Google has been manualy checking my site today, by putting site:my-site-name and one time site:my-site-name/internal-page
2 times 1 hour 9 mins apart from Westwood and 2 times 9 hours 26 mins apart from Mountain View.
These searches only clicked the one page each time. Has anyone came accross anything like this before. My site has new content added daily and I take great care not to do anything wrong. Does this mean some sort of penality will follow.
I am not sure I get your question. But correct me if I am wrong, you are seeing traffic coming to your site from Google seeing that someone doing a site command that is either: site:my-site-name or site:my-site-name/internal-page.
If am correct then it simply looks like to me that it can be anyone doing a site command in Google, then they click on results. The referring URL will appear as Google and the full URL string will have the site command in it, but it does not mean someone from Google is doing it.
If you think the referring URL and the IP address of the person visiting the page has the same IP and are from Mountain View, it can still be someone checking out your site on Google Cache after doing the site command.
If am totally wrong and I did not get your question, please clarify.
Well, Google employees do make manual checks on websites all the time, but most webmasters do not scrutinze their server logs closely enough to spot them. and those who do may not be getting visited. Still, there are many factors that might trigger a quick manual check and they don't all mean that some manual penalty is going to follow.
I'm certain that the algo flags many kinds of conditions for a manual check - for example, perhaps a given domain starts to show a sudden spike in the number of impressions it gets on the search results. There is also a team of editorial quality checkers who manually examine the more important SERPs to see whether those results really do make sense for the query term.
In the past couple years we've had several reports here of people spotting a manual check from Mountain View, and none of those reports were followed by a penalty.
[edited by: tedster at 4:37 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2008]