PBN links penalty recovery

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Hi Guys,

I bought links from a PBN on BHW which was taken down recently and accordingly, everyone who bought any link got a manual action for unnatural inbound links. This is my first experience of this, now my last thanks to the lessons learned. I am trying to gauge what the best action is to move forward provided I can get the penalty lifted - that is still in progress. I have spent a lot of time and written a vast amount of content for the site so I can't help but want to hang on to the project.

When a site gets hit for paid unnatural links and this gets lifted, is it possible for the site to grow to become a big money maker in the long run? Or does this just not happen? or would it be wiser for me to focus efforts on new site? I would really appreciate any knowledgable seo experts providing their experiences with this.

Thanks
 
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If the links have been taken down, then there's nothing you need to do for those, other than admit you purchased them and explain that they have been removed (in your reconsideration request letter).

If that was the only thing that got you penalized then that will be enough to have you re-included in the index and rankings. There could be more now that you have manual eyes on the site, which would include any other unnatural links. They want to see you email all of those sites, document the emails and times sent, any responses, and even try again a couple times, etc. I've done it in a spreadsheet. You can send this in showing an honest-to-god effort, and then let them know you put any links that you couldn't get removed into the disavow file.

Yes, sites that have been penalized can come back to rank just fine. They won't rank as good immediately because you're losing your PBN links and other links, but they can make a comeback without issue.
 
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It is 110% possible to get it reversed as per @Future State post. Disavow the links too.

If you have not spent much time/money on SEO efforts to date though it might be easier just to start over.
 
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I've done it. You can get penalties removed and come back just fine.

What doesn't work, in case you're thinking about it, is taking the site and moving it to a new domain just as it is, without a 301 redirect. Google knows it's the exact same site and will pass the penalty on to the new one.
 
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I've got manual actions for dodgy PBNs before and I disavowed them (I knew exactly which ones to disavow since I ordered them and had all live links) and said it's my competitors trying to negatively affect my rankings and I've got the penalty lifted.

Here is a graph from Serpbook that shows the penalty period and recovery.
 
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I've got manual actions for dodgy PBNs before and I disavowed them (I knew exactly which ones to disavow since I ordered them and had all live links) and said it's my competitors trying to negatively affect my rankings and I've got the penalty lifted.

Here is a graph from Serpbook that shows the penalty period and recovery.

How did you email saying it was your competitors or give any narrative? All I can do is submit the disavow file.
 

Ryuzaki

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How did you email saying it was your competitors or give any narrative? All I can do is submit the disavow file.
When you get a manual penalty (as opposed to an algorithmic penalty) you will get a notice in Google Search Console. That gives you the opportunity to submit a Reconsideration Request, which is basically an email to the Google penalty people. If it's an algo penalty you won't get any messages or notices.
 
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Thats so frustrating.

I know I have been penalised for one site but theres nothing in the console.
 
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How did you email saying it was your competitors or give any narrative? All I can do is submit the disavow file.
As @Ryuzaki said, I was "lucky enough" to get a manual penalty which gave me the option for a reconsideration request. I was quite surprised they bought my story because that site was in the SEO industry and you'd need a minute of Ahrefs checks (let alone using Google's internal tools) to know I've built links to it. Goes to show that it's always worth a shot if you happen to be in a similar situation.

Funnily enough, my own private blog network that only I know about (and Google if they properly investigated my site's backlink profile) was not deindexed even though it linked to the penalised site and I still run it to this day and I've got that penalty back in Feb 2018. And it's clear as day that my private network is a pbn, I didn't bother styling the sites etc.
 
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I wish I got a penalty then lol