An update to the second round of unnatural link warnings

warningDuring March 2012, Google sent out automated warnings through Google webmaster tools about unnatural linking. This created panic among many webmasters as they were unsure if Google has already taken action before sending the warnings or if those just casual alerts. One month after the link warning were sent out, the penguin update surfaced, destroying the SERPs and traffic of many websites which were said to have adopted bad linking techniques and webspam.

While the webmaster world is slowly recovering from these updates and warning (some websites are permanently dead), another round of unnatural link warnings have been sent out on July 19th 2012. There was one difference with the link warnings sent out now, compared to the one in March. Google now said, the link warnings “may have innocent reasons”. According to the Google + post by Matt Cutts “The innocent site will get the message as we move towards more transparency, but it’s not necessarily something that you automatically need to worry about.” See the entire post below:

Unnatural link warning

As you see, the second round of unnatural link warnings created lots of confusion than the first one in March. Google said, these were warnings that you may ignore and there is no harm to your website. If there is no harm, then why send the warning message? According to me, the warning message means that, “hey, we think you may be participating in bad link building. If you are doing it, you should stop NOW.”

So what to do if you get the unnatural links warning?

Matt Cutts has made a good move in differentiating the unnatural link warnings. Now there would be 2 different messages for a site-wide warning and individual link warnings.

If it is an individual link warning, from now on it will not have the “yellow caution” sign in webmaster tools. This means that these messages are not always critical and may not need any action. In this case you should just check your traffic analytics to make sure that the warning didn’t come with any minor penalty. Then you should identify the suspected link and try to remove it and stop using the strategic anymore or just do it the right way.

If the warning applied to the whole site, things would be a bit complicated. I am sure there won’t be much light on what raised the flag, but the message would just say “hey you got unnatural links”. In that case you need to run a complete back link audit and try removing suspected unnatural links. If the traffic hasn’t gone down, you could just remove the suspected links and stop building links using those strategies. If the traffic is down, clear the unnatural links as much as you can and send a report along with the reconsideration request.

The bottom line is, “unnatural link warnings” doesn’t mean the end of the world. Check your analytics to decide whether the warning was casual or has some serious effect.

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Google algorithm, Google penguin

About Geno Thampi

Geno Thampi Not a born Shakespeare! But I still write articles and blogs to share my ideas and thoughts on SEO and SMO. Being a part of SEO research team of SubmitINme, I keep my ears and eyes open, and the pen ready to grab, write and share trending topics in search engine .... more info