Do reciprocal links work in 2020? – MANUAL PENALTY received, and lifted with ONE submission request, and the case study is below.

As mentioned in a previous recent post of mine on Linkedin, I made a test with reciprocal links from other websites. Previous post link is in the comments.

Here is the timeline of the whole adventure:

⏳ 21 May 2020

Penalty email arrives from Google – “Unnatural inbound links to…” (see image 1)

Rankings are still unchanged, for about 4 days. I though the Google team has sent the email to the wrong address

⏳ 23 May 2020

Issues are fixed, as seen in the image with the spreadsheet (image 2)

⏳ 25 May 2020

After 4 days, the home-page goes from position 4-5, to position 95 (page 9), for a 450K/m KW

The website lost about 35% of traffic, overall

⏳ 27 May 2020

Reconsideration submitted, with a thorough and HONEST description (see image 3)

⏳ 21 Aug 2020 (exactly 3 months)

Penalty lifted email arrives from Google – “Reconsideration request approved for”

FOR OVER 8 DAYS AFTER THE EMAIL, no change happened, and the website was still on position 80-90

⏳ 29 Aug 2020

Website appears on position 14 for the big keyword

⏳ 31 Aug 2020

Website is back on page 1, fluctuates between position 6-10, and so it has been ever since (today is the 5th of Sept)

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