I received the following unnatural links warning message early last month.
We've detected that some of the links pointing to your site are using techniques outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines. We don't want to put any trust in links that are unnatural or artificial, and we recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realise that some links may be outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action to reduce trust in the unnatural links. If you are able to remove any of the links, you can submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took.
I was told by the guys who do my SEO not to worry and ignore this message, and not submit a reconsideration request but 10 days later after I saw it traffic absolutely tanked. The explanation I was given was that some links had been devalued and that new quality links need to be built but I am convinced a penalty is involved otherwise there wouldn't be such a massive drop in traffic.
Does this message signify an algorithmic or a manual penalty?
Also is a reconsideration request necessary or would it be enough to clean up the link profile and wait for Google to lift whatever penalty?