Yes, ALL Unnatural Manual Links Notices should be Addressed
 by Casey Markee

Yes, ALL Unnatural Manual Links Notices should be Addressed

  • We received an unnatural link manual action from Google. However, it says that it is a partial action and that in this instance they have taken targeted action on the links and no real action is required from us. Is this true? Do we not need to submit a reconsideration request or is a disavow file enough?

Answer: Of all the Google manual action notices you can trigger, this is the one that is most often misunderstood. The reason being is that Google provides conflicting messages. Here is an example of the partial match manual action to which you are referring:

Partial Manual Action Notice Graphic

If you read the above notice it states that Google has identified unnatural or deceptive links into your site but may view the links as outside your control and is taking targeted action on the links at their end. Many webmasters (and SEOs) read this as implying that no reconsideration request is necessary since Google is "handling" it at their end.

Yet when you visit Google's own information page on this penalty it's not nearly as cut-and-dry:

"If you don't control the links pointing to your site, no action is required on your part. From Google's perspective, the links already won't count in ranking. However, if possible, you may wish to remove any artificial links to your site and, if you're able to get the artificial links removed, submit a reconsideration request. If we determine that the links to your site are no longer in violation of our guidelines, we'll revoke the manual action."

Matt Cutts himself even muddies this a little further in the help video located on the same page. When you watch the video you can see at the 5:30 mark that Matt advises site owners to "try and get the links taken down." He then says again at the 6:40 mark, "we very much like to see Webmasters try to take these links down."

What most people don't understan...