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Google detected unnatural links in WMT

   
4:12 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hi All,

Today I received this message in WMT.


Dear site owner or webmaster of ***,
We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Sincerely,
Google Search Quality Team



I had recently 301 redirected my subdomain with millions of pages to my main domain,... could this have triggered google?
8:00 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



A few questions to understand the situation better:

1. Are you 301 redirecting every one of those millions of URLs on that subdomain to your home page?
2. Does the subdomain have significant backlinks?
3. Did you eliminate millions of pages of good content?
8:41 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)



About 1) Yes, I am 301 redirecting possibly hundreds of thousands of link to homepage or relevant content page on main subdomain.

2) Yes subdomain has significant backlinks.

3) I recently only tried to eliminate thin and duplicate content and has successfully been able to do so also. Also pages indexed in google has gone down by significant amount around one million which I think is good.
11:04 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Are you redirecting 100 or 1000 or a million links?

So, google isn't comfortable with huge 301 redirects either. This is the first time i am hearing google having problems with 301 redirects. I always suspected that post panda, google was ignoring these redirects when it comes to linking and is this something new?
11:08 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



if this were true, it is bad news as i recently changed the urls for a few pages to make it more cleaner and then redirected the old urls to the new ones.Why should google have issues with 301 redirects?
11:49 am on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)



It is likely too many redirects to one page (homepage). G seems to see this as a bit suspect though to the webmaster it is trying not to lose the accumulated equity.

Perhaps change the redirects to homepage to sitemap instead.
12:10 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It is likely too many redirects to one page (homepage). G seems to see this as a bit suspect though to the webmaster it is trying not to lose the accumulated equity.


If I'm not mistaken, Google does not like it when you redirect a very large number of pages to one. In their eyes, it may look like you are trying to funnel PR to one page.

Millions of pages? 301 to the home page? Ya, Google doesn't like that at all.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.


But, the message above is not related to the redirects. Google is telling you that it doesn't like your link profile. Although, the redirect could have triggered this. The links to the host name are now being counted towards the root. Remember, host names are treated a little differently. I'll bet that host name had its own link profile and now with the 301, it is becoming part of the root link profile. Maybe?
6:41 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)



Actually the issue is manifold let me elaborate in detail

1) My site had quite a few user-generated P 0 R N TAGS... and we used to get quite a high number of traffic through those tags, I 301-ed the tags to homepage. (this I had done when Panda update happened 22nd of last month)

2) I didn't 301-ed entire subdomain to homepage.... instead I 301-ed landing pages of subdomain to relevant landing pages of main index domain... (this i had around 1-2 months ago)

3) The most recent changes which I did, was I put canonical tags on duplicate products.

4) In short most of the 301 which is happening to homepage, is from landing pages of main domain itself and not from subdomain..... (P 0RN tags and other thin pages)... but still could this number have been high enough to have triggered this message or as pageoneresult put it...."the message not about redirects, its about backlink profile...and I should have a look at it....


Now given that I have received this messages,... what steps should I take to resolve the issue before filing for reconsideration?.... Should I ask every site owner who has linked to me to remove my link? That would be very cumbersome.... What would you guys do if you had received this message?
6:47 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If the content is Gone, use a 410. If the content has moved or has a reasonable substitute, 301 to that exact URL.
4:52 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hi,

While doing some investigation in WMT, i found that 100s of our images have been hotlinked to other suspicious (spam) sites... maybe this could be the reason which triggered this response (warning) from google.

I tried to disable hotlinking of images, but couldn't do so. I googled for the code.

Can anybody help me with hotlinking? and provide me references which I can use to disable hotlinking of images of my website?

UPDATE: I have found that its because of plesk that I cannot prevent hotlinking of images,.. none f the help on google gives useful answer... does anyone know here how to disable hotlinking in plesk?

[edited by: epmaniac at 5:02 am (utc) on Apr 13, 2011]

5:02 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



SEOPTI reported in the following thread that he received penalty across all of his domains after recent 301s [webmasterworld.com...]

He suspects that the 301 may be the trigger. Not sure if it fits exactly what you're seeing, but there might be something to it.
5:36 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



this makes sense from G's POV. Say I have a site about Personal l0ans and then 301 my other site about pets with 1.5 million links. Looks like you're trying to boost one site with links /'votes' gotten by another.
10:23 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank.


It sounds like they are accusing you of Black Hat SEO.

Were you able to remove the links at all of the external sites?
10:26 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



It kind of reminds me of what happened with JCPenny. They didn't remove Pennys from their index, but they removed all of the ranking they would have seen with the external links.
 

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