Sometimes, a seemingly good SEO strategy can go horribly wrong. Perhaps you bought links, or you bought a banner ad on a site that was targeted for spam links, or maybe you put yourself out on a listing service and are now being targeted by Google. All of these situations, and many more could leave you on bad terms with Google and with a reduced search engine ranking.
Well, Google now offers options to fix your situation and bring your ranking back up. Keep in mind that immediate action is your best course of action in this situation as Google could take you down several pages on their next round of site sweeps if you don’t fix the bad links.
It’s very important for you to have a Webmaster Tools account with Google; otherwise, you won’t even know that Google is knocking you down until it’s too late. If you don’t have one yet, go and set it up now. There are a couple of options to verify your ownership of the site, so look at more than just the first option.
Google will send you warnings on your Webmaster Tools account if they detect any issues with your site – including links that will be considered black-hat and will lower your site’s ranking if they continue to link to you.
If you get one of these warning – the first step is to contact the websites that are linking to you and request removal of the links. If you’ve done this and the links won’t come down, you can request a disavowment of your links.
Disavowing involves uploading a plain text file in Webmaster Tools. You can find the particular format here: https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-new-tool-to-disavow-links.html.
It’s important to note that most sites won’t need this tool; it’s designed if you’ve had a lot of really bad links and you need to fix a lot of them.
Besides the fact that Google owns how your site shows up on the Internet, they do actually give you good tools to help yourself. Make sure you get yourself on Webmaster Tools and check them all out!