Manual spam action applied

18 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I'm not unduly bothered that G has penalized my 8 year old domain for "Unnatural inbound links". They have never sent me more than a handful of visitors over the years but I would like to find out if there is anyone else with the same problem and any views you might have.

Today I got an email from G to tell me:

"Google has detected a pattern of artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank are violations of Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to this-info.com/. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site."

I've been operating this web site in the same niche for 8 years so of course there are thousands of inbound links from all sorts of places. G has not said which links are offending them so any attempt at getting links removed would be groping in the dark. Even if there was any chance of getting the links removed at all.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
#action #applied #manual #spam
  • Start over. Make a new website and 301 redirect your remaining traffic to it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9102155].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Henrich View Post

      Start over. Make a new website and 301 redirect your remaining traffic to it.
      That is absolutely horrible advice.

      First of all, the OP said he barely got any traffic from Google in the first place, so recovering his rankings is not a concern.

      Second, penalties, especially manual applied penalties, will follow you through a 301 redirect.

      Just wasting time and money creating a new site by doing that.

      To the OP, it's tough to give you much advice without digging into the link profile. there might be a couple of obvious offenders that triggered a review of the site. If they cannot be removed, they can be submitted to the disavow tool. You can document your attempts to have those links removed, and then submit a reconsideration request to Google.

      If they reject your reconsideration request, they will usually point out a few examples of the links they have a problem with.
      Signature
      New Private Mastermind Group Discussing SEO, Local SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more -
      Open for A Limited Time!

      Request to Join
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9102211].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        Since you only get a handful of visitors via google, why bother doing anything?

        You should see some of those links in your webmaster account.

        If you wish to take the time, you would need to get rid of quite a few to
        make any difference, even with the disavow tool. They want to see a huge
        effort.

        Paul
        Signature

        If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9102256].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
        That is absolutely horrible advice.

        Just wasting time and money creating a new site by doing that.

        If they reject your reconsideration request, they will usually point out a few examples of the links they have a problem with.
        Thanks Mike. That would be a good idea if I thought Google might ever send me traffic. The advice might be useful to others who may have lost traffic.

        Since you only get a handful of visitors via google, why bother doing anything?
        Why indeed :-)

        Why would you even care about a link penalty with only a handful of SERP traffic over the years? I wouldn't care what they did If I wasn't getting any traffic from them.
        I don't think that I should care much either.
        Signature
        Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9102283].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author FranksToys
      Originally Posted by Henrich View Post

      Start over. Make a new website and 301 redirect your remaining traffic to it.
      I would really love to know where this horrible advice started. All of this is just wrong.

      However given that the OP "only received a little traffic" from Google I wouldn't bother even worrying about it.

      I do find it odd though that you weren't worried about Google's traffic but got caught buying links.
      Signature
      "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this - that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9105970].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Clint Butler
        Originally Posted by FranksToys View Post

        I do find it odd though that you weren't worried about Google's traffic but got caught buying links.
        I agree, manual actions come up when your are caught generating your own links or even more quickly caught with links on a known public blog network.

        So clearly somewhere, at some point, you did care about trying to get traffic from Google and did something that has finally come back to haunt you.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106280].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
          Originally Posted by Clint Butler View Post

          So clearly somewhere, at some point, you did care about trying to get traffic from Google and did something that has finally come back to haunt you.
          I guess so but I've never knowingly done anything against the google TOS as it was when I took the action. In any case nothing I ever did worked anyway. I always put this down to being too white hat about it.

          I should point out that I have had this site since 2007.
          Signature
          Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106627].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
        Originally Posted by FranksToys View Post

        However given that the OP "only received a little traffic" from Google I wouldn't bother even worrying about it.

        I do find it odd though that you weren't worried about Google's traffic but got caught buying links.
        I've never bought a link! I have generated visitors through fairly aggressive article distribution in the past however. Yahoo and Bing have always sent me visitors but Google has never been interested. That isn't to say I haven't tried to get it interested in my site.
        Signature
        Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106601].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author amitjha
          Originally Posted by Steve Garratt View Post

          I've never bought a link! I have generated visitors through fairly aggressive article distribution in the past however. Yahoo and Bing have always sent me visitors but Google has never been interested. That isn't to say I haven't tried to get it interested in my site.
          I worked with a lot of sites hit by penalties, and we found that recently both the manual penalty and Penguin 2.1 were after article links. I would suggest to get rid of all the duplicate article links (same article submitted to tons of different article directories), plus any other links that seems to be irrelevant. If you have no success in getting rid of them then disavow all of them, maintain a sheet for all the steps that you are taking and then submit a reconsideration request, most probably the site will be out of manual penalty (getting rid of manual penalty is easier compared to an algorithmic one ).
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106685].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
            Originally Posted by amitjha View Post

            I worked with a lot of sites hit by penalties, and we found that recently both the manual penalty and Penguin 2.1 were after article links. I would suggest to get rid of all the duplicate article links (same article submitted to tons of different article directories), plus any other links that seems to be irrelevant. If you have no success in getting rid of them then disavow all of them, maintain a sheet for all the steps that you are taking and then submit a reconsideration request, most probably the site will be out of manual penalty (getting rid of manual penalty is easier compared to an algorithmic one ).
            Wow that could be literally thousands of articles scattered all over everywhere. It would be almost impossible to get them all removed and if I did I suspect that Yahoo and Bing might stop sending me visitors as a result.

            I could disavow them all which should not affect Yahoo and Bing at all but I doubt that this would persuade Google to start sending me traffic when it sent none before. On the other hand I have nothing to lose by disavowing them all so I might give that a try.
            Signature
            Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9108317].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author amitjha
              You're right Steve, removing the article links can affect the rankings in other search engines especially Bing, which is what happened to our projects as well (but our clients were more focused on getting out of Google's penalty).
              Disavowing them will be the right choice as you were not getting a lot of traffic from Google anyways. However, from practical experience I know that it will take up 7-8 months to show some results (couple of websites were hit by Penguin 2.1 even when we disavowed the links in August 2013.).
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9110176].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Why would you even care about a link penalty with only a handful of SERP traffic over the years? I wouldn't care what they did If I wasn't getting any traffic from them.
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9102255].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Anton
    Welcome to the Reverse Lottery! Like others said, if it's not your business model or supplying a good amount of traffic, don't sweat it. If it's a real business you can use PPC to get leads, and if you can't afford it, it's a hobby.
    Signature
    BacklinksIndexer - automated index/bulk links
    TwitterBacklinks - retweets service
    Web2.0Backlinks - web2.0 creation/link building
    Google+ Matthew Anton
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106329].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
      Originally Posted by Matthew Anton View Post

      Welcome to the Reverse Lottery! Like others said, if it's not your business model or supplying a good amount of traffic, don't sweat it. If it's a real business you can use PPC to get leads, and if you can't afford it, it's a hobby.
      This advice has always been confusing to me. Over the years I have looked at using PPC many times but never been able to make it viable. If you can tell me how to make it work when my average visitor value is less than $0.06 then I would love to hear it.

      I do get a full time living out of my visitors without google by the way.
      Signature
      Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106609].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dannycheng
    I had this one website that I blasted a couple of thousand back links to a couple of years ago- (when I just started out) but oddly, I've never had a manual action show up in my webmaster tools. Of course that could all change in a second.

    And yes, Google did totally de indexed that website although Yahoo seems to like it and is showing it in search results on the first page. (go figure) So, you could still get some traffic to your website from Yahoo and Bing (if it's any consolation)

    I agree. I'd just set up another website and just forget about getting Google to review it if I were you. Odds are, they're not going to bother anyway. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106487].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
      Originally Posted by dannycheng View Post

      And yes, Google did totally de indexed that website although Yahoo seems to like it and is showing it in search results on the first page. (go figure) So, you could still get some traffic to your website from Yahoo and Bing (if it's any consolation)
      The site has always been indexed in google but so far down it might as well not be. Like you I get a lot of search traffic from Yahoo and Bing with results on the first page.
      Signature
      Please visit my blog and if you have an interest in electronics then please join me at Home DIY Electronics
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9106611].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author dannycheng
        Originally Posted by Steve Garratt View Post

        The site has always been indexed in google but so far down it might as well not be. Like you I get a lot of search traffic from Yahoo and Bing with results on the first page.
        That's good to hear- because I can tell that you've put in a lot of work into your site.

        So it's great that all isn't lost. It's unfortunate that you received such a harsh backlash from Google- seeing as your SEO efforts were mostly concentrated on getting back links from submitting articles.( Still harsh, even if Penguin did target article links among others..)

        Still, best to leave it as it is- and not waste countless hours trying to disavow links and work on another website.

        Host your new website on another server naturally and as you know, it's probably a good idea to not link your current webmaster tools account to the new site. All the best..!
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9123959].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Google doesn't send out messages for unnatural links when your link profile mainly consists of bookmarks, profiles, web2.0's, blog comments, guestbooks, trackbacks and that kind of spam.

          Why? Cause these links hardly work at all and when they become large amounts you automatically get hit by Penguin for them, in other words no need for taking manual action against such link profiles / spam.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9124091].message }}

Trending Topics