If you are an SEO, you know all about the dreaded “unnatural links warning” that is sent to you via Google Webmaster Tools.  You will typically be sent this message if you are engaging in link building practices that are outside of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:

unnatural link warning webmaster

Google’s unnatural link warning message sent via Google Webmaster Tools

In the past, if you have received this message you were probably left with a lot of unanswered questions.  The webmaster that received this message would then need to sift through all of their links inside of a CSV file, and determine which links are bad, and which links were not.

As of last week (mid June 2013), Google announced that they will now be sending out more information along with the warning.

What does this mean?

Well, according to the video by Google Webmaster Help featuring Matt Cutts, this means that they will now be showing some examples of some of the links that they consider offensive alongside the GWT unnatural links warning.

This will hopefully help out the webmasters that are not as SEO savvy as the rest of us.  This also adds a ton of new transparency on Google’s part.  Google has always kept information about their search algorithm extremely secret, even more so than classified US government documents.

For us, this isn’t a huge deal.  I can normally tell within about 1 minute whether or not the links within a given site’s portfolio are spammy or not.


QUALITY or SPAM? Do you really need Google to tell you what it looks like?

Nevertheless, this is definitely something interesting for us to observe.

I am eager to see if any webmasters report that Google has shown them an example of a link that they call blackhat, that was actually given to them by another webmaster on their own accord.

Only time will tell.  Thanks for the help Google.