I have a few questions regarding google manual penalties for unnatural link building. They are “partial site” penalties, not site wide.
I have two sites to discuss.
1. this site used black hat tactics and bought 1000′s of unnatural backlinks. This site doesn’t rank for the main focus keywords and traffic has dropped.
2. this site has the same penalty, but has been all white hat, never bought any links or hired any seo company. It’s all organic. This sites organic traffic doesn’t seem to have taken any hit or been affected by any google updates.
Based on the research we’ve done, Matt Cutts has stated that sometimes they know the links are organic so they don’t penalize a website, but they still show us a penalty in the WMT.
“Google doesn’t want to put any trust in links that are artificial or unnatural. However, because we realize that some links may be outside of your control, we are not taking action on your site’s overall ranking. Instead, we have applied a targeted action to the unnatural links pointing to your site.”
“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.”
Check that info above at this link: [support.google.com
Recap: Does anyone have any experience like with site #2? We are worried that this site has this penalty but we don’t know if google is stopping us from ranking or not, so we aren’t sure what to do here. Since we know 100% the links are organic, do we need to remove them and submit a reconsideration request?
Is it possible that this penalty can expire on its own? Are they just telling us we have an issue but not hurting our site b/c they know it’s organic?