Anyone have any experience with link detox? A new client of mine used it to undo bad links from years ago and loved it.
I've seen lots of link detox reports. In general, if a link is marked as "toxic", it usually is. There can be the odd false positive there but it's not common. In most cases every link marked "suspicious" is an unnatural one. I've found though that most webmasters who are doing link cleanup will try to keep suspicious links and only deal with toxic ones.
My main problem with Link Detox is that it marks a LOT of links as "healthy" that are horrendous. I've reviewed a number of sites who have failed on reconsideration requests after using Link Detox reports and they often have a large number of links that are marked as "healthy" that definitely are not.
I think you could use it as a starting place to get the worst of the worst links dealt with and then the rest should be assessed manually.
As a general question, would a site with 75 thousand almost all natural links benefit from processing those 75,000 links through something like a Link Detox to weed out some links that might be considered suspect by Google? Although no manual warnings have been received, in your opinion, would it be worth the cost and effort?
The only sites that I have seen escape the Penguin algorithm are ones that have done an incredibly thorough job at removing/disavowing links and also have a really good base of natural links present as well.
Here's a site that we were working on that was hit really hard by the original Penguin and then, some time later got a manual partial action penalty as well. We did a lot of work cleaning up the link profile. We were having trouble getting the manual penalty lifted because Google kept giving us example links that were truly natural links. What happened was that we submitted our first disavow in mid September. When Penguin refreshed on October 4 there was an obvious improvement. It was nowhere near a full recovery but then very few sites will recover fully from Penguin because those original rankings were based on the power of unnatural links that will never be regained. However, now that Google can trust the backlink profile, the new links they are attracting are helping rankings as well. If Penguin hadn't been escaped, their new links would probably not help them much. In the chart below, the first blip up is Oct 4 when Penguin refreshed. The second blip up represents getting the manual action removed and then you can see after that that new links are starting to make a difference as well:
Here's a another site that had manual action removed and then, once Penguin refreshed saw a nice bump up. Unfortunately I do not have the analytics to show the original Penguin hit:
So far the only sites that I have been trying to recover with Penguin issues are ones that also have manual penalties. I've been reluctant to take on clients with just Penguin issues until recently because prior to Oct 4 I had not seen any sites escape Penguin. But, when some of my clients with manual penalties started to show improvements on Oct 4, I started to take on a few clients with solely Penguin issues. Hopefully with the next refresh I'll see some of these sites recover.
I think that anyone who offers Penguin help needs to be really honest with site owners because a good number of sites that are hit by Penguin are NOT going to see a recovery even if a thorough cleanup is done. If your rankings were only based on the power of unnatural links then, even if you can escape Penguin, you're not going to see any improvement. But, if you've got a site with truly natural links that also had poor quality ones, then cleaning up the junk should cause good things to happen with future Penguin refreshes.
I would estimate that 99% of our links are natural. We get a couple thousand natural links a month anymore, e.g. 67,000+ plus at the beginning of Dec with approximately 74,000 today, the beginning of Jan. I think or know odds are that Google would judge some percentage of all of our natural links as poor quality, but it is nothing we can control, i.e. they are all natural links.
Dr. Marie, in your opinion would it make sense to you for us to use something like Link Detox to weed out whatever is designated as poor quality or suspect by Link Detox on our 74,000 links?
Last edited by SEO_AM; Jan 4th, 2014 at 09:43 PM.
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If you haven't been engaging in low quality link building then I wouldn't bother. Penguin is designed to catch people who are cheating. Every site picks up the odd unusual looking link and those are very unlikely to hurt you. What I'd probably do is download your links on a platform that shows anchor text such as ahrefs, majestic or opensiteexplorer and sort the links by anchor text. If you're seeing a lot of keyword anchored links then I'd check those out to see if they are directories that look spammy or low quality articles that contain keyword anchors. If you do have links like this then it may be worthwhile to run a Link Detox report to find more of them and then disavow.
But again, if you haven't been building links then don't worry about it. I don't believe that Google wants all webmasters to be going through their backlink profiles...just those who have been trying to manipulate the system with self made links.
My apologies...I should have stated that. Those charts are organic traffic from Google only. I did not separate out for brand. Can you tell me how to do that? It might be hard for these sites because in both cases their brand is their main keyword.
Incidentally, I discovered that if you want to make your successes in penalty recovery look amazing, you can produce some pretty impressive charts by just looking at "not provided" searches. This is because "not provided" wasn't much of an issue pre-Penguin. Check out the chart for the first site I showed you:
This goes to show you that you can't always trust people's stories of recovery! Rest assured the first charts I showed you were legit though.
I have used Link Detox by Link Research Tools and I found it useful, but the way they price things is screwy and not straight forward. They burn up 2 credits on a domain name unless you check that you don't want them to search the domain & www.domain.
They keep increasing the price the more people that use it which makes me dislike the service. You can no longer buy 3 credits or it is really hidden within the site. There is their SEO tools which gives 5 link credits for $129. Then there is their new monthly link detox which starts at $200 for 5 domains. Then there is the option to signup with an account and then go to Account Settings and then Add Extra Package where you can 10 link credits for $79.
I also found that they can't find as many links as they advertise. Another thing is that you need to manually go through all the links that they find because they plenty that aren't bad links. Some of the links they find should be easy for them to whitelist as they obvious. Anyway I would rate it a 5 out of 10. You are still going to need to do other research through other services like ahref.
I've used Link Detox a few times (7-10) and find it a great tool to analyze backlinks, especially when the website is penalized. Of course you can't think that any SEO tool will do all the work for you - it just make your analysis much faster.
The first advantage of LD is that it downloads the list of links from lots of different tools and on some premium accounts you can additionally upload the file from Google Webmaster Tools. It also checks whether the link still exists so the deep analysis is done only for active links. Link Detox Rules are not always correct so there are some rules that I completely ignore. But he most important thing is that I have full data about my backlinks. I will never trust in 100% to any automatic tool - I just need full data to make my own analysis and then what I look at are: linked URL, anchor texts, number of linking domains, PR (but mostly if it's 0) of the home page etx.
Some time ago I published my review of Link Detox here How to recognize toxic links? :: Lexy's SEO blog After that some new SEO tools came up in Poland so I started testing them and my premium account on LD just expired.