Removal of a Google Manual Penalty

The dreaded manual penalty

This is a screen shot of a manual Google Penguin penalty that has been affecting a site since April 2012. This was penguin 1.0. At the moment we have just had Penguin 2.1 and I guess there are many more Penguin updates to come.

Manual Spam Action in Google Webmaster Tools

You really don’t want to see this in your Google Webmaster Tools. If you do, you need to deal with it.

I have to do a link detox on this site which has a manual penalty. You probably know if you have a manual penalty, but if not, just go to your Google Webmaster Tools and go to the section Search Traffic>Manual Actions hopefully you will see nothing, but if you do you might see something like what I have:

Manual Actions
Site-wide matches  – None
Partial matches  – Some manual actions apply to specific pages, sections, or links – Affects Some incoming links

Unnatural links to your site—impacts links
Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing to pages on this site. Some links may be outside of the webmaster’s control, so for this incident we are taking targeted action on the unnatural links instead of on the site’s ranking as a whole.

This is worse than it looks as I believe the ‘Some manual actions apply to specific pages, sections’ applies to the homepage – bummer!

I sent a reconsideration request in November…

My last reconsideration was unsuccessful, I got this message:
We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for***********’ve reviewed the links to your site and we still believe that some of them are outside our quality guidelines.

Sample URLs:

http://sear*********** http://campe********* http://maktng*******

For more specific information about the status of your site, visit the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools. From there, you may request reconsideration of your site again.

My Link Detox Plan Options

So I am planning on doing a link detox with the tools from The choice is either use the LRT Starter Account for 99€/month or the Link Detox Pro Account for 149€/month. I wasn’t sure what to use so I asked for advice.

I asked in their support about doing this onDecember 6th, 2013:

Q: Hi my reconsideration was unsuccessful so I would like to get a Link Detox Pro subscription. Before I do, can you tel me how  many Link Detox credits I get per month? – and how many domains I can work with at a time.

A: We will release a tool soon to speed up the whole process of recovering. Do you know this already?
You only have to sign up for this waiting list and you will get redirected to a webinar telling you how you can recovery from a Google penalty in 3 days:

In the Link Detox Pro you will receive 5 Link Detox credits per month. You can use these credits for any domain you like. Usually 1 report costs 1-2 credits.
Please check out how our credit system works here:

Q: So the only difference between the DeTox in the LInk Detox Pro and the DeTox in the LTR Starter Plan is that I can upload a backlink file of 150,000 instead of 50,000 – Is that correct? Yes I am well aware of the Link Detox Boost tool and I am anticipating it eagerly! I need to get my manual penalty lifted first though 🙁

A: Our new tool will be available in Link Detox Consultant and Superhero plans.If you would like to clean up bad links and find out where your competitors are getting all their good links from then I would highly recommend the Link Detox Pro plan, but if you want to conduct a more detailed SEO analysis then I would recommend the Starter plan. The big difference between Link Detox Pro plans and the Starter plan is the DTOX tool that is found inside the “Link Research Tools” Starter plan has lower limits than the DTOX tool inside the “Link Detox Pro” plans and the Link Research Tools Starter plan does not include the Competitive Link Detox tool and Link Detox Screener feature.I have outlined the major differences between the starter and Link Detox pro plan below.

The Starter plan gives you access to 14 powerful tools, including 5 DTOX credits per month which will allow you to make deeper analyses on your site and clean up bad links. This is really helpful because you can not only clean up bad links but also monitor your site with the Link Alerts or check your backlink profile in more detail with the Backlink profiler and other tools. To read more about all the different tools you have access to in the Starter plan please visit

The Link Detox Pro plan gives you the additional advantage of using the Competitive Link Detox tool and Link Detox Screener feature which is not included in the Starter plan. The Link Detox Pro plan includes the Competitive Link Detox Tool (CDTOX), Link Detox (DTOX), access to the Link Detox screener and 5 credits per month.

The DTOX tool found inside the Link Detox pro plan allows you to upload 150,000 backlinks for the price of 1 credit so it has higher limits than the Link Detox found in the Starter plan which only allows you to upload 10,000 links for 1 credit.

So if you only want to clean up bad links and a conduct a Competitive Link Detox analysis on your competitors then this would be the best plan for you. To sign up for a Link Detox Pro plan please visit

BUT – if you want the best of both worlds having access to more SEO Tools plus the advantage of using CDTOX and Link Detox Screener then I recommend getting out Superhero plan here

So what next?

As the Link Detox Boost tool is not out yet, I think I will just go with the LRT Starter Plan and try and get everything done in one month. My main goal will be to get the manual penalty lifted. I will get 5 Link Detox credits with this and the reports usually use 2 credits, so I could also prepare another report for somebody else if they wish to spread the cost. I don’t have a VAT registered business so I will unfortunately have to pay the 20% Austrian Tax on the LRT tool. The total cost will be 120€, so split between 2 it would be 60€ each. Let me know if you are interested in this. The Detox in the LRT starter plan has some lower limits for uploaded backlinks than the LRT Detox Pro, so I might consider something else…

I am also thinking of buying one month of the LRT Link Detox Pro plan and try and get my manual penguin penalty lifted. I get 5 Detox credits with this. I will need 2 myself to do 1 report (you need the http://… and the http://www… backlink reports which uses 2 credits for each report). With this I will make the report, create the disavow file and submit it. 48 hours later I will send a reconsideration request (I have a template for that which is known to work). If you want me to do the same to your site at the same time, I can do 1 more site only. The cost is 149€+VAT=180€ so 90€ each. I think that is about £76 or $125. Get in touch ASAP if you want that.

It would be a huge advantage to you if you have a list of all your backlinks ready to be uploaded into the Detox AND any disavow file that you may have already submitted. I’d like to begin doing this in the next few days if possible.


Meet the Author

Rick Lomas

Rick became 'interested' in Google Penalties when Google Penguin 1.0 almost made him homeless in 2012. Since then he has become an expert in fixing Google Algorithmic Penalties and Manual Actions. Rick has cleared hundreds of Google Manual Actions since 2015. He has saved businesses $millions. He has a 100% success rate in penalty removal.