Today theres a new slew of reports that Google is once again targeting campaigns that have ‘paid or un natural links’. Last nights emails follow this format:
Dear Site Owner or Webmaster of http://www.domain.co.uk/, We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes. We encourage you to make changes to your site, so that it meets our Quality Guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results. If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request. If you have additional questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support. Yours sincerely, Google Search Quality Team
This again won’t be seen by many clients (ask if you are one) and in any case my advice is to ignore them… The SEO in me states that these are scare tactics, and that unless your site has been hit by a penalty then its likely that they will simply discount the links. Google wants you to admit that you’ve been using paid links and worse that you’re involved in SEO at all.
From my research I can conclude that most businesses affected by these letters will have done so through poor quality legacy links that would not be part of a contemporary strategy – links from a few years back, probably created before you used your current SEO agency. I say this because the research I have access to shows contemporary clients haven’t received these letters (which goes to show I’m doing something right)!
If you’ve received one of these letters then here’s what i’d do:
Time and time again they try these tactics and time and time again, there’s little or no consequence if you’ve been link building correctly.