Many webmasters received their respective notifications from Google about unnatural links these past few days. For those who are really into selling links for rank juice, this notice is just a thing waiting to happen. But for those who are genuinely bewildered of receiving such notice, it could be a long period of “witch-hunting” for those suspect links especially for those sites with thousands of posts to wade through.
What Google Says
The notification has sent a message to concerned webmasters about detecting unnatural outbound links which presents a presumption of selling links or participating in link schemes. It goes on to say that because of such concern with a site, Google has applied manual spam action on the site, in part or in whole. The manual action will only be revoked once the site is determined to be no longer in violation of Google guidelines, after request for consideration is received.
There are several recommended actions given to concerned webmasters. These include converting paid links to no-follow or removing possible problematic links from the site. Problematic links would likely refer to links that may give an impression of being spammy or the tendency to manipulate PageRank.
Some people are in the opinion that Google is passing on their job of detecting spammy links to webmasters especially since the “offending” links have not been identified. Other see the move as an unjustified sweeping action for sites which may be in one way or another connected to content marketing platforms like PostJoint and MyBlogGuest. Both are known guest blogging networks.
There are even those who doubt if PageRank will be restored even after doing the recommended actions. Some are guessing a 6-month effect or so on the affected sites. Many have just about given up on PageRank.
What to Do After the PR Downgrade
For sites whose rank was downgraded or was given a notification from Google, what is there left to do? Webmasters can still look at this in a positive light by taking the opportunity to go through their sites and giving special attention to the quality of their links. However, it would be wise to continue writing quality content whatever the case may be.
If you are a webmaster who is into this for the long haul, setbacks such as PR downgrade are accepted and worked on. Even if it is a fact that a nod from Google can do wonders for a site, the absence of such should not necessarily spell the end. There is always the audience to write for.