Google Says You Have Unnatural Links…Now What?


It’s like finding a needle in a link-stack…

If you’re familiar with the “unnatural links” warning from Google, you may be wondering, “what in the world is an unnatural link?” Of course you want to maintain your credibility, but you also don’t want to get rid of helpful links. If you delete a healthy link, you risk cutting your web traffic, and yet Google is suggesting removing unhealthy ones from your site.

So how do you know which links to remove when you’re receiving the “unnatural links” message? How can do you know if a link is helpful and harmful, and how do you discern the difference?

Matt Cutts, Head of the Google Webspam team, has the answer.

Google now allows you to sort links by discovery date, so you can see if a new link is the culprit. The bigger news is what they’re working on rolling out: concrete examples of the kinds of links Google no longer trusts.

“Now, it’s not exhaustive,” Cutts says. “It’s not comprehensive, but it should give you a flavor. Is it a bunch of widget links? Were you doing a bunch of keyword rich anchor text in article bank, article marketing type stuff? Maybe you weren’t trying to do paid links, but maybe you hired an agency and it turns out they were doing paid links and you didn’t realize it.”

Whatever the case, Google is working hard to provide an example link or two, so that when you do get the “unnatural link” warning, you’ll have an idea of where to look to delete the unwanted links.

As usual, though, not everyone is totally pleased.

youtube comment

One of the YouTube commentors

Sure, it’d be great if Google would tell everyone exactly which links–which exact URLs across the Web–they don’t like. However, that’s a whole new level of transparency.

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Sydney Banks

Sydney Banks is one of the Social Media Coordinators at Customer Magnetism. She spends her days in the office strategizing social media content, managing ad campaigns, and generating reports. Away from work, she stays busy entertaining an active Golden Retriever and being a wife and mom. She is only slightly obsessed with Minions and it’s not unusual to see minion paraphernalia close by at all times.