By Mark Traphagen At Pubcon in Las Vegas last month, Search Engine Journal conducted a video interview with Jacob Bohall, Vice President for Marketing for Virante Inc, on the topics of negative seo and link removals for Penguin penalty recovery. Here’s the video of that interview. Below the video is a summary of the key points from the interview.

Highlights from the interview

As our Remove’em Backlink Removal team has worked on helping clients get restored from a Google Penguin penalty, we’ve noticed evidence of negative SEO campaigns against some of them. Some of these are probably from competitors, while others may be from opportunistic webmasters basically running an extortion scam: put a glaringly spammy link on their site to another site, and then if that site needs to remove links, demand payment to remove it.
Penguin penalty link removals

What if I run a site and get a lot of link removal requests, but choose to just ignore them? You could be putting your site at some risk if you blow off these requests. Google has told webmasters that if they have made a good faith effort to get a link removed and can’t, they should enter it in Google’s Disavow Links Tool. Many SEO’s suspect that Google may use data from that tool to identify potential link spam sites. So if your site starts showing up a lot in the Disavow Tool, you could be in some danger. By the way, Remove’em now includes a report that you can link to in a reconsideration request to Google that verifies the links that were successfully moved (and those attempted) so that Google will have more confidence in your efforts. What if I no-follow most or all of the links I build to my site? Does that protect my site from a Google penalty? Not necessarily. Site’s like that can still get in trouble if they are using spammy link practices, just not necessarily from Penguin. At Remove’em we ran a study looking at penalized sites and their MajesticSEO Citation Flow and Trust Flow. Citation Flow gives a picture of the number of links pointing at a site, whereas Trust Flow has to do more with the quality of those links, what types of sites they come from for example. We found that there was a high correlation for penalized sites with high Citation Flow but a low rank on Trust Flow. A lot of sites no-following their links to your site can be one indication of low trust for your site. Want to know if you’re site is at risk for a Google Penguin Penalty? Try our Penguin penalty checker PenguinAnaysis.com. Get your PVS (Penguin Vulnerability Score) and an exportable report of your danger areas and suspect backlinks for just a few dollars!
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Google Negative SEO and Link Removals: Interview with Virante’s Jacob Bohall