Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links

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Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/20/12 9:50 AM
Recently we received a notification of unnatural links from Google which is confusing us a bit as we have not paid for links and do not participate in any linking schemes at all. We do a lot of promotions which generate us some links and some of our customers have linked to us and we have submitted our site to a number of free and paid directories. In truth we haven't done much link building at all as we have had quite a few issue's with our website and fixing the issues we have with our website is our priority at the moment.

Up until Sunday 10th June (when we received the notice) we were ranking reasonably well for the products we sell and our brand but now we are not even ranking for our brand terms (eyewear outlet). We can only assume this is due to a penalty of some kind, given the notice we received from within WMT.

We have looked through all of our backlinks in WMT and there isn't anything overly suspicious in there apart from a high number of .info and .tk domains apparently linking to us (about 30% of referring domains). When we attempt to visit these pages to see the links they either 500 error or redirect to a page containing solely Google ads, so we can't even see the links that are supposedly there. Could this be the cause of the message we received and how do we let Google know if it is?

Recently we also noticed our website provider had messed up the canonical tag on our website and was doubling up on the domain like:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.eyewearoutlet.co.ukhttp://www.eyewearoutlet.co.uk/" />

Could this cause an ranking issue of this severity? We still appear for a search for our domain, but pretty much everything else has gone.

Our domain is www.eyewearoutlet.co.uk and any help anyone can offer especially someone from Google would be greatly appreciated.

As a small business that is trying to build a brand this is very concerning, the majority of our traffic comes from our brand searches and not appearing there makes it appear like we have gone out of business.

We are only a small business and not ranking for our brand makes 
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links ѕquibble 6/20/12 12:33 PM
If it is a links message, then look at the links made to your site. You seem to have alot of forum posting links - I would look more closely at these and see if they could be hurting you.
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/20/12 1:23 PM
Thanks for the reply.

We get a lot of our sales through people suggesting us on forums, most of these tend to be nofollow links and are 100% natural. It would concern me if these could actually hurt a site to the extent ours is suffering.

There are still a lot of .tk and .info domains apparently linking to us, but as I mentioned before when we try to access these domains they either 500 error or redirect to a page of google ads.
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/22/12 4:50 AM
Apologies for the bump, but we are still not ranking and have no idea what we have done. Can anyone at Google take a look and give us a bit of advice please?
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links ѕquibble 6/22/12 9:11 AM
Make a list of all the links, go through them, remove the spammy ones or the paid ones. Document all your efforts and include in a reconsideration request.
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/22/12 9:25 AM
@squibble As I mentioned in the original post, we don't have any paid links. The only spammy ones I can find are from .tk and .info domains that I can't see as they 500 Internal server error or redirect to a page of Google Ads (again nothing to do with us).

I have filed a reconsideration request, but if they are looking at natural links to apply this penalty (if indeed it is related to this message) we appear to be in a sticky situation.
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Phil Payne 6/22/12 11:10 AM
Been playing with http://www.wellcroomed.com lately?
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/22/12 12:51 PM
Wellcroomed LTD is the owner of Eyewear Outlet. We operate the Oakley Vault in the Gunwharf Quay shopping centre. We don't own the .com version of that domain and the .co.uk only has a holding page for the store.

So, no we haven't played with that domain or the .co.uk in a long time.
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links JohnMu 6/25/12 2:41 PM
Hi Eyewearoutlet

I'll double-check with the team to see what might be happening here.

Cheers
John
Re: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links Eyewearoutlet 6/26/12 3:57 AM
Hi John,

Thanks for looking into it, appreciate the assistance.

Just to keep this up to date, we had a reply to our reconsideration request that wasn't about links but seemed to be more targeted to the site in general:

"We've reviewed your site and we believe that some or all of your pages still violate our quality guidelines."

We knew there were some minor technical issues with our website but didn't think any of them were worthy of violating the Webmaster Guidelines. We have made some changes to the website to remove any possible issues there might have been, documented these and submitted another reconsideration request last night.

We are not in the business of spamming search engines so if there is anything the team can do to shed a little clarity on this situation that would be great.

Thanks again.