Recently a lot of bloggers have received notice about Google’s unnatural link penalty. This is basically a warning that your site contains unnatural outbound (or inbound) links. In simple terms, if you receive this notice from Google, Google is telling you they are losing trust in your site.
Manual vs Algorithmic Penalties – Are You Confused?
Many get this manual action/penalty confused with algorithmic penalties . A manual action is when an actual Google employee personally reviews your site.
An algorithmic penalty is when Google releases those scary animal updates; like the Panda or Penguin update that is done automatically and you receive no warning, you just get a big drop in rankings.
Consider yourself lucky if you have been notified in advance, that’s much better than a scary animal slap down! You get no warning, no letter from Google, just instant ramifications to your rankings and income. Ouch!
Are You in the Clear from Google’s Unnatural Link Penalty?
Manual penalties are done by hand and just because you haven’t gotten notified, does not mean you are in the clear. Your site may not have been reviewed yet.
Google has two types of manual action warnings: One for unnatural outbound links and one for unnatural inbound links.
If you received one of these warnings, hopefully it was for former and not the latter. Unnatural inbound links are a real headache to fix. You can only control what is on your website, cleaning up content off your site is much more of a hassle.
NOTE => A link is like an editorial vote. It’s how the “Google juice” is passed around.
Natural link building takes time and Google is getting smarter and smarter and determining what is natural and what is not.
If all the sudden you’re getting 50 inbound or outbound links – that is just not natural. In the eyes of Google, this is a link scheme.
Some Examples of Google’s Unnatural Links:
- Paid links inside of sponsored posts
- Links where you are paid per click
- Affiliate Links
- Links to companies where you are paid to blog about
- Link parties
In a nut shell, linking to get some form of compensation is considered unnatural. If there is a mutual benefit, it’s not considered natural. Make sense?
Don’t Freak Out IF YOU DO HAVE SOME!
If you have any of the above links on your site, just make sure they are “nofollow” links. If someone else has unnatural links like this to your site, bow your head and pray! You’ll need to ask them to make them “no follow.” Hopefully, they comply.
Many bloggers think that these link tactics such as blog hops and link parties help their SEO – that’s just not true. If the link is “nofollow” per Google’s guidelines AND it should be – then Google doesn’t even take it into consideration. It does nothing for your SEO. It’s just an instant traffic burst but it’s not really doing anything for you in the long run.
Note => Change unnatural outbound links to NO FOLLOW rel=”nofollow”
These outbound links can be fixed easily enough by making them “nofollow.” It may be a tedious task at first, but it can be dealt with and you’ll be on your way to fixing the issue.
There are Several Ways to Go About Adding the “no follow”
In some WordPress editors, it’s an option:
In some editors, it’s not. So you will need to go in and add it into the text editor.
You’ll need to switch from your visual editor to your text editor in wordpress, find the link and add the “no follow” html to the unnatural link:
You can also add a plug in to your site to help you; there are different options available.
UPDATE! How To Add NoFollow To Links In Gutenberg
A lot of us have updated our WordPress to the new Gutenberg editor and if so you might be wondering how you add the nofollow to your links now? Here’s a video to show you how!
The Bottom Line With Google’s Unnatural Link Penalty
The bottom line here is Google is trying to tell you something.
They have been trying to tell us all something since the Panda and Penguin algrithom updates.
Are we listening though?!
A website should grow naturally.
If you want high quality links to your site, you need to build high quality, relevant content using practical SEO guidelines.
The more high quality, relevant content you have – the better your chances of long-lasting success online.
Slow and steady wins this race and building high quality back links takes time, it’s not going to happen fast and it shouldn’t is what Google is saying!
*NOTE: Once you get all your links corrected, you need to take some steps to submit a reconsideration request to Google as outlined in this article here about manual penalties.
No Hype or Get Rich Quick Schemes Here
Is this a get rich quick scheme?
No absolutely not.
If you’ve learned anything from this post, it’s most definitely a long game to success.
It takes time to grow a website into a trusted authority.
The long term benefits however far outweigh the instant gratification tactics.
I have been earning a full time living blogging for years now, but it took time and I had to know how to target my market!
If you are tired of the short term results and want to build a business that will support you, you have to be willing to put in the effort and commit to the process.
Shortcut takers need not apply!
Stop playing in link party schemes and start writing yourself high-quality, relevant content more!