One of the terms floating around the SEO world right now is de-optimization. If you’re like most webmasters, you likely have a vague idea of the concept at best. Even some seasoned SEOs barely get what it is all about because it runs contrary to everything that has always been SEO. For today’s SEO lesson, we’ll look at what de-optimization is, why it is anything SEOs and webmasters need to know about and if it is something you really need to consider in order to remain relevant in the SERPs.
De-optimization is one of the many theories floating around the are focused upon trying to recover from the Google Penguin update. In a narrow view of things, for some webmasters this will work quite well, but certainly not for all. De-optimization is going to most benefit webmasters that went on a bulk link building campaign that centered on reciprocal exchanges and spammy tactics. Primarily, this is an idea that works particularly well, at least in brief testing, for people that hired commenting services that generally dumped links in forums and on blogs all over the web regardless of relevance.
The problem with de-optimization is that it is very slow and hinges upon someone else taking action to help you. Another problem is that is extraordinarily time consuming. In order to get those links removed or, “de-optimize”, you need to send a request out to each webmaster you want to remove a link for you. This is problematic in several ways:
1. It takes a lot of time to send out requests
2. Not all webmasters will act upon or even necessarily see requests that are sent.
3. Some are already trying to charge a fee for their “time and effort” to remove links.
4. There is no guarantee over the long run that this is the right avenue to go down.
What many people forget is that Google has already done this very update under a different name in a bout 2003. Bulk backlinks were supposed to be the bane of link building, but within two years, quantity was back. In 2006 they did this again, but by early 2007, they reverted back to bulk backlinks being good. Who is to say they won’t again? This is Google after all.
Is de-optimization right for you? In all likelihood, it is not. This is something that is primarily devised for webmasters that cut corners with their link building initiatives over a course of years. For webmasters that have followed an organic link building plan and have gone the extra mile to avoid any spammy and/or black hat tactics, a few stray links here and there are likely going to be the extent of any issues and a minor annoyance at worst. If however you have any concerns or are unsure, it is best to contact a reputable, experienced SEO company that can give you an up to date assessment of your site in light of the latest Google updates.