Last week Google began ramping up its distribution of messages to those sites with a “pattern of unnatural links pointing to them.” Google has actually been sending notifications for several months but what do these new messages mean? Here's what you need to know about the new inbound link notifications.
Losing Trust in Your Entire Site
If you’ve been engaging in an ongoing practice of link spam (widgetbait, paid links, blog and guestbook spam, excessive article directory submissions, link exchanges, etc) you may have already received one of the previous notifications which are quite serious in nature. Google will reduce the “trust” of the entire site if there are link spam signals like those previously mentioned, potentially leaving you out of the SERPs altogether.
If you received one of the “original” link notification messages, Google recommends removing those links if possible and submitting a reconsideration request. There are instances however when this is impossible – for example, there have been reports of some blog networks and directories attempting to charge sites for removal of links. Since some unnatural links are simply outside of your control, Google has released a new round of link messages which put the focus on those linking to a site as opposed to those being linked to. Say goodbye to negative SEO!
Distrusting Some Links to Your Site
The new link messages (which were sent to less than 20,000 domains last week) target specific spammy or artificial links - and distrusting only those links as opposed to taking action on a site’s overall ranking. Google indicated that these messages address a situation that is not as severe as the original link messages which indicate that it is losing trust in your entire site.