/webmasters/?hl=en
4/16/12
Original Poster
Google user

Unnatural Links, Webmaster Tools, and "Negative SEO"

I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: 

My site's URL (web address) is: http://www.seofaststart.com and http://www.seoresearchlabs.com

JohnMu replied in another discussion () and suggested starting a new topic.

Both sites have received "unatural links" messages in Webmaster Tools. Neither site has had a "link building" campaign ever.

By using 3rd party tools (e.g. Majestic) I can see a lot of unnatural links pointing at both sites, but I didn't put those links there. I have, for years, warned people not to buy into blog networks, profile link spam, paid text links, etc. and it's easy for a spam peddler to add spam links pointing to my site, since making spam is what they do all day.

Thus far, neither site appears to be affected by "penalties," and in my own case, getting traffic from Google is not especially important relative to the large audience I already have. I have submitted reconsideration requests on both sites as JohnMu suggested, but the big questions remain:

1. What should a webmaster do when something like this happens?
2. Will Google still state that what others do on the web should not be able to affect the rankings of one's web site?
3. If #2 is not true, does Google realize that they are actually creating a larger market for the spam they want to prevent?
4. Why, if you find unnatural links, don't you simply delete the links from your index and carry on?

It is far less important to me, to get answers about MY sites - and far more important to everyone that Google address the issues which affect all webmasters.

Thanks for your time, everyone.

Dan Thies
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Expert Replies (13)
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Joooh
4/17/12
Joooh
Some guys are already starting Negative SEO companies out there to do what they normally were doing to normal clients to their competitors to counter balance de unnatural links.
Will.Spencer
4/17/12
Will.Spencer


1. What should a webmaster do when something like this happens?

If you know Matt Cutts, you can call him and he will clear the penalty. Or, if you know someone in major media, you can ask them to write a story which embarrasses Google and THEN Matt Cutts will clear the penalty. Otherwise, you're pretty much screwed.

It is interesting to me that Google penalties are easy to clear if you are guilty and almost impossible to clear if you are innocent.
 

2. Will Google still state that what others do on the web should not be able to affect the rankings of one's web site?

Google has toned down that messaging, but not abandoned it entirely.

 
3. If #2 is not true, does Google realize that they are actually creating a larger market for the spam they want to prevent?

Google's recent actions have created a MASSIVE market in negative SEO.  The link graph is set to EXPLODE.

Google seems to be either ignorant or uncaring concerning the affects of their actions on "ordinary" webmasters.

 
4. Why, if you find unnatural links, don't you simply delete the links from your index and carry on?

Google could do this.  This was the original practice.  However, that doesn't seem to be as effective as spreading FUD amongst novice webmasters.


It is far less important to me, to get answers about MY sites - and far more important to everyone that Google address the issues which affect all webmasters.

It's not guys like you and I who get screwed by Google's silliness.  It's the poor souls who are new to the industry and actually believe the crap they read.
 
Sean Stewart
4/17/12
Sean Stewart
And therein lies the problem of Google penalizing sites with "unnatural links". You have zero control over who links to your site and how they link to your site. Period. If Google detects unnatural links they should discard them.
seo101
4/17/12
seo101
@Dan   "I can see a lot of unnatural links pointing at both sites, but I didn't put those links there"

Unfortunatly your gloating on Twitter to MC over blog networks being indexed upset a lot of people. You have been targeted.
90 MORE
AlexDuvot
10/5/12
AlexDuvot
wondering what the end result will be?

 

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