from Google WebMasters Tools.  Refer to the Google Quality Guidelines, and in particular those that refer to link schemes

Form the links into a list so the remote webmaster can easily process them – the easier you make their job the more likely they will action your removal request for you.

Determine Contact details

Many of the websites that generate unnatural links will not have phone contact, indeed many don’t have any form of contact in their website.
If you manage to get an email address that is probably most helpful, as you will need to send your list of backlinks to them anyway. Emails make it easy to followup and of course also create a paper trail of your interactions with them.

Dispatch the Request and backlink list

Send a removal request with your list of links


If you don’t hear from the remote site followup, followup and followup
Removing bad links is the fastest way to recover from a Penguin penalty so is you best option.

Can’t get the links removed?

If the remote website wont remove the links, they may agree to converting the links to NOFOLLOW
In some cases NOFOLLOW is a preferred option, for example where you attract prospective sales leads to your site, but don’t wants the link’s unnatural characteristics to compromise your site. A backlink that Google thinks is a paid or sponsored link is a case in point.

Still cant get the link removed ?

The final option is to ask Google to consider disavowing the unnatural links.
This process involves uploading these remaining unnatural backlinks into Google WebMaster Tools’ Disavow Links Tool
Be *very careful* as this tool can completely destroy your site’s Google authority if used incorrectly.

Posted in: Penguin