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
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.