Unnatural links is the next fight for Google as many people noticed with Penguin update in April.
Notifications about unnatural links pointing to your website were first sent out in July 2011 and this was further ramped up in March this year with a peak in the last weeks, causing both panic and relief for webmasters around the world.
This is not something you want to receive:
“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 any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Google Search Quality Team”
The reason that you receive this message is most likely that you have bought links in an unnatural way and that you have been doing it in too much volume.
Consequence of this message has usually been a hit on your rankings within 1-4 weeks, most commonly after about 10 days. The penalization is likely to lasts 6+ months and to get back in rankings you would need to send a reconsideration request to Google.
There is however no reason to panic completely, Google has recently sent out many messages with “false alarm” and you may not be in danger as Matt Cutts is stating here. Going forward it will be more clear what kind of danger you are facing in regards to this.
What should I do now?
You still need to get your links to rank but more attention needs to be put in the direction of creating content that people naturally really want to link to.
If you find this too expensive and hard you need to consult a link building expert, such as Nordic Search, to ensure that you are keeping the risk level you want and that your money is put in a direction where it matters, within Google’s guidelines.
Relevance and quality needs to improve, at the same time you can’t be too aggressive with anchor texts and definitely avoid link networks to boost your rankings. Short term, go through your link profile and make sure that obviously bad links are removed.
This is time consuming and many people are expecting the launch of a “link disavow tool” (enabling you to select what links that you don’t want to count) also for Google (not only Bing) to make this process easier.
Stay tuned for further updates about Google’s war against bad links!!