Boost in Traffic after Manual Penalty Lifted


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Share This

Note: due to our contracts, the client related to this case study must be anonymous. However, if you have any questions inspired by this document, please contact us at

The Situation:

A professional services firm with multiple locations throughout the U.S. were suffering from a manual penalty in the summer of 2014, leading to a huge drop of natural search-driven leads. Greenlane Search Marketing, LLC was tasked with identifying the problem and providing the solution(s) needed to have the penalty revoked.

Identification of Issues:

Identification of unnatural inbound links causing the penalty was the next course of action. Using more than 6 data sources, including techniques invented in house, we realized we were dealing with more than a cut-and-dry unnatural link penalty. The issue in this case was twofold:

  1. Unnatural links from 3-5 years beforehand had come back to bite the client as they now fell outside of Google Webmaster Guidelines. These unnatural links primarily consisted of low-level link-building (comment spam, forum comments, etc.) conducted by the client’s then-SEO firm. The worst part: the client was totally unaware of their SEO firm conducting these types of link-building efforts.
  2. Either because of previous recommendations and/or lack of knowledge, the client created separate content blogs for each of their practice areas, all of which lived off the client’s root site and on their own domains. While the content was strong, it consequently became a network of duplicate content and unnatural links.

The Fix:

Through careful, manual consideration of thousands of backlink, we helped the client clean up their unnatural profile. We provided recommendations to free their domains from manual scrutiny.  With powerful data to drive our campaign and efforts, the penalty was lifted within 2 weeks of the disavow and re-inclusion request.

With the penalty lifted, our team was able to immediately focus on replacing the links with stronger links that brought their natural search traffic higher than before their penalty, while making them safe for future Penguin and manual penalties.

Return to the Case Studies page.

Learn more about what we do here. Would you like to learn more? Contact us.

Share This

More Related Articles

scholarly journals seo

The Current State of Google Scholar: Everything We’ve Learned After Working with Journal Sites

The purpose of this article is to serve as a reference to the current state of Google requirements, specifically as they pertain to scholarly literature. Several of our clients must satisfy guidelines as part of Google Scholar, one of the…
Continue Reading

Accessibility for SEO
SEO 2 Technical

Accessibility for SEO

If you are interested in some accessibility support for your SEO, or if you’d like to inquire about our services, we would be happy to chat with you. In this presentation for Pubcon, we talk about web accessibility as a…
Continue Reading

HTTP2 A New, Improved Web Protocol
Digital Marketing SEO 2 Technical

HTTP/1.1 vs HTTP/2

A Brief History of HTTP If we’re going to talk about the transition from HTTP/1.1 to HTTP/2, it’s worth taking a quick trip back to the flannel-soaked 1990s. Back then, HTTP was a simple protocol for a simple job –…
Continue Reading