Update: A New Wave of Unnatural Link Warnings
Following on from Andy’s informative post yesterday on the new wave of unnatural link warnings where he mentioned Matt Cutts’ “oh so” confusing post on his Google+ page, I’m going to be talking about an interesting update Matt followed with yesterday afternoon.
Last Friday, a new batch of unnatural link warning messages were sent out causing mass panic in the world of online marketing and SEO. Soon we found out they weren’t actual penalties but a kind of heads up that Google are ignoring certain links that they deem unnatural. Following this, Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts published a post on his Google+ page pretty much stating that you can ignore the notifications if you choose to. Confusing, am I right? From this we can see that Google’s intentions were actually pretty good, they want to help SEO’s by not giving an actual penalty for a couple of dodgy links but I think we can all agree that the implementation of this message however, wasn’t the most clear.
What Happened Next…
So, due to many SEO’s and Webmasters kicking off about the confusion (and rightly so…) Matt delivered an update to the original Google+ post stating that they had made a couple of changes so we would be able to tell the “individual links aren’t trusted” messages from the “our opinion of your entire site is affected” messages. The warning messages themselves had changed so the message was more specific for each incident. A second change that had been implemented is that the messages won’t show a yellow caution sign within webmaster tool like other webspam notifications. This is to reflect that these actions are more targeting and don’t always require action by the owner of the site.
What does this mean?
All in all this a good thing! Google wanted to increase their transparency on issues like this which for SEO’s means that they want to help make our jobs and lives that little bit more easier! All is not lost when it comes to linkbuilding, this is merely a warning. Saying this however, it is highly recommended to check your existing links and your Webmaster Tools regularly to ensure that your strategy for your SEO campaign is future proof.