Unnatural link warnings from Google are bothersome. Since last year, many of it has been sent to different webmasters. These warnings are email from Google webmasters informing the website owner about the following:
- Your site’s pages have been detected to use techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
- There are possible artificial or unnatural links pointing to the website that will manipulate PageRanks such as purchasing links and participating in Link Schemes.
- Changes should be made and must send an email for reconsideration while providing details of links that can’t be removed as well as information of actions you have taken.
An expected response to this warning letter is to remove unnatural links to your site. However, how will you know which links to remove or has been tagged as unnatural by Google?
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s spam detection shared a video on how you can locate which are unnatural links. He discussed two steps in determining which links have to be removed.
(1) Sort your links to your site within Webmaster Tools by most recent links.
Through Google tool “download latest links”, you’ll see your recent links and you can configure when was the time your links were discovered to be unnatural. Start from there and examine your links.
(2) Google is sending examples of unnatural links within the unnatural link warning emails.
Matt Cutts said that they are looking very well the context of the message to give exactly what an unnatural link is to give you an idea where to start.
In the video Matt Cutts mentioned anchor text and widget links. These are links not anymore trusted by Google. Evidently, you can say that Google is now aiming for quality links. These are links from trusted website to a trusted website through a trusted way.
When you have already set up your link building campaign, you don’t have a choice but to remove these unnatural links. Removing of unnatural links can also cause some trouble especially if you thought you were doing ethical SEO and haven’t purchased links for your campaign. However, it must raise awareness that unnatural links can come from untrusted means. That single link may have violated Google’s guidelines for quality.
From the blog post How Article Marketing, Widgets, Footer and Theme Links Become Unnatural for Google?, it briefly discussed what links are considered unnatural and should be removed. Matt Cutts also presented how these links become unnatural for Google.
In essence, Matt Cutts video still emphasized the quality of the link you built up. There must be some negative reactions behind link warnings but as Google is concerned, it only strives hard to eliminate artificial links that will hamper the credibility of a useful and informative website. If you are new to search engine optimization and you don’t want to be hit by unnatural links you have to understand what are these links and how you can avoid it.
And here is the full video of Matt Cutts talking about how you can identify “unnatural links”.