I Got an Unnatural Links Warning! New Manual Spam Actions Viewer

By Spencer Haws |

Yep, I got an unnatural links warning in Google Webmaster Tools.  In fact, I actually got this warning a couple of months ago, and haven’t done anything about it…I’ll explain why below.

I have been meaning to write about this, because I got the unnatural links warning for my public niche site project site:  However, the timing was never quite right to bring it up (or I’m lazy); but the time is right now!

Yesterday, Google launched something called the Manual Spam Actions viewer in Google webmaster tools.  As a result, I want to dig into what happened to my site, why I got an unnatural links warning, and what is showing up in my Google Webmaster tools.

I hope you don’t have to deal with this, but either way, I hope you find this post informative and helpful.

Why Did My Site Get an Unnatural Inbound Links Warning?

This one is easy.  I got an unnatural links warning because there are TONS of unnatural links pointing to my site!  Ha!

I joke about it, but I’ve written about this for a long time.  One of my readers (I assume) launched a Negative SEO campaign against my site to try and get my site penalized.  Here is the post where I wrote about the Negative SEO several months ago.

As a reminder, someone has linked to my site thousands of times using my exact anchor text “best survival knife” from lots of spammy sites in an effort to hurt my site.  I did not ask for these links, and DO NOT want these links.  If you are reading this, and know who built these links, please get them taken down!

So, because of this, I was not surprised at all to see an Unnatural links warning in my webmaster tools.  These were spammy links that I didn’t want or build.  Here’s is what the original unnatural links message in my Google webmaster tools looked like:


Here’s what the message says, along with the links:

We’ve detected that some of the links pointing to your site are using techniques outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

We don’t want to put any trust in links that are unnatural or artificial, and we recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realize that some links may be outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action to reduce trust in the unnatural links. If you are able to remove any of the links, you can submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took.

If you have any questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.

New Manual Spam Actions Viewer

Yesterday, Google announced that you could view the Manual Actions taken against your site in Webmaster Tools.  I immediately went over to my Webmaster Tools when I heard about this yesterday, and sure enough, my site had received a “Partial Match” Manual Action.  The other option would be a “Site-wide” match, which I’m sure is devastating.

When I went back to get screenshots today to share on my blog, the Actions Viewer was not in my account anymore.  Upon investigating, I saw that Matt Cutts posted an update on the official announcement, saying that they’ve hit a “snag” on the feature deployment, and it could be a couple of days before its up for everyone.  Here is his message:


Because of the “snag”, I’m unable to share screenshots of what I saw…wished I would have taken screenshots yesterday!  However, I can show you where you would see it in webmaster tools, thanks to this screenshot:


In addition, I do remember the exact warning I got.  I received a “Partial Match Manual Action”.  And the message I received was exactly the same as the one I posted above about “Unnatural Links”.

However, what WAS helpful with the new manual spam actions message was that they linked to a video explaining what the message meant.  This video is from Matt Cutts is called, “Unnatural Links to Site – Impacts Links”.  Just the title explains alot.  Here is the video that came along with my message:

Google has also released other videos that explain the 9 different types of manual actions that can be taken against your site.  You can watch those videos here.

Update 8/12/2013: The Manual Actions viewer is back up in Google Webmaster Tools.  So, I was able to go back in and get a screenshot of the exact message showing:


Here is a link to the “Learn More” hyperlink from the image above: This link is very helpful and gives a few more details, along with the video I embedded above.

What Does a Unnatural Links to Site – Impacts Links Mean?

So, in a nutshell, this message means that Google detected some unnatural links pointing to my site.  And instead of penalizing all links or even my entire site; they have taken action against just the unnatural links.

In other words, they did what I was hoping they would do all along, they have discounted these Negative SEO links that I didn’t want in the first place!  So, yes, its a penalty of sorts…they’ve taken away any “juice” that these links might have been providing and negated that.  (But I never really thought they were helping anyway…which is proven by the fact that I’m still at the top of Google).

I had to read the message a few times, but that is essentially what they are saying.  They’ve taken action against the LINKS POINTING TO MY SITE…not my site.  So, the links provide no value anymore.

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And they did this BECAUSE they could see that whatever was happening to my site was not natural, and was likely out of my control.  I don’t know how Google is able to detect when someone is getting targeted my Negative SEO…but somehow they got it figured out.

All I can say is, “Google…I’m Impressed!”

The message does state that I should try and take action to get all unnatural links removed.  And to be honest, I have taken quite a bit of action.  I was only able to get 1 link taken down…for everyone else I emailed, I received no response.  With thousands of links pointing to my site (that I didn’t want), its nearly impossible for me to contact each webmaster and be successful.

Luckily, Google appears to be hinting that they know its out of control from the message I received.  So, even though they say I CAN submit a reconsideration request, I really see no point.  I’m not going to be able to get these links taken down; and the fact remains that Google has already reduced the “trust” in these links.

So, as stated previously, I’m actually not going to do much with this message.  I will just continue to focus on making my site better and better and hope that any continued unnatural links will not impact my sites rankings or earnings.

What Impact Has This Message Had on My Site?

Since receiving this message for “Unnatural Links”, I have seen no negative impact on my site.  As I’ve shown here, my site has continued to grow in earnings and rank well.  In fact, my site currently sites at either #1 or #2 in Google for its primary keyword, “Best Survival Knife”.

In addition, I had a record earning month last month (the site is less than 6 months old), for a total of $649.78.  You can see the full income report for July right here.

My only concern is that these negative SEO links that I don’t want will continue.  Will Google keep recognizing these as links that are out of my control?  I sure hope so.

If I continue to see more bad links pointing to my site, I will likely go in and start disavowing all these links.  Google does have a Disavow links tool, that essentially would allow me to tell Google to stop trusting these links.

Manual Action vs. Algorithmic Action

I also want to clear up what a “Manual” action is.  This is actually extremely rare to get any sort of “Manual” penalty.  So, I guess I should feel lucky to have received a message :).

A “manual” action means that a real live person from Google actually took a look at your site, links, or both and decided that something “Unnatural” was going on.  In my case, it appears that someone looked at my site and decided it was a keeper.  So, they only took action against the spammy links…which I totally welcome.

In my mind, they must have seen my site and seen that its a real site; really trying to provide value…so they left it in their index.

However, this is totally different from an Algorithmic Action.  If your site was penalized by Google Panda, Penguin, or other Google updates…that was NOT a manual action.  That was just the Google formula that was updated, and this Google robot determined that your site wasn’t ranking where it should be.

So, you were automatically penalized by the Google formula…not any sort of “manual” action.

In other words, if your site gets hit by Google Penguin or other Google update, you will likely NOT see any messages in your Google webmaster tools.

Overall and Your Thoughts

I really wanted to share this information, as its all about my niche site from my public project.  In addition, I think it provides some interesting insight into how manual actions work for unnatural links.

Overall, Google appears to be smart enough to know that the Negative SEO links pointing towards my site, were not from me, and deserved to be removed.  I’m very grateful for this.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.  As always, I’m more than happy to answer any questions or points of discussion that you might have.

Niche Business Ideas | 62 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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Spencer, I wonder if this will make life easier for spammers?
By this I mean, they can fire a whole lot of unnatural links at sites and see which ones Google will ignore and which they will give credit to, and then just increase those that stick.
Re your article, I’m glad that Google hasn’t just penalized your whole site, but does give you options.

Spencer Haws

I’ve thought the same thing Nicholas. However, I don’t know how, but I believe the engineers are able to filter out a lot of the intentional spamming vs. the non-intentional (like my site). In other words, if you purposely throw up a bunch of spammy links, I don’t think it will go unnoticed by Google. Maybe that’s rose-colored glasses…but I hope Google eventually gets there.

Carter Bowles

Hi Spencer, after researching this issue for quite some time I’ve come to the conclusion that Google ALMOST NEVER penalizes sites for their inbound link profile.

Instead, Google penalizes sites that have spammy outbound links, or they identify sites with spammy outbound links and simply ignore all of the links coming from that site.

This makes a heck of a lot more sense from their point of view and I’ve come to wonder why anybody in the SEO community thinks about it the other way around.

Penguin, partial penalties, I’m convinced that NONE of these are penalizing sites for their inbound links. They are simply cutting off the links from sites that have been identified as sources of untrustworthy links.

The only exception is the site-wide penalty you mentioned. I imagine that those penalized sites are also used as “seed data” that powers algorithms like Penguin.

I’ve written about the evidence for this here:

Casey Dennison

That sucks dude. I guess it’s part of the game when you expose your websites to help others who want to learn to build there own. My site completely dropped out of the serps last week, down to 14 visits a day 🙁 – I’m building a new site though!

Spencer Haws

Yep, I knew stuff like this would happen before I started this project…its part of the territory unfortunately. (Which is why I don’t reveal most of my sites).

Naveen Kulkarni

Hey Spencer,

Excellent information. I think this is what was needed to do by Google. When a site becomes popular in public (like yours) , negative elements can do harm reputation of your site. And Google shoudn’t penalize your site because of these bad links. It’s not in your control to remove those links.

I think it’s a great move by Google. Overall, it’s pretty smart. No doubt about it.

To confirm it’s smartness, run any keyword in Google and run the same keyword in Bing/yahoo. You will notice that Google filters most of the sites that were shown by Bing/Yahoo in first page. And if you click on these sites, they are nothing but black hat produced/scraped content sites.

That’s Google. And we love it.

Great going Spencer. You continue to Rank at the top 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Naveen!


I’m sure Pat Flynn will probably experience the same thing with his new niche site – definitely one of the cons of doing a public niche site.

Spencer Haws

Yes, he most certainly will…and he knows it. He’s dealt with it on his first site, and he will on the next. Anything done in public will be attacked by some of the less intelligent people reading.


Wouldn’t be surprised if its that guy who also ripped off your niche site.

Chris Guthrie

Haters still hating.


Hi Spencer,

I think this incident is a blessing in disguise! Steve is right, it might be the guy (copycat) who blasted the unnatural links. Best wishes


I’m pretty sure Google is smart enough to know which links are built intentionally and which are not…that’s why your site is still retaining its rankings.

All I can say is, my respect for you has gone up even more because you knew the risks of this public case study and you still went ahead 🙂


You could disavow the links and then file a reconsideration request, but that may not be necessary. That said, the vast number of unnatural links you have are sitewide links and they originate from less than 170 domains, so contacting each webmaster to take down the links would be a practical approach, and a feasible one as well.

Spencer Haws

Very true, I gave up after trying a dozen sites or so and not getting any responses. However, I could put in some more effort to contact directly…


Spencer, check out the latest video by Matt Cutts on this subject

Victor Björklund

Hi Spencer,

That’s nice to know. I been think about this and the fact that Google ought to be able to distinguish a linkbuildning effort from a negative SEO attack. No sane person would send them self thousands of spammy links and therefore Google ought to be able to guess that it’s not by the owner. Great to get this partially confirmed.

Victor Björklund


I have tried to communicate with Google over my adsense account and could never get a response.
How do you communicate with them?

Thanks for all your good work.

Spencer Haws

I haven’t communicated with Google at all. As explained in my post above, I just received a message in my Google webmaster tools – I have no way of responding to that message.


Hi, Spencer.
I just bought some comment links from a seo service.

And I found that ONE comment link on a pr 5 blog somehow turned into 250+ links, something like blog roll, I don’t know for sure.

Do you think that could trigger penalty(panda or penguin).
And I think I should disavow them or the whole site.

Spencer Haws

Lots of blogs show the “latest comments” in the sidebar; which shows up on all pages. I wouldn’t worry about the fact that it shows 250+ links. I would worry about whether or not the page your comment is on is spammy or not. Are there like 100 or 200 comments on the page? Are those comments clearly spammy – like “ugg boots” or “payday loans”, etc? If so, you have a spammy link.

Jeff Coleman

I looked your niche knife site up on to see what kind of links you were getting and saw these unnatural links……I must have missed your previous posts discussing this problem……it all makes sense now, but at first I thought you were bombing your own site with crap links and thought that looked odd….obviously this was not of your doing….glad to see that Google gave your site enough credibility to not penalize it and did the right thing.

Thanks for the update and clarification on what happened!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Jeff! Not sure how you missed the original post, as its been on the Case Study page the entire time: Its been discussed widely on several posts and comments. But glad you and everyone are up to speed now!


A prime example why “LINKS” are effective and not falling for the content rumor. It’s evident why google still cracks down on links, it’s because they just work.

Spencer Haws

Of course, Links have always been important.


Very interesting and timely Spencer. Google seem to be working on being more transparent lately, I recall reading something similar with Google Adsense and warnings/notifications recently along with the quality score.

Hopefully a move in the right direction.


I don’t understand how you can get a message from GWT and not see the impact on your ranking, as it seems to be a manual action from Google spam team.
Hopefully you have great added value content so it’s harder to get you down with NSEO even if the website is pretty young…
Good luck for the next month. Really enjoy reading you sharing this great nich site project.


Spencer Haws

Its a manual spam action against the LINKS pointing to my site…NOT my site itself. So, the links that were pointing to my site got devalued; and clearly they weren’t really helping anyway, as my site is still ranking just as well.

Mark N.

What I find particularly interesting is not that Google recognized these as negative SEO links, but the fact that after a manual review, they did not deem your other links (the ones you had built – Web 2.0’s etc.) as unnatural. That’s a very good sign.

Spencer Haws

Well, I don’t know for sure which links Google deemed “valid” or not; but I think its pretty clear from my link profile which ones are considered spammy.

Mark N.

We do know that someone manually checked your back link profile.

We also know that they’ve identified the negative links.

We also know though that your rankings did not plummet, so it means that nothing except for the negative SEO links was not seen as “shady” and that the links built by LayeredLinks are natural in the eyes of a Google Employee.

Don’t know about you, but I consider this almost ground-breaking news.

Spencer Haws

I agree, its a pretty big deal!

Phuong Le

I use market samurai and incoming link from the webmaster tool to collect bad link and remove them by disavow tool.

Spencer Haws

Webmaster tools shows all your links for you. It would be better to just use Webmaster tools to gather the links and disavow as needed.

Jim Weston

Thanks for the heads up on this Spencer, I’ve been a bit leery with one of my sites, I’m seeing some links show up that I didn’t build and been wondering if I would get any kind of warning or anything or if Google might just smack me for no reason. We’ll see I guess.



Am I correct that the new data in Long Tail Pro’s search is coming from Google Keyword Planner? Because the results don’t match with GKT but are in sync with Keyword Planner.

I also seem to be getting limited results, stopping at 801, so all we’re getting is the same results from Keyword Planner. Does this mean that going forward we aren’t going to get the extra keywords we used to get with Long Tail Pro and just the same results with Google Keyword Planner?

Hope you can clarify things because I’m not sure how to use the “new” keyword search of Long Tail Pro.

Spencer Haws

Yes, the results are coming from the keyword planner. You always got 801 keywords for each seed keyword. So, you continue to get the same amount of keywords. If you input 5 seed keywords at once, you can get over 4000 keywords.


I’ve been having a small problem with Amazon Associates: my commision rates have been very low. Last month I had a percentage of 7.27, this month (I know it’s not complete yet but still) it’s merely 3.44%. I haven’t changed too much that should affect this rate (I have multiple tracking IDs now but that shouldn’t change anything), so am I just unlucky?

I have also been firmly sitting on the second page for the last few weeks. There was one period where I shot up to the top 6 for 3 days, but I dropped right after. I pretty much tried everything i could think of backlinking wise, blog and forum comments, press releases, writing articles for other sites, web 2.0 sites and directory submission (only got accepted into 4 low quality ones haha.)

I use Cuterank too to check my keyword rankings which shows me that there are days where 75% of them shoot up a lot at the same time. Don’t really know why since I stop making backlinks a while ago. Should I just rely on this?

One final question I have is why did Spencer remove the Amazon carousel? It’s been working fairly well for me bringing in 12% of all clicks. (Sorry for the big wall of text but I’d rather post all my questions at once rather than having 1 question every 4 days.)

Spencer Haws

A 3.44% conversion rate is still pretty good. I would continue testing to find out why it went down.

I removed the carousel to test things out; I may add it back.

Garrick Dee

A couple of my sites were hit last year and it affected traffic, and only right now am taking action and emailing each and every one of the webmasters. I have around 8 responses (out of 50 plus) and 3 of them took down the links, others were charging 10 to 100 bucks me to take down the links obviously I wouldn’t agree to pay them.

If I don’t get a response from them after 3 tries, I’ll disavow the links the file a reconsideration request.



Typically, such an unnatural links warning goes along with a penguin penalty against the site at which the unnatural links are pointing. The reason for the penalty being that Google is looking to punish the owner of a site who is building unnatural links to their site by 1. discounting the value of those back links and 2. limiting the site’s ability to show up in the search results. Sometimes 2 is in addition to 1 and sometimes 2 is a result of 1.

So, usually, if you got the warning, there will be some change in your traffic, as well. Depending on its severity, the change may be seen in your analytics as a decrease in google referrals for one, some, or all of your keywords and/or as a decrease in referrals to one, some or all of the pages on your site. I’ve not yet heard of someone getting an unnatural links warning without a corresponding drop in traffic.

Typically the penalty impacts the warned site, as well as sites with down stream links. So, if links from your penalized page or site had previously been providing enough link juice to help another site with its rankings (legitimately or illegitimately), that help would evaporate and the effect on the downstream site might seem like a penalty in that its rankings could decrease. Looking upstream, if a site had been receiving link juice from a site/page that was then penalized for building unnatural links, the faucet on that link juice would be turned off and any benefit your site had been receiving from it would evaporate.

The manual penalty that comes with an unnatural links warning does expire eventually if you don’t do anything but the owner of such a site is likely to incur it again. Rather than sweeping it under the table, however, is to actively work to get those links taken down and/or use Google’s disavow tool and the submit a reinclusion request to Google.

Looking at your site, you have a couple of strikes against you currently–an exact match domain (for the term “best survival knife”, of course) and an over abundance of exact match anchor text in your back links. Google’s already starting to eliminate the advantage many sites had in the search results for EMDs and penguin is aimed directly at those with high percentages of exact match anchor text.


Metapilot, why do you say that Spencer has a strike against him because of the exact match domain?

However I do agree with you about not sweeping this under the table.

I actually think this is great news Spencer, almost like you are the ‘chosen one’ and you should take full advantage.

Listening to Matt Cutts video he makes it clear, and I think you would be foolish to ignore him. This is how I see it.

1) Google likes your site and think the content is good (good news)
2) They’re not happy with the Spammy links and want to give you an opportunity to do something about it. Before they may have just slapped you with a penalty (good news)
3) He’s made it clear what he expects you to do, namely try and get the links removed and if you can’t use the disavow tool and write a reconsideration request listing the exact action you have taken.
4) Not only this, to help you along the way, google will give you examples of the kind of links they are not happy with! I think you should take full advantage of this!!!

Anyway that’s my threepenny bits worth (as we say in the UK)


It’s pretty awesome that they’re handling it this way, rather than just up and penalizing your site! I’ve got a ton of backlinks pointing to mine that are apparently from an old owner—do you guys have any tips on how to clear these out, or redirect them to a proper page? Would they be hurting my ranking?

Smart Children


Now you’re saying Google will penalized those neg links originated from, instead of their target sites? In this case there will be a huge change once more.


fortunate in webmaster tool is equipped with a menu Disavow links tool so if it gets the message unnatural links, bad links can be removed through this menu

Matt Gorden

Rank of keyword of my niche site disappear in Google suddenly. As far as I concerned, It’s because of too many of poor links that I added by X-rummer and scrape box. Besides, I feel SEnuke is not safe as when I began to use it.

Lit double

Rather than sweeping it under the table, however, is to actively work to get those links taken down and/or use Google’s disavow tool and the submit a reinclusion request to Google.

Satyam Singh

But taking unnatural link from any sites and spammy links same is Google Manual Action.


Hi, Spencer

I discovered this excellent blog 2 months ago and read all the posts of NSP. Then, I build my own niche site.

The Avg. KC of my targeted keyword is 28. The site age of my site is about 1 month. I follow almost all your steps to build my site except the theme ( I use Flexibility 3, a free theme) and I didn’t use any amazon plugin (I use the whole affiliate link copied from amazon). I didn’t build any backlink yet.

But when I check the ranking, it always display 500+. I have about 20 posts now. I think they are good.

Is it my targeted keyword do not have potential or did I put too many affiliate links on a page (I put 20 amazon affiliate links on homepage)?

I’m very frustrated. Did I penalized by google?

Spencer Haws

It could be a number of things, so its really hard to say. Perhaps its too many affiliate links, but it could be a dozen other things as well.


Just thought I would share this. I have a manual warning in my webmaster tools applying to my whole site. Google says this.

Thin content with little or no added value
This site appears to contain a significant percentage of low-quality or shallow pages which do not provide users with much added value (such as thin affiliate pages, cookie-cutter sites, doorway pages, automatically generated content, or copied content.

I have no affiliate pages at all. I have been thinking it through and believe I have good original content on the site. Just wondered if anyone has any suggestions. This is my first niche site so I would like to learn from it.


Spencer Haws

Do you have a standard template you are using for your pages? (Content is essentially just the same but for different cities/locations, etc). For some reason, google thinks you have shallow pages.


Spencer, a blogspot inner page is ranking No:2 for primary keyword. I checked but it doesn’t even have any links. It’s just one post. How is this possible?

Spencer Haws

Quality content and relevancy are more important than links. Also, a blogspot starts with a good domain authority.


Spencer, I have been dealing with this issue for quite some time. I have been doing SEO for quite some time and it seems like every time I finally get a site to rank Google rolls out new things to screw up my strategy. Doh!

This started with SEOLinkVine unnatural link warning after their network got crushed by Google. I had been using them and a few other blog network style services for quite some time which built a nice foundation of backlinks. Then here I login one day to see my rankings flatlined across all of my sites.

At first I didn’t have a clue but then I realized I had received the unnatural link warning. I was told by many people to hang tight and that this penalty should just run its course and I will have my rankings recovered eventually.

Well that advice didn’t pan out and I had sites sitting no where for close to 6 months before I decided to take someone elses opinion and try and get the links cleaned up. Holy smokes this process took forever. Trying to manage link removal on multiple domains, multiple email addresses, multiple responses begins to make this a full time job.

I did this for 3 of my 10 domains that were hit, I did manage to get the penalties removed on those domains but it took close to 4 additional months and 4 or 5 reconsideration requests and proof to Google of my link clean up efforts.

I soon realized I enjoyed link removals as much as manually building backlinks, both of which I hate. So I decided to find a link removal service. I tried the major three on all a different set of domains., and Removeem I was excited to try out as I had heard good things from a friend about them and all of the stuff they do in the SEO community. After a quick call it became apparent that this wasn’t a realistic option. They wanted me to sign a contract and charged on a per link removal basis with a down payment security deposit. They wanted close to $25 per LINK removed and I was hoping to remove thousands of backlinks. You do the math. That’s loco. I ended up using. They remove links from directories that they own and or operate and charge you a quick flat fee for those links removed. Effective but limiting because I had more than just directory links built on my sites.

Finally decided to try which didn’t have any reviews when I started and not very active in the SEO community it seems. One thing I liked with their service is that they managed everything for me. I signed up and they then reviewed all of the backlinks on my domain and gave me a report suggesting which links I remove. One tip is that their list is based on an algorithm they have computed which includes a lot of different SEO factors but isn’t human reviewed. So I looked at their low quality links they suggested I remove and took out a couple I knew were from affiliates and I didn’t want removed and then submitted my list to them.

After about 3 weeks they sent me my final report which was rock solid. It was everything that Google wanted to see and what I was tracking in my first link removal attempt that took me forever to do myself. They helped me get the penalties removed on all but one of my domains and in a couple of months rather than the 4 months it took when I was doing it.

They are a decent solution for anyone needing help in this area.

Now moving forward. I’m wondering Spencer what you are doing for linkbuilding? I’m very concerned over the latest SAPE link network being destroyed by Google and it seems that all kinds of links now violate Google’s terms of service! What can we do to build links in a real way? I’m looking forward to your advice. Oh and please don’t give me the typical if you build it they will come spiel.

Thanks for you work Spencer, love the blog.

Talk to you soon,


Hi Spencer,

I experienced the same error message on my webmaster tool. I just wanted to know how to detect all those unnatural links. If I leave such manual action error without taking any care, does it affect my keywords ranking?


Hi, thank you for this helpful article. I also got the same message you did in my webmaster tools. But unfortunately, it has affected my website.

How were you able to figure out which links you had to remove? The bad links. Please help. Thanks again.

Rick Lomas

After having my business destroyed by Penguin 1.0 in April 2012, I have been trying to get my manual penalty lifted for a long time. The final bit of success came this month when I was using the Link Detox Genesis tool by Link Research Tools. Using this on it’s own wasn’t enough so I did the LRT Associate training too. So I have now decided to turn my disaster into a positive and become the ‘link clean up guy’! So…

If anybody is interested in using the tools mentioned above, in particular the Link Detox Genesis tool, at a reduced rate, I can help. I am putting a community together (the link should be my name in this comment). The idea is to get 10 people together and I will help them get their penalties lifted.

Why 10? This is because LRT are bringing out a new tool next week which will help speed up how quickly Google takes notice of the disavow file. Unfortunately the new tool is only available with the higher level LRT plans, which are quite expensive, so my plan is to split the cost 10 ways. In return I will help 10 people get their penalties lifted.

I have completed the Link Research Tools Associate Training, but I want to get more experience and some testimonials, so this is the best way I can think of doing it. Membership is free, but limited to 100 before the community becomes a private mastermind.

Data Genius

Good stuff! Only one I would disagree with is multiple H1 tags. If there’s a logical reason for it, multiple H1 tags are ok and may get you good results. Here it is straight from the Matt Cutts mouth.

Keith Eneix

I’ve noticed your site still took a dive in keyword rankings after the manual penalty? Any more thoughts? Have you taken any more action on removing those bad bad links? Great article!

Spencer Haws

Yes, I’ve done quite a bit. Read this post (and the ones linked to from it) for the latest:


thanks for your valuable posting, it was very informative. i am working in web design company in chennai

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