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  • >>Matt: Hi everybody. I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about what to do and

  • what it means if you get the message that we've taken targeted action on unnatural links

  • pointing to your site. It's an interesting message and there's a little bit of nuance

  • to this video so I wanna give you some background and maybe a little bit of historical context.

  • Google's primary purpose, the web spam team's primary purpose is to make sure that you just

  • get the best search results and that we protect users from having a bad search experience.

  • So first and foremost we're thinking about how do we return the best quality search results,

  • how do we make sure that we not return spam? So for many, many years, of course, we try

  • to do as much as we can algorithmically, we've always been very upfront about that, but when

  • an algorithm fails and we're taking manual action, for many, many years what we would

  • do is, more or less, take action on an entire site if it looked like there was a pretty

  • good history of link spam or a pretty bad history of link spam. So something that went

  • on a long time, something that looked deliberate, something that was widespread or looked concerted

  • and the sorts of link spam you can imagine might be anything from paid links to blog

  • comment spam to spamming forums to spamming guest books, excessive link exchanges, you

  • know, there's a lot of ways that people try to get links. And when we saw a lot of that

  • going on and it affected our opinion of the entire site, then you would get a slightly

  • different message that would also say unnatural links to your site. Over time we've gotten

  • more granular and our approaches have become more sophisticated and, so, as a result, if

  • we think that your site, perhaps, overall is good but there might be some bad links,

  • not all bad links but a portion of bad links then we might be taking targeted action on

  • just those links and that can be bad links or links that you might not think of as typically

  • bad. So let me sort of give you a few examples of that. The same sorts of things that you

  • would do for action against the entire site, so paid links, blog, forum, guestbook spam,

  • but also you can image widget bait, right, if your primary way of trying to get links

  • was I'm gonna produce a widget and that widget had keyword rich anchor text that pointed

  • to a different domain and maybe the user didn't even know that they were getting that as part

  • of their web counter, they would be linking to something saying Mesothelioma, all those

  • kinds of things. Those are the sorts of links that we don't want to count. In addition,

  • you know, we see a lot of people who, they just want content and so they're willing to

  • go grab content from some low quality article bank type site, they just want something that's

  • a few hundred words, 300 words, 500 words, whatever. So the site itself might be good.

  • Maybe you have a lawyer and most of the site is good but some directory he's thrown just

  • a bunch of, you know, article marketing type articles in there or he's promoting one particular

  • URL, you know, using these article marketing or syndication, article bank type sites or

  • somebody who's doing health insurance or car insurance or whatever and they're using some

  • widget and then that link, that anchor text is very keyword rich. So that might be an

  • instance when we might not take action on the entire site, so the site itself still

  • might rank normally but we might take action on some of those anchors. So you might not

  • be able to rank for the phrases that you expected to be able to rank for. Now, the other reason

  • why you might get this could be possibly because you weren't doing link spam per se, but, for

  • example, suppose someone hacked someone else's site and they pointed anchor text toward your

  • site. So maybe you were hacked or maybe they were trying to point toward some, some different

  • directory on your site. Another one that we've seen is, you know, suppose you're a newspaper

  • and you've written something relatively nice about somebody and then it turns out later

  • that he's embezzled or he's been involved with a real estate scam or for whatever reason

  • he's using a reputation management firm. So the reputation management firm might be trying

  • to push up the positive articles on a newspaper or on a news website, something like that.

  • So our primary purpose has been to protect users. We haven't been worried as much with

  • okay, is this a link that was reputation management so someone else was trying to push this article

  • up or was this someone who is doing paid link spam or something like that? We've just said,

  • okay, we don't want these specific links to count. So it hasn't been the case that we've

  • necessarily put it in terms of, okay, we think these are bad links or we think that these

  • are links that are, you know, not intentional or not intended to push you up higher on your

  • own maybe it's just some other third party trying to push things; either way we're not

  • trusting these links. So that's a little bit about why you might get that message. So now

  • the question is what to do about it. So the most simple thing to do is download your links,

  • uh, Google now allows you to sort by most recent links so certainly that's the place

  • where I would start, you know, if you get this message and it's something that just

  • happened and we're only sending this to a very small number of sites, so, at least right

  • now, less than 10 sites a day are getting this sort of message. But if you do get this

  • message maybe that's a good time to say, "Okay, what kind of links have I been getting recently?

  • Was I accidentally spamming somebody? Was my SEO trying to do some widget bait or something

  • like that to get links?" And if that's the case try to get those links taken down, you

  • know; if you've posted articles or whatever, try to get those articles taken down. A couple

  • of things that are new and a lot of what I've been talking about have been covered in a

  • recent, relatively recent, blog post and we'll have a link to that from this video, but there

  • are a couple things that are new since that blog post. So, the first one is, we're trying

  • to work harder to actually show you an example of the links that we're not trusting anymore.

  • So a lot of people were frustrated because they're like, "Okay, you say you're taking

  • targeted action on links to my site but I don't know which links they are so I don't

  • know where to start looking." And that was fair feedback and we appreciated that so we've

  • been trying to work on a way whereby when we say we don't trust some links we're gonna

  • try to show you one, two maybe three examples of what the sort of links are that we don’t

  • trust and that will help to guide you in the right direction to take those links down.

  • First and foremost, you should be trying to get those links down and take the pages down

  • that have those links, you know, talk to different webmasters and say, "Hey, you know, could

  • you remove this widget" or whatever it is. I would very much like to see people do a

  • long sustained effort on that but if you've contacted webmasters multiple times, you're

  • not able to get in touch with them, you can't get them to reply and no matter what you just

  • can't get that link quite pulled down, then you can use the second thing that's relatively

  • new and that is the Disavow links tool that we just launched not that long ago. So what

  • does this mean? The Disavow links tool will have a link with more information about Disavow

  • but I'll give you a very high level summary. What it allows you to do is tell Google, "I

  • would like you to ignore these links". So you have a list of them from this URL, from

  • this URL, you can even say from this entire domain, don't trust any links from this domain

  • to my site. So, if Google has been taking action on your site because there are some

  • links, not all links, but some links that we don't wanna trust, hopefully you'll be

  • able to see a few examples and then based on that you can go and look through your downloaded

  • links and sort of figure out what the other links are like that and then get as many of

  • them pulled down and then the ones that you can't get pulled down you can go ahead and

  • use the Disavow links tool and say, "Okay, I've tried my best, I can't get them pulled

  • down, here are the links that I'd like Google to ignore." And that's the sort of thing that

  • should help with this particular action and then when you do a reconsideration request

  • just make sure to document that as well as possible how you think the links got there,

  • what the situation was, what you've done to clean it up, you know, if you have Disavowed

  • some links then mention that too just make sure the people have the context. But that,

  • hopefully, gives you a little bit of background on the fact that Google used to take action

  • at a more coarse level, at the domain level, as we've gotten more sophisticated we're more

  • likely to say perhaps individual links don't count and that doesn't have to be a bad thing

  • if a reputation management firm is pointing to one article on your site, it's not the

  • end of the world. But if it's something you're concerned about or that you're worried about

  • or that you've seen some examples that Google have been giving that look like, you know,

  • anything from hacked sites, to widget bait, to paid links then it is worth trying to get

  • those links pulled down and then failing that, investigate the Disavow tool and see whether

  • it will work for you. Hope that helps.

>>Matt: Hi everybody. I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about what to do and

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 INT site spam widget link action article

Unnatural Links to site - impacts links

Video vocabulary