Gary Illyes

Breaking News: “Remove Bad Links, Remove Your Penalty,” Says Google

Today, Google confirmed what SEO Inc. has suspected all along.
In a Google+ hangout with Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google is going on the record to state that if you remove bad links from your website, you will see immediate results. This means that if you take the necessary steps to remove bad links and leave only good links, your Google penalty will be removed.
But how?
Remove Bad Links, Recover Your Site
Google explains that a Google penalty recovery requires you to have a 100% clean website. This means no bad links and no penalization. Put simply, if you have even a single bad link, your site will be penalized.
So the burning question is, “How does Google remove these penalties?” The answer, according to Gary Illyes, is algorithmic updates. The basic idea is that Google’s algorithms will regularly check to see if your site is following their rules, and once they see that yours is, boom—no more Google penalty.
Basically, if you fix your site, the algorithms will handle the rest.
We knew this was the case three years ago, which is why we’ve been pushing so hard for our clients having clean backlink profiles. Your recovery time is based on your on-page scoring, off-page scoring, and miscellaneous other factors. We’ve also said how important it is to use a Google penalty removal service like link detox to remove your Google manual penalty. But having it confirmed with Google is big news for the SEO world. And since the algorithms that check stuff like this operate on a regular basis, you could see immediate results in getting your site recrawled and reindexed.

“Follow The Guidelines, And You Will Do Good”
We all know there are other ways your website can suffer. A manual penalty is distributed when you have a bunch of bad links, however, a guideline penalty is distributed when Google finds your site content thin or not useful.
Gary Illyes had lots to say on that too. His number-one advice for keeping your site in good standing with Google is to follow the Webmaster Guidelines. “There’s nothing more that you want to focus on,” he said. “If it’s in the Webmaster guidelines, then you follow the guidelines, and you will do good.”
The only caveat with this news is that updates are fewer and farther between than the general algorithms that crawl your site. So if you get hit with a guideline penalty, you could have to wait as long as five to six months—even a year—to recover. So the best thing you can do is follow the Webmaster guidelines.
Big Updates On The Way
The Hangout revealed further information about the way Google rolls out their dreaded Panda and Penguin updates. Illyes drove home the idea that Panda is not a penalty but a general ranking update used to connect users to relevant information. They’re more like “adjustments,” however, they can’t be implemented as fast as the algorithmic updates.
Illyes confirmed that the next Penguin update is “really far away…we’re talking about months.”
Other changes were discussed. Currently, there are 60 trillion indexed pages in Google’s database. Google alluded to an enormous restructuring that would be coming—as soon as this October. We’ll just have to wait and see what it will look like.
To sum:
Remove bad links from your site, and your site will recover from Google penalty.
Follow the Google Guidelines for quality content, and your site will remain in good standing.
Your site will recover only as fast as Google recrawls your site.
Big changes to Google’s database on the way, maybe October.