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Detected Unnatural Links Notice From Google

10 Comments
December 28  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

No we didn’t get a notice of detected unnatural links but more and more people are these days and I expect this to ramp up a lot more in 2012. As I’ve stated many times, I’ve got my ear to the ground and a lot of the webmaster/affiliate forums are bringing up threads with this message. Google’s war on link spam is like America’s “war” on drugs – it’s a big fat fail boat year after year. The biggest hole in their algorithm is the links although they don’t need to change that aspect entirely. The anchor text abuse is rampant and that’s what needs to be curbed or turned down a notch…something we’re actually seeing in our link analysis a lot over the past 8 months.

I’m writing about it today because I saw yet another thread started in Google’s Webmaster Help Central regarding a rather larger site getting this notice. It comes in your webmaster tools area and you definitely don’t want to be seeing it. There are still a lot of people who claim that links cannot hurt your rankings, there are also a lot of people who believe in all sorts of fairy tales. Google’s guidelines on link schemes clearly state that you can be kicked in the ass (loss of rankings) if you’re heavily gaming their algo.


Image Credit: http://searchnewscentral.com/20110629173/Latest/does-google-think-your-links-are-unnatural.html
 
This is what she looks like and for a lot of people I’ve spoken with, it doesn’t always follow with a decrease in rankings. I imagine your site is now under some serious watch from your big brother G so proceed with caution. From what I can tell, it takes a certain type of “link scheme” to trigger this message. The type I’m referring to is usually link exchanges as they’re really easy to spot and trigger an alert to Google. A lot of people these days are link spamming via article marketing, blog comments and forum profiles and I’ve only seen a couple cases where these links caused a problem. Those types of links are too easy to spam a competitor with, thus Google most likely won’t be causing a fuss from these links too much…I imagine they just eventually devalue them and move on.

Where I’d also be suspect is in a few other areas of your link profile. If your top anchor text are clearly gaming or a certain keyword then I’d be quite worried as a business owner. Half the time businesses hire some crack pot SEO firm and all they do is spam spam spam for certain anchor text links. A lot of companies have no idea what’s going on or if this were even a bad thing to have happen. Another area I always like to peep on is the distribution of links to pages besides the homepage. This is another area Google can easily calculate in their algorithm is something looks highly unnatural. If I were Google, I’d also take a look at the number of C classes that total the link profile, but that might just be a little too hard to determine by a machine if something’s awry.

Is Google passing value on the type of link? I’d put a lot of money on yes they are. If your link profile consists of only blog comments, how could they not determine something was going on. I’m a big fan of link diversity, but I’m also a bigger fan of creating something that encourages people to link to you…that’ll provide you with more than enough natural links.

Cases To Study

Via this Google search query:


 
That should give you folks a good idea of what they’ve been going after in the past year or two. Like I said above, I expect these messages to be ramped up in 2012 so make sure you’re really thinking about your current and future link marketing efforts and tactics. If you’ve seen this message and would like to tell your story, then feel free to do so in the comments below. If you’ve got this message and would like us to take a look at your website for free then get in touch via our contact form.

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About Ryan Clark

I'm the CEO of Linkbuildr Marketing and the brains behind our branding and blog content. I specialize in effective marketing strategies for hotels, luxury brands and real estate. If your brand is in need of a boost then don't hesitate to contact me for a free proposal. Follow me on Google+: +Ryan Clark Twitter: @Linkbuildr on Twitter. You can also come ask me a question on our Facebook Page.  

10 Responses to Detected Unnatural Links Notice From Google

  1. James | ComeToCapeTown says:

    interesting post ryan, all the best for the new year!

  2. Thanks for the update because. Very Nice blog for SEO.

  3. Anita Clark says:

    Build naturally, the white hat way, and this is not an issue.  Unfortunately, we aren’t a hurry up and wait society…we want what we want, and we want it now.

  4. Joseph Denali says:

    Very nice post. I’ve heard about these but never seen one. Too many SEOs cut corners on links since it’s somewhat tedious.

    Nice touch on mentioning referring C block domains. People get stuck on too many getting links from same “easy targets” and it quickly reaches a point of diminishing returns.

    Just found this blog from WarriorForum, Ryan. Nice work.

    Cheers in 2012.

  5. Hi Ryan – Excellent post. This is the first I’ve read about the notice. We have always advocated building natural links slowly via social posting and blog commenting. Doesn’t get nay more natural than that!

  6. Brandon Hopkins says:

    Hey Ryan, what are you thoughts on sabotage?  If this is true, what stops someone from bombarding their competition with “unnatural” links?

  7. Linkbuildr says:

    It’s absolutely possible for a site that’s new or has a weak link profile. Xrumer + nasty anchor text will do it. A site that’s aged and trusted will receive a nice boost for a bit until the links are devalued. 

  8. Brandon Hopkins says:

    A “devaluation” I completely agree with and understand.  A complete deindexing/banning is hard to be able to place blame.  Did they do it?  Did a competitor?  Seems like a very slippery slope to me.

  9. Matt says:

    The messages seem to be flowing pretty steadily out of Google – lots of thread cropping up on the forums. What are you guys hearing about lag time from warning until something happens (or does it not necessarily = a penalty). Any word on what kind of penalties assuming it’s more grey-ish hat gone awry vs complete link fail? +50? And with the penalties, do you guys hear about them being time-based or are they permanent?

  10. Linkbuildr says:

    I’ve seen a few things, and not just in the past year but over the past few years. BLOOP will eventually “get dropped” either after 3 or 6 months. For the most part I’ve seen and had a lot of success with helping burned victims get rid of the links, and balance their link profile. Definitely don’t want your top 5 anchor text to be obviously  gamed links either, that always seems to lead to trouble. 

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