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Google Message About Unnatural Links

easyrider
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Google Message About Unnatural Links

I few days ago I received the following warning message from Google about unnatural links to my site. The only thing that it could be is that I have sent a reasonable number of PR5 links (and a few PR6 ones) from one particular site. The trouble is that I can't delete them (and I have created a few more since the warning message. What should I do? BTW, I have not lost any rankings at this point.


Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links

We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,

Google Search Quality Team
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Greg
 
mark schaaf
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It sounds like google is already telling you that they are doing something to your site when saying give them information with your reconsideration request. What i don't understand is your comment where you say ( I have sent a reasonable number of PR5 links (and a few PR6 ones) from one particular site.) I don't understand the comment did you mean to say that you receive pr5 and pr6 links from some site. It sounds like the only thing you can do is to send google the information they want if you think it is the site you are getting the hi pr links from then send it to them. From my experience you will never get any kind of clear answers from google as to what is going on this is the reason why I don't much care for them, They will tell you that you are doing something against there policy but they won't tell you what it is so it could be any of over a hundred things and you could have no idea where to start looking. So I think the only thing you can do is to do a resubmit and include what site you think could be the problem. If you are very lucky you might get an answer from a real person telling you if that is the problem or not.
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Mark
 
easyrider
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What I meant was that I put my links on high PR blog posts. I probably just done too many from one place.

The thing is though that I haven't lost any rankings in Google - they are at their highest ever. Is Google likely to take any action like de-index the site - or is this really just an official warning that if I keep doing this they will take action?
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Greg
 
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cecille.l
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I remember seeing a similar notice sent to a member of another forum that I frequent. His situation was a bit more complicated because he tracked all the links pointing to his site and discovered that his site was entered into some sort of network or wheel. All the "suspicious links" that Google referred to in his message to him referred to those links and there were A LOT. (He posted the links on to his forum post)

He sent an email back to Google and provided them with a copy of the links stating he did not add his site to this network , blah, blah. It took considerable time but Google did let him off the hook. But not without consistent effort (more like hounding to me) and communication with Google.

You can do the same and track all the links pointing back to your site. You might just find that one problematic link.

Please let us know how you get on.

Have a good day!
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Cecille


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easyrider
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Well as I said, Google hasn't any action against me yet. So I'm wondering whether I should just lie low for a while and not do a lot of backlinking. My worry is that if I sent Google a list of my offending backlinks they will see that I am guilty as charged - there is no way that I could argue that I'm not responsible for those links. They then may decide to deindex me if they do a manual check.

But we have to remember that most of what Google does is totally impersonal. They would send these sorts of notices out automatically to thousands of people a day. And they can't devote a lot of resources to follow them up manually. Maybe since I haven't been punished it means that I won't be and this is just an official warning.
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Greg
 
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cecille.l
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Hi Greg,

You could be right. No one really can tell what Google thinks or will do. I would still continue with my backlinking efforts, but will be more careful where I leave links. You can choose to sit it out, but in your shoes, I would do a little backtracking and check the links pointing back to my site.

Have a good day!
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Cecille


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esolutions
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Hi,

So many people have received this notice lately that I seriously doubt the validity.

I received this notice for a big site with MILLIONS of links (natural by the way). Other sites of mine that I HAVE BUILT unnatural links to, did not receive the notice. Even one site that relies entirely on unnatural (built) links did not receive the notice.

I'm going to disregard, 1. because Google is inconsistent in what they say and do and 2. because it's not worth it and nearly impossible to sift through millions of links to try to find which ones might be considered "unnatural" and then proceed to attempt to have them pulled by each site...
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wollowra
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Yeah, Have to agree with you E.

Personally I think Google has lost the plot.

I understand what they are trying to do but I think it is open to sabotage by other less than desirable characters on the net.

Greg, just out of interest, have you got links pointing out to other sources?

It's great to have some high PR backlinks coming in with different anchor text, but if you do not have a few links going out as part of your linking strategy.. the genius's at Google will send you emails.

Troy
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easyrider
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Exactly one week after my notice, I have received my punishment. But it is not too severe - it is only appears to be page specific. My highest traffic keyword that was getting me around 400 visits a day has been downgraded from position 9 to position 70. The reason I'm not too upset is that although this keyword has gotten me a lot of traffic, it is more a keyword of people looking for free advice. And maybe if I build more links I can get it back up there.

Troy, the only links that I have pointing out are nofollow affiliate links.
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Greg
 
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jmpruitt
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Hey Greg, one thing you might do is create one or two pages of "resource pages" with popular sites within your niche that gives some good outbound links, and isn't trying to make an affiliate sale.

This gives you some good outbound links without worrying about your main money pages. i do these with general keywords that get good traffic but aren't targeted to buyers. They also tend to get a lot of natural linking since other people like to link to resource posts that they find, especially bloggers.

In blogging, we call it link baiting because it baits other site owners to naturally link to us from their sites. Usually, instead of trying to get a sale on these pages, I go for trying to get an opt in. they can be really great list building pages because people will see you as an authority that they can trust to find relevant news within your niche.

This is why you see blogs doing things like top 100 lists with loads of outbound links to other blogs and resource pages.
you can do it with a "top 10" list all the way up to a top 100, 200 or even 1000 (although that would be really long to go through, might divide it up into multiple pages....)

One thing I am working on is building up an authority blog on forum marketing. right now I am working on 6 pages of link bait that are all resources for "Forums to follow in _____Niche market. I have 6 niches that I am doing a top 20 forums in those niches, to help people who are looking for forums find them.

It takes time to do a good link bait piece (some of mine take over a week of research to put together), but the ROI on the work is amazing. Having a good VA to do the research will help a lot. you can even hire a research assistant on Elance or Odesk for a one time job just to do one or two link bait pieces for your site.

I have one following my forum research guidelines picking out 20 forums in each niche. then I can spend a day following up and checking them myself as I actually write the posts. saves me hours of work that I can spend on other things, and gets a really great post that will drive more natural linking to my site.
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easyrider
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That's a great idea James! Thanks.

BTW, when you do your resources page should you target any particular keyword? And if not, how will other site owners find such a page on your site?

Also, would you suggest making the links dofollow, or not?
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Greg
 
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sirmatts
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well, about GWT and google analytics.... If you don't own a real business with a prominent phone number and adress you should probably never use their tools. Affiliate Marketing is spam in their view and any data you give away to gaagle they will use against you sooner or later. I have never used their webmaster tools and i stopped using their analytics early 2010. That has helped me staying under the radar soofar.

And it is true what James says a resource page is really good and can give you some great traffic, and be sure you do follow links. It is only possible to build PR to a limited degree without outbound links. It will also tell G that you are not running a selfish website....
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maryt
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I must agree with Matts that one of the best and first places Google will look for websites is at their webmaster tools. In fact, Google has been sending these messages to a lot of websites through webmaster tools.

Several of the things you should do when you received this kind of message is to write a letter to Google, listing all bad links and stating that you have been working to remove them and change the way you do linkbuilding from now on. I suggest you just stick to white hat and as much as possible try to make your site useful like building more content for readers and also having good (unrelated to business) outbound links.
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easyrider
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Thanks for that link.

BTW, does anyone know whether the penalty I incurred would have been a manual or algorithmic one?
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Greg
 
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maryt
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Uhm, I do not think that there is a way of knowing what kind of penalty you incurred. Actually, you should have an idea on what kind of penalties you have done to upset Google. I suggest you make a list of these things and if possible, change them before anything comes to worse.
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peter.h.coscolluela
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Hi
It seems that Google is serious about cracking down on unnatural links. The fact that they have sent out these warning letters shows they have the capability of monitoring your sites.

There are two schools of thought in dealing with this.

One school thinks that this is a phishing strategy of Google to get the source of unnatural back links. That is, If you feel guilty then you can write them a letter detailing these. Google can then use the information gathered in their favour to put on more stringent measures against such.

The other school of thought is to abide by their rules. To reply to their letter regardless whether you think you are guilty or not. To clean up your act before you get penalized. If you depend on Google for your websites you better tow-the-line otherwise you might end up losing what you have worked for.

Good luck to all!
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esolutions
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Greg,

It's algorithmic as this happened to over 700,000 sites at once.

Nobody wants this advice, but it's simply, just keep building quality backlinks and providing quality content. It takes much longer, but in the long run it will pay off.
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mark schaaf
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I am not sure how anyone ever gets in contact with google anyhow because I have tried in the past to get answers about things and can't even find a place to ask a question except on there stupid forums and who knows if there are even any google employes looking at and giving answers there. As far as back links I think a problem could be if someone goes to a site and makes comments to an article and leaves a link that is ok but if you stay on that site and leave a comment and a link on 15 or 20 of there articles or blogs in one day, that is what I think google sees as an un natural link. I was reading this same subject on one of the google webmaster forum pages and some jerk wad there just keeps saying that just about everything is an un natural link, she thinks article marketing is spam and un natural and making a nice long comment to an article even if it is in your niche is also spam, So I know she is an idiot and never read anything she ever has to say because I have never seen her say anything good about anything. I myself have 40 and 50 links from many of the same websites but the links are all from different dates which is what I think is natural. So I will go on maybe 20 different places and make one or 2 comments on each and I am done for the day. I don't even worry about page rank from the site because it could be a PR site today and a PR 3 to 5 site in months. I can't say to be worried or not but I would play it safe and just fix what needs to be fixed you don't want your site to vanish. Also what is this site about that you get 400 clicks a day. Mark
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Mark
 
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maryt
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mark schaaf wrote:I was reading this same subject on one of the google webmaster forum pages and some jerk wad there just keeps saying that just about everything is an un natural link, she thinks article marketing is spam and un natural and making a nice long comment to an article even if it is in your niche is also spam


There are actually a lot of factors to weigh and check for a certain backlinking process to be considered as "unnatural linking". In fact, all SEO techniques are just okay, if used properly. I agree that both article marketing and blog commenting is not black hat, unless of course you want these to be. You can successfully do article marketing and blog commenting without spamming by following the guidelines that Google and other search engines advise. Always remember that quality and relevancy are two important factors that you should always prioritize whenever building links. Of course, for those who have years of experience will certainly know the difference between white hat and black hat.
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