Received an Unnatural Links from Site Manual Action? Here's what to Do!
 by Casey Markee

Received an Unnatural Links from Site Manual Action? Here's what to Do!

  • I just got an email from Google telling me that it considers the links on my site to be untrustworthy. I don't do link parties, no one has paid me for a link; I don't even have ads on my site! Can someone explain to me why I may have gotten this, what it means and what I need to do to address it?

Graphic showing a Humn and a Dog that says Clean-up After your LinksAnswer: What you have a received is an outbound unnatural links manual penalty. That means that Google has reviewed your site and found that you are linking to sites that "may" be paying you or providing you some sort of remuneration for the link itself.

As such they have decided to ignore those links and send you a notice that your site is in violation. On a positive note, this doesn't usually cause ranking drops for the offending site. They are just discounting those outbound links.

Now, you've said above that "you haven't been paid for any links" but, what about in exchange for goods or services?

Here's the section in the Google Link Scheme Guidelines that pertains to this penalty:

"Buying or selling links that pass PageRank: This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a "free" product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link"

Google gave bloggers a heads-up back in March on their official blog that engaging in the practice of trading free products for reviews with links has always required you to do specific things...otherwise, you may get penalized.

This was not a coincidence and was confirmed by Google's John Mueller. Bloggers who received this notice need to be sure their content adheres to the published best practices sent back in March...