Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links

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Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links micalo 3/3/12 7:23 PM
I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES
My site's URL (web address) is:
Description (including timeline of any changes made):


Last week I recieved the following message from google in regards to my site

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.
Google Search Quality Team

So as I have not paid for any links I checked with the 2 people doing my SEO for the site and both claim to have not paid for any links. I beleive them as they dont have a budget for them. My feeling is a competitor has done this and reported to google. Not sure where to go from here. Google did let me know that I they have recieved my reconsideration request though and yesterday I recieved the following message in my webmaster account

We've processed your reconsideration request for

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site:
We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn't appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take.

The message doesn't indicated if the site is better now or not. My feeling is that as it has dropped ranking and I havent found what the issue is that the site is not fixed.

As no one from my side is paying for links how do I find it and stop it? I dont do reciprocal links unless I have some hidden somwhere on the site I dont know about?
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Robbo 3/4/12 5:34 AM


The first warning message from Google will have been sent because Google had evidence, not simply because someone complained.   That evidence is likely to have been algorithmic, i.e their systems detected things that were potentially outside Google's guidelines.   Before sending the letter, it is also likely that the site was mnanually reviewed by Google staff.

Whatever the details of the processes, I suggest that you forget about competitors complaining.   Google will not send you such a warning based on someone's complaint - they look for themselves.  

As far as I know, third-party complaints generally aid Google's detection and review methods. There are special cases such as illegal activities like child-porn or terrorism, etc, but presumably that's a million miles from your site!!!

The second message that you report is simply to acknowledge that your request has been properly received and is being actively processed.  

"paying for links" is NOT the issue as such; buying/selling merely confirms that they were not freely given based on editorial judgement.  As far as Google is concerned any site is free to buy or sell links as long as it is clear that those links do NOT attempt to pass PageRank or otherwise distort/manipulate the search algorithms.

I suggest you need to review what sites you link to and why.  Then use [ rel="nofollow" ] on your outbound links where appropriate.

Check your inbound links from other sites.  What sites link to you and why?  Are they "nofollowed"?  Did the number of IBLs grow naturally, or were there sudden growth spurts without explanation?  Are the sites linking to you "relevant"?

For example, if Google saw 50,000 links from a group of related directory sites in let's say India or Poland that link  to a small U.S. mid-western town pizza delivery site, does that look "natural" and "authentic"?

Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links micalo 3/5/12 1:34 AM
Hi Robbo,

Just wanted to say thanks for your response, will have a look into it.