New Unnatural inbound links message – what should you do?

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  • July 23, 2012
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

Last week Google sent out a load of unnatural links messages to websites that sometimes only had a very small number of unnatural links and in some cases had never really built any links that could be classed as “unnatural”. Even SEOmoz received one!

The messages caused a lot of confusion and panic to the extent that Google has now sent a new revised version of the message to all the sites explaining that they are only taking a very targeted action on the links rather than the entire site.

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 artificial or unnatural. We recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realize that some links are outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole. If you are able to remove any of the links, please submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took. If you have any questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.

So the big question people have – what should we do if we get this message?

Well the first thing is not to ignore the message because your rankings might struggle if Google has taken action against you no matter how small the action is. The best strategy is to analyse all your rankings and see which keywords or landing pages seem to be ranking worse than they used to (look back 18 months on this, some sites receiving this message had penalties 12 months ago). Once you find keywords that you think might have been affected then initiate a targeted approach to find and remove the unnatural links that relate to that landing page or keyword.

Once you have removed as many links as you can then you should submit a reconsideration request with full details to Google so they can manually review things.

Any questions, just drop us an email and we can help.

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