Numerous bloggers were affected by manual activities ‘’Unnatural Outbound Links’’ late Friday night. Seemingly, most sites affected were in food and arts & crafts areas. These links sent by Google would typically be labelled as spam for most upmarket e-commerce companies as the same tactics were applied.
As it affects the person who is creating links rather than the receiver site itself, it puts strain on the creator for these low quality links.
The bloggers received the following message:
‘’Google has detected a pattern of links from your site that is either unnatural or irrelevant. This pattern attempts to artificially boost other sites’ ranking in Google Search results. Such unnatural ranking would cause search results to show preferences for results not relevant to the user’s actual query. It also violates Google Webmaster Guidelines. Therefore, we are discounting the trust in links on your site. This manual spam action has been applied to <site> and file a reconsideration request. After we determine that you have complied with our guidelines, we will remove this manual action’’.
It seems that Google is only discounting the trust of links but not the people who are linked to these sites. The site itself does not seem to have any major effect with this manual action. However, it is unclear whether these manual actions will lead to the removal of the site eventually. Although, the manual action notice does not state that Google has any intention to remove sites from the index. Should Google remove these untrusted links from the search results, it would make life easier for the analysts who are engaged in disavows and backlink analysis.
It is also unclear how this could affect ranking in future. For the time being, the affected sites are still ranking for keywords. It is also unclear whether Google will only discount external links for these site, or would it affect internal links as well. If the internal links are affected, these means that these affected pages will not rank as well as they used to.
It is also unclear and causes confusion for the site owners, which type of URLs trigger a manual action as Google doesn’t provide any examples in their notifications. So far, Google has always been clear on what type of outbound links has been a problem when passing the PageRank.
Last month, Google made an announcement about the bloggers not disclosing when the payment for product mention or review was made. Therefore, Google suggested the need to nofollow these types of links.
One of the specific problems that site owners face is fining all the links on the site, as Google does not provide any reports on outbound links. It wouldn’t be very time efficient to check all the blog posts manually in order to apply nofollow to these links. Another alternative to nofollow is to remove or change these links. For other methods, and how to submit a Reconsideration Request, you can read the full article here: http://www.thesempost.com/new-outbound-link-manual-action-sent-by-google/