There’s a lot of Panda monium in Google’s Webmaster Central in the past few weeks concerning individuals receiving a notice of “detected unnatural links”. If you use Google Webmaster Tools to monitor your website(s) and you attain backlinks from paid sources or otherwise, you just may receive a notice such as the following if your not careful:
… we’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside google 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 any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our webmaster help forum for support.
google search quality team
In a post at Search Engine Roundtable it appears as though numerous webmasters and the like are receiving notices which appear to indicate a distinction between buying and selling links. (i.e., inbound vs. outbound links) Granted, it may be too early to discern whether or not these individuals did something silly, like buying 10k backlinks in one shot and sending up the red flags. Nevertheless, it appears as though
As late as this past January, Google assured website designers, developers and SEO’s that backlinks to your website cannot necessarily count against you. The premise is that if such influence were possible, other webmasters looking to out-rank a competitor could simply sabotage the competitor by directing low quality backlinks from content farms and spam sites to competitors sites, thereby knocking them down a notch or two in the SERPS, or even worse, having the site deindexed. Well, tighten up that belt and be prepared for some sad news because things may have changed with Google’s inbound link policy under the Farmer “Panda”) update!
Google has really been cracking the whip with Panda, and the algorithm changes have been very unpredictable for many SEO’s and webmasters alike.
Do you remember back in March when the likes of Panda classified Google Places as a content farm? The nightmares of the Panda monium keep coming in from around the globe, and it appears that no one, not even Google itself, has immunity from the vicious karate chops being doled-out by this cute, fuzzy creature in its attempt to make web search a better experience.
What many of us do know with relative uncertainty is that the overall affect of Panda is anything but concluded, and it appears that perhaps more algorithm changes are being added and tweaked as we speak. Why just last month Panda gave the karate chop to .co.cc domains with the contention that they are protecting users from malware, a measure I certainly endorse 100%!