1. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

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    Oct 2004
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    Unnatural links to your site

    I received this from google yesterday.
    What does this mean anyone know?

    "so for this incident we are taking targeted action on the unnatural links instead of on the site’s ranking as a whole."

    It says they are devaluing those links that point to my site and not my site. What do do I actually need to do.
    Then it says to request a review, but it they are devaluing those links then why the review.?

    (Unnatural links to your site—impacts links Some incoming links
    Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing topages on this site. Some links may be outside of the webmaster’s control, so for this incident we are taking targeted action on the unnatural links instead of on the site’s ranking as a whole.)
  2. #2
  3. Not An Expert
    SEO Chat Hero (2000 - 2499 posts)

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    Jan 2015
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    Hmm...this is interesting. I'm not an expert, so I can't provide immediately useful advice. I'm sure one of our smarter members will chime in soon though!

    I did do a little digging and found:

    1. This video from Matt Cutts which I think is about the topic (or a similar one), from 2013.
    2. And This article from Search Engine Land which I believe is about the type of manual action that you mention. I think they have a screenshot here of the full text of the manual action so you can compare it to yours.

    On the totally speculative front:

    Did you hear about the recent string of manual actions targeted at unnatural outbound links?

    My first (and totally unsubstantiated) thought is to wonder if your issue is somehow related, but on the other side of the aisle so to speak. Although yours would be the first case I've heard of. It could also be totally unrelated.

    I could try reaching out to some official sources from the SEO Chat Twitter account, if you're comfortable with me doing so.

    Hope that helps in some way! And hope others post their thoughts as well.
  4. #3
  5. My views are my own ;)
    SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Jun 2012
    Clifton Park, New York
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    Long time ago I had exactly the same warning... I didn't do anything because I assumed what you thought: "Ok, devalue those links, I don't mind"

    In a few months, they cracked the sidewide penalty for the same site. So I guess, this initial message acts like a warning for you to go ahead and clean up your link profile... As confusing as it may seem, I'd take action now, just because of my experience.

    Not insisting, just sharing my personal experience

    Comments on this post

    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees : Thanks Ann!
    • Chedders agrees
    • Pierre Benneton agrees
    Last edited by Ann Smarty; Apr 15th, 2016 at 05:04 PM.
    Everything will be ok in the end

    If it's not ok, it's not the end
  6. #4
  7. Dinosaur
    SEO Chat Super Genius (4500 - 4999 posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Yeap been there done that.
    Just as Ann said its a strong warning for you to take notice and act. Basically in every case I have seen this happen it follows with a site wide manual penalty unless you act now.
    Once a penalty has been applied then its a long road to recovery, 3 attempts for the 1 I did which took roughly 3 months.

    Just incase your unsure what the message means its they have spotted a lot of spammy type links pointing to your site, Its a real shame they dont give you a list of these links which would really help but I am afraid its a case of using 3rd party tools to find them Moz, Ahrefs etc Visit each site and fire each web owner with an email and request the link is removed. but document every action you take as you may need it later as proof you have been active in trying to clean up your site.
    I did it in a spread sheet and logged dates and replies in there. Failed or success, so after a month I would have a list of urls I could not get the link removed from then I submitted it via the disavow system in search console.

    Google really are looking for you to get the links removed though, not just submit a ignore file, they are already doing that.

    Comments on this post

    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees : Thank you!
    Last edited by Chedders; Apr 15th, 2016 at 04:22 PM.
  8. #5
  9. Dinosaur
    SEO Chat Super Genius (4500 - 4999 posts)

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    Jun 2011
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    Just found the email I used to send out to webmasters in case you find it useful

    Dear [ADMIN NAME]
    It has come to our attention that the following links to our site[YOUR WEB ADDRESS] exist on your website [WEBSITE NAME]:


    We have been advised that these links could be seen as 'bad' by Google and may be causing issues relating to our website reputation.
    We request that you remove these links from your site at your earliest convenience, and thank you in advance for your co-operation.
    If you need confirmation or authorisation of any kind before you are able to remove the links please let us know.
    Kind Regards

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