At SMX last week, Juan Felipe Rincón talked about many aspects of manual actions that impact webmasters. One of the things he mentioned is something many advanced SEOs would be familiar with, but it is also something I know still surprises some website owners who are recovering from a link related manual actions who might not be quite as experienced in SEO.
Some people believe that after a linking penalty manual action has been lifted that their rankings would miraculously bounce back to their pre-manual action search rankings. And while it is true that sites should increase in rankings once a manual action is lifted, expecting to regain your former top rankings is unrealistic. Yet many people still mistakenly feel that this is the case.
When you have a poor quality link related manual action, in order to submit a reconsideration request and see it lifted, you would need to remove a good portion of those low quality links… which reduces the PageRank value for the site and individual pages. And this will cause overall rankings to drop.
Rincón said “With link penalties, removing links will reduce PageRank, which will reduce rankings after the manual action is lifted.”
So while many realize that removing links will result in the loss of rankings, there are some who would expect to regain their former rankings after a manual action has been lifted, but this is just not realistic.
— Jennifer Slegg (@jenstar) March 2, 2016
Updated: Rincón added that they just lose the inflated rankings from the artificial rankings… so they will rank where they should have been ranking without them.
@jenstar they'll go back to appropriate rank based on what they'd've had without the artificial links — i.e. not back to inflated rankings
— Juan Felipe Rincón (@jfrprr) March 11, 2016
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