homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.211.213.10
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 132 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 > >     
Google now reports manual webspam actions in WMT
travelin cat




msg:4600377
 7:45 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

View manual webspam actions in Webmaster Tools

We strive to keep spam out of our users’ search results. This includes both improving our webspam algorithms as well as taking manual action for violations of our quality guidelines. Many webmasters want to see if their sites are affected by a manual webspam action, so today we’re introducing a new feature that should help. The manual action viewer in Webmaster Tools shows information about actions taken by the manual webspam team that directly affect that site’s ranking in Google’s web search results. To try it out, go to Webmaster Tools and click on the “Manual Actions” link under “Search Traffic."

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:04 pm (utc) on Aug 8, 2013]
[edit reason] Added title in Google quote [/edit]

 

fathom




msg:4600947
 8:33 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, and Panda and Penguin aren't about specific "algorithmic issues," they're about broader issues (such as quality, in the case of Panda). The algorithm is just a means to an end.

Manual penalty = "You violated this specific guideline."

Algorithmic downranking = "We fed a bunch of signals into our black box, and your ranking reflects what the little man in the black box thought of your site."

Telling you what rule you violated, and getting you to stop violating that rule, helps Google provide users with a better search experience.

Telling you how to fool the little man in the black box isn't going to help Google provide users with a better search experience.


Every Manual Review domain I have edited all had the same things in common... they all received a "PASSING GRADE" with PENGUIN or PANDA when they should not have.

There is absolutely no reason for Google to take manual action if PENGUIN and PANDA could handle it... but both automated algorithms are vulnerable.

PANDA Vulnerabilities - smallish domains with limited content is too granular for PANDA.

PENGUIN Vulnerabilities - unnatural link patterns appear to be too chaotic to seem unnatural and/or over-optimization is also too granular to be detectable.

In addition, both... if Google has not programmed them to look for something specific... they cannot action what they do not know.

Whitey




msg:4600998
 1:12 am on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks like Google has invested a lot of editorial time into tracking both sites that use manipulative link practices and also go after sites and link networks that sell them.

The strategic purpose of relying on editorial inputs, is , i believe, that they want webmasters providing dialogue to support their overall message to reform the culture of the last 10 or so years, of what is now, largely or fast becoming, defunct SEO practices.

helenp




msg:4601036
 9:01 am on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

The link for Manual actions is now gone from webmaster tool!

JS_Harris




msg:4601038
 9:46 am on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

The link for Manual actions is now gone from webmaster tool!

Yes, Google stated it will be back in a few days after they fix something.

Fathom, it makes sense that manual penalties are applied to sites that have passed Panda/Penguin inspection but come out of it with a questionable pass. Pass/Fail/Hold for review are three options Matt Cutts has spoken about in various, along with a fourth option - remove immediately, infected. It seems only that 4th option gets a page removed from results before the next Panda iteration is pushed.

My concern is about page history and human raters. If I improve the content of a page that has been pandalized but which has also received human rater input that says 'low quality' does the human rater input carry weight over the improved version still? even if it recovers from panda? Are human rater tags on sites lucky enough(unlucky enough?) to have been chosen to test with having any impact on rankings?

Panda, Penguin, manual penalty and human rater input: If you resolve the first three does the fourth still hold you down?

MarieHaynes




msg:4601045
 11:13 am on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you don't issue an RR, then the penalty just stays there.


You don't think manual actions time out or can be removed without a reconsideration request?


Not for unnatural link penalties. If you don't do anything, the penalty will simply remain there.


Not true! All manual penalties expire at some time. But, if you get another manual review and you haven't done the work necessary for cleanup you can end up with an even harsher penalty.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4601046
 11:33 am on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not true! All manual penalties expire at some time. But, if you get another manual review and you haven't done the work necessary for cleanup you can end up with an even harsher penalty.


I have sites that are still under manual penalty, and the penalties were issued in March 2012. I know many others who are in the same position. Sure, maybe they will expire in the future, but it's been 17 months now. 17 months is a lifetime when considering an online business that survives on daily sales it makes. Technically - maybe sometime in 2021 or perhaps 2022 or some long-in-the-future date, the penalty might expire, but to all intents and purposes this is a permanent penalty unless a (successful) RR is made.

Therefore, it's simply not true to say "all" penalties will expire if you do nothing. It's also a bad assumption to make - if I do nothing, the penalty will expire at some point.

Planet13




msg:4601071
 2:18 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sure, maybe they will expire in the future, but it's been 17 months now. 17 months is a lifetime when considering an online business that survives on daily sales it makes.

Ok, you brought it up, so I gotta' ask:

If it has been 17 months, why haven't you fixed whatever it is that is causing the penalty?

~~~~~

Also, not to try and defend Marie (she really doesn't need my help), but I am 99% certain that both Matt Cutts and John Mueller have said that manual penalties are temporary (I think Matt Cutts referred to them as a "time out" for certain sites).

No, I don't know how long the "time out" is for. Maybe years on end. Who knows?

But they have also said that a site may have a penalty AND an algorithm-based affliction as well. So a site could be released from the manual penalty and still not rank due to a continued algorithm-based restriction.

fathom




msg:4601074
 2:46 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not true! All manual penalties expire at some time. But, if you get another manual review and you haven't done the work necessary for cleanup you can end up with an even harsher penalty.


and

I have sites that are still under manual penalty, and the penalties were issued in March 2012. I know many others who are in the same position. Sure, maybe they will expire in the future, but it's been 17 months now. 17 months is a lifetime when considering an online business that survives on daily sales it makes.


You're talking about different things.

Expiry does not automatically imply recovery.

I had many domains in 2009 that had manual reviews and seemingly recovered without any reconsideration request in 2011 (two years later).

But just because a manual review expires does mean you have a clean slate with PENGUIN or PANDA. In fact, you can have a manual review expire @ 00:00:00 and a PENGUIN problem initiated also at 00:00:00 and you would never know the difference.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4601080
 3:02 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also, not to try and defend Marie (she really doesn't need my help), but I am 99% certain that both Matt Cutts and John Mueller have said that manual penalties are temporary (I think Matt Cutts referred to them as a "time out" for certain sites).

No, I don't know how long the "time out" is for. Maybe years on end. Who knows?


Well, as I've already mentioned, if "expiry" means years later, it's kind of meaningless - who's going to wait out a penalty that lasts several years?

ken_b




msg:4601110
 6:43 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

The link for Manual actions is now gone from webmaster tool!

Just noticed that.

chrism




msg:4601113
 6:57 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

For me, it's back again.

Planet13




msg:4601116
 7:53 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, as I've already mentioned, if "expiry" means years later, it's kind of meaningless - who's going to wait out a penalty that lasts several years?


Well, what JC Penny did was pretty egregious, and I think they were only penalized for about 90 days.

On the other hands I believed they cleaned up their mess in the meantime.

Other people have claimed previous recovery periods of 3, 6 and 12 months for their penalties.

I believe their penalties were revoked but they saw little to no traffic gains because the bad links were devalued.

Don't know if this helps or not.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4601129
 8:43 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, what JC Penny did was pretty egregious, and I think they were only penalized for about 90 days.


I don't think JC Penney is a good example- it's an outlier because it was a high profile case. See also Interflora and the BBC as other examples of penalties that were imposed and quickly lifted. All the companies/institutions I've mentioned are clearly high profile and their penalties made the immediate news and Google even commented on these cases. I don't know why you bring up such an extreme case like JC Penney to be honest - or do you think all manual penalty cases are treated equally? This is not sour grapes by the way - I would do the same if I were Google - of course if Google are put under a media spotlight, they're going to react faster. They did it with JC Penney, with Interflora and the BBC. I don't blame Google for wanting to look good for expediting such cases. Using these as examples isn't helpful though.

On the other hands I believed they cleaned up their mess in the meantime.


Well, that wouldn't hurt, and it certainly doesn't count as a penalty lifted out of the blue without any effort from the domain owner.

BillyS




msg:4601143
 10:59 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

For me, it's back again.
Yes, it's back.
stgeorge




msg:4601177
 3:51 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Message is back. The paragraph seems to be aligned a little from before. Bug fixed?

Ok maybe I am being dim.

This is the message in WMT:
"Unnatural links to your site—impacts links
Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing to pages on this site. Some links may be outside of the webmaster’s control, so for this incident we are taking targeted action on the unnatural links instead of on the site’s ranking as a whole. Learn more."

This is the message you get under Matt's video when you hit "learn more":

"If you don't control the links pointing to your site, no action is required on your part. From Google's perspective, the links already won't count in ranking. However, if possible, you may wish to remove any artificial links to your site and, if you're able to get the artificial links removed, submit a reconsideration request. If we determine that the links to your site are no longer in violation of our guidelines, we’ll revoke the manual action."

There are several ways to interpret this. Unfortunately some of these are contradictory.

If you don't control the links then do nothing? So you are telling me some links have hurt my page but I should do nothing? Assuming the page will have dropped in the rankings then how do I get it back if you tell me to do nothing?

Or, if you have bad links pointing to your site, whether or not you are responsible for them, try to remove and if you can't submit a reconsideration request. Now Google is already saying that it is discounting the links. So once you do a reconsideration request (including a list of links that you cannot remove), google may decide to lift the penalty on the pages affected.

But hang on, it if says they are not being counted, then what does the penalty do? From what we can see, you drop in the rankings from the keywords that you are trying to rank for on penalised pages. So you hope that if they lift this manual action, you get some rankings back because you still have other links pointing to the offending pages?

Regardless, you are still left to guess which links are the bad ones. The only way you can get out of this in my opinion is to do a hatchet job. You don't know for sure which pages have triggered the penalty, and then you are never 100% sure which links.

The only feasible way is to look which pages have dropped in the rankings since this new notice was implemented, and cull links as much as you can to those pages (or attempt to anyway and present proof that you tried valiantly).

People commend google for transparency. This just creates another level of confusion.

Seems other messages are accompanied with example offending URL's. This message gives you no examples.

stgeorge




msg:4601202
 7:21 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

On another note, we notice that one of our sites received one of these messages on both the root website as well as a subdomain. The root website has barely acquired any new links in a year, but the subdomain has.

So domain.com has no new links but has the message.
sub.domain.com has acquired new links but also has a message.

So I wonder if you see a message in Google WMT for bot the websites it means there is an action on both or is it just filtering the message through to all sub domains and the main website?

chrism




msg:4601205
 7:45 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think I recall reading somewhere that they send messages to both the subdomain and the domain if the action is on the subdomain because many people only register the main domian in webmaster tools. I can't remember where I read that, so don't take it as a definite, but thought that might help you find more info.

stgeorge




msg:4601252
 11:54 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seomasterexpert:

Not sure why three pages into the thread you have to repeat what the topic is about but if you think this or anything is going to stop spammers you are sorely mistaken.

MarieHaynes




msg:4601282
 1:51 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding manual penalties expiring, here is more information on Matt Cutts saying that yes, all manual penalties expire:

[seroundtable.com ]

If you have an actual penalty message in WMT then yes, it will expire, but if you don't do anything to clean up the problem and you happen to get another manual review then you'll get penalized again and often the second penalty will be worse than the first:

[seroundtable.com ]

I've heard John Mueller mention that penalties can take "up to 6 months" to expire, but I am currently working on penalty removal for sites that have been penalized for well over a year so who knows when these penalties are set to expire!

Now, if your site was affected by an algorithmic change then there's no expiration for that. You've got to adjust your site so that the algorithm is happy with it or else it will always be suffering.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4601289
 1:59 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've heard John Mueller mention that penalties can take "up to 6 months" to expire, but I am currently working on penalty removal for sites that have been penalized for well over a year so who knows when these penalties are set to expire!


That's my point. It's not really meaningful to say "penalties expire" when I know people who've been waiting a full 2 years (and myself 17 months), and they've yet to expire. I am sure these penalties will expire, but when - 3 or 4 years later? It's better to assume you'll be waiting years and actually try to do a link clean-up (painful though it is as I've mentioned) and go through reconsiderations to lift it.

denisl




msg:4601328
 4:42 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you have an actual penalty message in WMT then yes, it will expire, but if you don't do anything to clean up the problem and you happen to get another manual review then you'll get penalized again and often the second penalty will be worse than the first:


And if the above is true, which I don't doubt, there is no point expecting a penalty to expire if you are not doing anything about it.

mirrornl




msg:4601329
 4:57 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

It seems the messages in GWT concerning the manual webspam actions are more specific than the messages you receive after submitting a reconsideration request.
I am curious about the content of these messgaes in GWT

wsc102




msg:4601331
 4:58 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

On Friday I checked my site on WMT and I had a manual penalty. I submitted a review request, and received a message that Google would reach back when they could. But then the feature went down...just seeing if you think I need to re-submit or not?

[edited by: wsc102 at 6:09 pm (utc) on Aug 12, 2013]

mirrornl




msg:4601340
 6:04 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)


On Friday I checked my site on WMT and I had a manual penalty. I submitted a review request, and received a message that Google would reach back when they could. But then the feature went down...just seeing if you think I need to re-submit or not?


Did you identify and fix issues first?

If you were able to submit a review request, they will have received it i suppose.

fathom




msg:4601358
 7:32 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've heard John Mueller mention that penalties can take "up to 6 months" to expire, but I am currently working on penalty removal for sites that have been penalized for well over a year so who knows when these penalties are set to expire!



That's my point. It's not really meaningful to say "penalties expire" when I know people who've been waiting a full 2 years (and myself 17 months), and they've yet to expire. I am sure these penalties will expire, but when - 3 or 4 years later? It's better to assume you'll be waiting years and actually try to do a link clean-up (painful though it is as I've mentioned) and go through reconsiderations to lift it.


You're assuming everything fits into a single devaluation profile... e.g this website has 100 reciprocal links and that website has 10 million paid links and both deserved to have the "up to 6 months" to expire.

Additionally, a manual review can indeed expired and PENGUIN 2.0 can indeed deal with the continuing offense. The thing John Mueller didn't say was (paraphrasing) "Oh yes you'll recovery in 6 months as if you never had an issue to begin with and you can keep on webspamming us as if we love that stuff."

ColourOfSpring




msg:4601365
 8:09 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

No fathom, I mean that literally there's a penalty on a domain i.e. when you login you see there's a penalty there, or when you do an RR, they come back with a "thanks but you're still under penalty notice". I am NOT talking about "oh I'm not ranking well, I must still be penalised though I'm not sure" situation - I'm talking about Google telling me in writing that the site(s) are still penalised - after 17 months and counting.

stgeorge




msg:4601399
 11:12 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has anyone who received the unnatural link warning actually received example links?

Alon




msg:4601441
 4:49 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

This is a nightmare. where are the good points for webmasters who actually work hard to get quality contents?

It is far too easy for any-person to spam your site.

does the disavow tool actually works
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:10 am (utc) on Aug 13, 2013]
[edit reason] removed off-topic comment [/edit]

Shai




msg:4601460
 7:24 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)


Has anyone who received the unnatural link warning actually received example links?


Yes, one of the 6 penalty removal cases that Kate is currently working on has an example link. The example is of a theme sponsorship footer link which the client did over 4 years ago!

Robert Charlton




msg:4601476
 8:51 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

The example is of a theme sponsorship footer link which the client did over 4 years ago!

Shai - That's an interesting one, as it is apparently one that Google has been sharing for a while. See this thread from Apr 25, 2012...

Google wants me to remove links from sponsored WordPress themes
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4445558.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Poster notes...
...they provide two examples of links they find "unnatural"... the second one puts me squarely in hot water, I don't know if I can possibly do anything about it: Some 2+ years ago in throws of questionable wisdom I sponsored about 5 or 6 WordPress themes where the "Designed by" link in the footer gets replaced by a link to your site...

So, now I have a confirmation from G that they do not like these links indeed. Problem is: several of those themes were linking directly to the homepage of the site.

The above post was written before the Disavow Tool was available. It's not clear how he's going to get anybody to remove the links, which is something Google likes to see in the disavow process. I'm curious what your approach is likely to be.

Whitey




msg:4601487
 9:22 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Shai I posed the question to @1script over here on what, or if, subsequent steps were taken: [webmasterworld.com...]

This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 132 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved