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Google Manual Penalties: Different levels of unnatural link penalties?



9:33 pm on Oct 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hello Guys,

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?


6:43 am on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)


Apart from penalizing for mentioned blackhats and inorganic SEO Google also takes manual action against sites that have performed over optimization. Basically the whole concept has moved towards being ethical and natural as well. 2-3 months back I ranked a new site on 1st position and believe me I am not working for that site since 2 months but there has been just minor shift of the rankings which is from 1-2. The only thing I do is blogging on weekly basis or occasionally. If to see then really I haven't worked much with optimizing the site offline as several known methods I haven't even tried for the site.

I strongly believe that if you will just focus on building traffic through natural ways and make sure that you justify properly the links that you will build towards a site then you easily get rankings and will not be penalized.



7:33 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Is it possible that the penalty will expire on its own? - Yes because there are many different types of penalties but why risk it. Be proactive and fix the fundamental issues.

Let's say you are 100% white hat site and never did anything intentionally wrong. You can still accidentally break the rules. If you naturally gain some run of site links it can look just like paid links. If you held a contest and everyone linked to you with 100% identical anchor text then it can create a false positive for the spam filters. Regardless of whether you are white hat or black hat, reverse engineer your backlinks and clean them up. Don't forget to develop new good, strong and clean backlinks to replace any questionable backlinks that you might need to delete.


7:05 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am concerned with over optimization here. I have been told that the alt tag/image title for a post should NOT be the keyword your going after so what I'm looking for here is the best practice in dealing with these alt attributes.

Should I change it to something other than the ranking keyword?

Or not putting anything at all be a better approach?

I need to know what is the best approach here in avoiding over optimization penalties. Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated here!


9:08 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Focused but not identical anchor text/keyword optimization.

... in other words make it look natural

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