February 22nd, 2013 § 2 Comments
I’m hearing reports of another set of unnatural link warnings being rolled out over the last few days – although it reminds me of what happened back in April 2012 the wording is different this time:
We’ve detected that some of the links pointing to your site are using techniques outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
We don’t want to put any trust in links that are unnatural or artificial, and we recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realise that some links may be outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action to reduce trust in the unnatural links. If you are able to remove any of the links, you can submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took.
If you have any questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.
If you remember, Google updated the wording of their unnatural link warnings last year to be more transparent and this particular warning looks like the “least bad” that you could get. So how worried should you be?
Well, in the link above Matt Cutts speaks pretty clearly about these more precise link warnings, and it looks like Google will take action on the specific links they’ve identified as dodgy rather than on your site as a whole.
If I had one of these warnings I’d still start pulling backlinks from Majestic and Ahrefs, getting ready to clean up and submit a reconsideration request if necessary. It’s likely you’ll see at least some ranking drops as links are devalued over the next couple of weeks and this should give some idea of what you’ve been caught out on. The only silver lining is that your site as a whole probably won’t get penalised, but it’s certainly a wake-up call that your linkbuilding may have taken a few too many risks. Google aren’t done trying to wipe out paid links yet.