If you have received an unnatural links warning or other penalty notification in webmaster tools or you’ve seen a considerable decrease in the rankings around the time of a Google Penguin update, this requires taking action as soon as possible. Likewise if your website is still ranking fine but you are sitting on a large number of bad links, it may be critical to get these cleaned up to prevent a future penalty. It may be effective to create new links of high-quality instead of starting a major link cleaning exercise but the best bet is always to clean up the problems as well. Depending on the penalty, you may not need to get the links removed. Using an SEO analysis service to disavow bad links without removing them is enough for algorithm penalties. Also, disavowing risky links before you actually get a penalty can save a lot of time and money down the road. It’s much easier to prevent a penalty then to clean up after the fact. Reputable services like Rewind SEO provide in depth risk analyses, link removal outreach, and reconsideration request writing. However, if you want to do a cleanup project on your own, here are some important guidelines. [More]