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Examples of URLs after "unnatural links" warning not in WMT

 12:30 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Background: I got the unnatural links warning at the beginning of March, and a week later traffic started to tank. I had hired an SEO company to do link building, for just over a year. At first I was advised to do nothing, but since May I have submitted 3 reinclusion requests, the latest of which was denied yesterday. In the latest one I submitted evidence of having removed as many links as I could, and evidence of having contacted twice all sites which had contact details (not that many spammy sites do have them).

However this time Google has been kind enough to provide me with 3 links which violate the Google guidelines. A forum profile link, and two article links which have keywords in the anchor text. The problem is that none of these links appear in the list of links to my site in WMT. I thought Matt Cutts said that using the list on WMT was enough? <snip> Has anyone else been given examples of links which do not appear in the list of links to your site?

I know there are other services where you can get a backlink audit, but I think this is incredibly unfair for them to say you can base yourself on the information that is provided in WMT and then provide examples which do not figure anywhere on Google.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 2:03 pm (utc) on Aug 19, 2013]
[edit reason] ToS [/edit]



 9:54 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has no one received examples of links that "violate the Google quality guidelines" that are not in their backlinks in webmaster tools?


 10:04 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, there have been some cases of that reported around the different web forums.

Sucks that WMT doesn't show ALL of the offending links, but it is what it is.

The best thing to do is download backlinks from a few of the different backlink services, combine them into a spreadsheet, and work from there.

It is complicated, but that is the only way to do it.


 10:15 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

In that case how can we trust and believe the Google representative when he said in one of his videos that the backlinks shown on WMT would be enough?

It seems ridiculous that they should do this to webmasters trying to fix the problem, I feel completely in the dark, even more than before.


 10:38 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

In that case how can we trust and believe the Google representative when he said in one of his videos that the backlinks shown on WMT would be enough?

Trust... but verify.

I don't think that they purposefully LIED about the WMT backlinks being all that you would need. I think they were just confused about how their whole system works.


 11:15 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has no one received examples of links that "violate the Google quality guidelines" that are not in their backlinks in webmaster tools?
I did get a sample of bad links at some point but I cannot recall if any or all of them were in the WMT list at the time. But that does not matter: the fact that you did get a sample is so rare and unique that adding yet another qualifier (asking "are they in your WMT?") makes me think that the answer to your questions is (almost) a guaranteed NO.

By the way, the samples I was given were a toss: one was bad (though not spam and I had no idea these links were bad at the time) and one was a benign blogroll link from a totally relevant site of a buddy of mine. Still, the email from G helped to establish some line of communication, thin as it was, and did lead to some improvements (which had, sadly, been reversed since then).


 12:11 am on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was hit with 'something' in March as well though it was not sitewide. I have no warnings, have never paid for links, have never submitted articles, have not set up profiles to get links etc. I have no warnings in GWT and no manual penalties listed.

To cover my bases I did file a re-inclusion request anyway(before the new system rolled out) and was told there were no manual actions. Prior to the re-inclusion request I had gone through my entire backlink profile as provided by GWT and added each low quality link to a list barring the entire domain from being credited.

If Google is omitting the worst offenders from GWT then how am I supposed to know about them?!?
If Google is not crediting low quality links anyway then why am I wasting my time?

Something in Google's system is failing, I hope they fix it soon.


 8:11 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The samples I was given are:
1. a forum profile link with keyworded anchor text - which the SEO company I contracted did plenty of. Not that I knew of this technique, until I started looking at the backlinks after the penalty was applied. Thing is I have no way of removing them without the logins, so I'm screwed.
2. 2 examples of articles which seem legit but have keywords in the links. These have contact details but article sites in general are not very receptive to removing links from articles, that is if they have contact details. Many don't.


 9:21 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've tried to get a site out of a manual penalty for nearly 18 months now. 5 or 6 RRs, all rejected (all with link removal efforts before). The 2nd-to-last notification I got from Google had 3 example links. I removed those plus more that were similar in nature to those examples, submitted a disavow text file for the links I could not remove. I submitted my last RR and got a reply back from Google saying I still had unnatural links and they did NOT supply examples this time. Absolute last straw for me. There surely has to be some kind of marketing revolution going on - who would rely on a marketing channel that's so hostile to simply doing business? There are many other channels out there - you need to work harder in these channels, and maybe you need to kill that business model that relied on passive, high volume traffic, but many business models (services, higher value products) can be sold outside of Google.


 9:01 pm on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

A forum profile link

What if you didn't create the profile link? If the software used to automatically create profiles and links stops working FOR a blackhat then he starts using it AGAINST his competitors, the software does the deed either way.

There is no defense against this. Do they really think that a blackhat who intentionally tried to cause your site Google problems will even respond to an email request from you?


 10:40 pm on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, I can confirm I didn't create these forum profiles. In the replies I got from the ones I could get removed I was told that some appeared to have been created by bots, and others told me they came from Indian IP's.

Agreed, anyone could do this against their competitors it seems. If a manual penalty doesnt get them then Penguin will.

Regarding the links provided in the RR not being in WMT, I have read in a blog post (which I linked to here and was removed) that it has happened where people have been given links not in WMT or other third party tools, or examples of links which were not spam / seemed totally fine, basically saying that Google can and does make mistakes sometimes when assessing spam links.

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