Google Manual Penalty Notification But Google Says No Manual Penalty...

Jul 9, 2013 • 8:21 am | comments (26) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

two facedA webmaster posted in the WebmasterWorld forums that he received a manual spam notification for "unnatural links" from Google on June 27th. He cleaned things up and quickly submitted a reconsideration request. Shortly after, on July 3rd, he received the response not that the penalty was revoked but rather there was no penalty to begin with.

How can it be that he received a message days before saying he had a penalty but then be told there was no penalty?

(1) It could have been a spam notification but I doubt that, I believe he checked his webmaster tools to verify the message.

(2) It could have been my situation where the penalty happened to have expired the day or so before the reconsideration request was submitted.

It is rare for that overlap to happen, but it does happen. All manual penalties expire, but they do get reissued shortly after.

So is Google lying to webmasters with fake penalty notifications or was this just a timing thing? I suspect a timing thing.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for two faced lady

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Comments:

Ken

07/09/2013 01:11 pm

I have faced the same problem last month. I guess only Matt can answer such questions.

Jeff

07/09/2013 01:54 pm

Barry, have you (partially) recovered from your manual penalty? Will we see an article about your hits ever since?

Barry Schwartz

07/09/2013 01:55 pm

Short answer, no. I did write about it at http://www.seroundtable.com/google-traffic-after-penalty-16665.html But again, no change.

Cam

07/09/2013 02:18 pm

Can a manual penalty really expire in 6 days only?

RevueHebergementWeb

07/09/2013 03:04 pm

I have almost the same prob. After using the disavow, google send me an email telling me that No manual spam actions found. I have no clue why I lost almost 70% of the traffic? I worked on every aspect of the site and nothing changed...GO ******** GOOGGGGLE

Casey Markee, MBA

07/09/2013 03:26 pm

That has certainly NOT been my experience. The average time frame is measured in months, not days. There were a crap ton of these notices sent out towards the end of June. It really makes you wonder if many of these were "automatic" in nature.

Rick

07/09/2013 06:06 pm

It could have been the message that says you have unnatural links but it is not a warning. It says they are discounting those links and to clean them up if you can.

ethalon

07/09/2013 07:27 pm

It just meant that your penalty was not a manual one. You lost your traffic because you got ran over by an algorithm... ...which is pretty embarrassing considering the speed of the panda or the penguin.

Graham Ginsberg

07/09/2013 09:55 pm

Only one conclusion can be made in understanding Google. There is no understanding Google. Main reason is they hire Indians that cannot find their way out of a paper bag. Call me racist! You think its unfortunate to get a 'penalty'? I had a competitor's phone number appear on my Google Map profile for over a year. I got the police and attorney general involved. Do you think Google cared? NO Take a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9oh6fpExtw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60O0fN2iXcw

Graham Ginsberg

07/09/2013 09:56 pm

You need to be an important person or corporation to hear from Matt Cutts.

Mutt Cutts = Paid Liar

07/09/2013 11:12 pm

Dear SEOs and SBOs, YOU ARE IN DENIAL! You still come here and listen to that POS, Cutts, expecting to find a magic answer, there's none. Google's goal and there far away in this is to kill organic traffic, now as much as 90% is ads and Google crap in some searches. These losers come with new penalties and threats to hide the fact that Google ads and Google sites are taking your traffic. Google is desperate for ad clicks and they are killing their search. Everything these jerks say don't do, do it because it works.

Graham Ginsberg

07/10/2013 12:57 am

Every crappy company comes to an end someday

Alan Smith

07/10/2013 05:53 am

Google Kindly do not do this you are giving heart attack to business :)

Sanket Patel

07/10/2013 06:31 am

Very confused after reading this post. What actually Google wants and sending fake/real notification to webmasters. People need right direction towards site optimization not more then that from the Google side.

ThomasU

07/10/2013 07:49 am

This is not an isolated incident. On June the 14th we also received a unnatural links notice to our webmaster tools account, The site was under no previous penalty’s as you mention is a possible explanation and the notice specifically states this was a manual penalty. Same as the webmaster mentioned above we submitted for reconsideration, although were confused at the time as we could see no impact of the penalty in our rankings, we then got a response stating that we were under no penalty and a reconsideration request was unnecessary. At the time we put it down to a glitch or maybe a new starter pressing the wrong button, but this is the first conformation we have seen this has happened to other sites.

ethalon

07/10/2013 11:52 am

Did you really say that as much as 90% of the SERPs is ads and Google products? I must not be doing the right kind of searching, because I never come across that high a percentage. But what should I expect from someone who starts off their post by saying, "YOU ARE IN DENIAL!". Headless chickens go cluck, cluck, cluck.

seoservices4smallbusiness

07/10/2013 11:57 am

Exactly even i feel the same..... fingers crossed reading this post and their experiences from comments !!

ethalon

07/10/2013 12:00 pm

Well...duh. The guy is the head of web spam and should probably have an additional title of "Google Evangelist", you think he would have time to answer questions from everyone? I never understood why people expect this kind of one-on-one treatment. You may not like what he has to say, or the way he says it, but Matt has made himself remarkably accessible to the webmaster/seo world. As for him coming in and answering questions/commenting on larger corporations or 'important people'...eh...I always saw it as attempting to address concerns in a way that will get the most attention from the most relevant audience. It may be impossible to scale Matt Cutts, but by answering the questions that get the most attention (how many webmaster world questions do you actually care about or even read? not many for me), maybe he is attempting to do just that. Each time he pokes his head into those situations there is usually something to learn, even if it isn't stated explicitly. Early morning, pre-coffee rant over.

Graham Ginsberg

07/10/2013 12:10 pm

"ethalon" - Do you know why dictators stay in control? Because of loyal misinformed, vocal, people like you. Hitler, a 'good' example of a dictator that did no good for humanity, would have remained a nobody without his loyal 'he can do no wrong' rah, rah, yay, Hitler crew. You have a social responsibility to your environment to have healthy people lead the way. Nothing Matt Cutts does is healthy for the future of the internet.

ethalon

07/10/2013 12:16 pm

What the hell are you talking about? Matt would look terrible with a small mustache. I see him as an Ottoman mustache or 19th century English officer mustache kind of guy.

Guest

07/10/2013 12:53 pm

After the January 17, 2013 update (that wasn't confirmed) Google main goal is to demote and penalize top SEO brands, not brand name but sites that are dependent on Google for business for more than 5-10 years. Since, then Google is filling the 1 page with small owner new sites (not having large number of pages) having low quality content, coming soon page, keywords rich domain, keywords stuffed content, copied content sites, number of 404 pages, no contact page etc are coming in search. They will be in top for 1-2 months or for year or so and then will be replaced by some more low quality sites. I have seen sites that have scrapped content, title meta from wayback machine of a site that is now penalized and are ranking in top where the penalized site was as penalized site tried every thing from changing content to removing links to get back its ranking but will never do so. On the other hand a 2-4 months old domain who scrapped the content of this site is ranking in top. Keywords specific Linkedin, Facebook pages, keywords specific low level blogs, sites scrappers that list SEO factors, top 10 or 5 lists postings, Indeed job site, Glassdoor, craigslist, yellowpages etc are ranking for local city and country keywords in Google results. There is no place for website to get rank. Above the fold of search results is filled with Google Ads and other Google properties- Images, Shopping, Youtube, Places etc. There is no place left to get a good site in Google results. Earlier it's was possible to get what you want in top 10 results but now top 5 pages are filled with craps and things that are of no use. The motive of this is to compel users to click on ADS as they will never get what they searched for and in the last the Ads results seems better than organic results.

Guest

07/10/2013 12:54 pm

Google main goal is to demote and penalize top SEO brands, not brand name but sites that are dependent on Google for business for more than 5-10 years. Since, then Google is filling the 1 page with small owner new sites (not having large number of pages) having low quality content, coming soon page, keywords rich domain, keywords stuffed content, copied content sites, number of 404 pages, no contact page etc are coming in search. They will be in top for 1-2 months or for year or so and then will be replaced by some more low quality sites. I have seen sites that have scrapped content, title meta from wayback machine of a site that is now penalized and are ranking in top where the penalized site was as penalized site tried every thing from changing content to removing links to get back its ranking but will never do so. On the other hand a 2-4 months old domain who scrapped the content of this site is ranking in top. Keywords specific Linkedin, Facebook pages, keywords specific low level blogs, sites scrappers that list SEO factors, top 10 or 5 lists postings, Indeed job site, Glassdoor, craigslist, yellowpages etc are ranking for local city and country keywords in Google results. There is no place for website to get rank. Above the fold of search results is filled with Google Ads and other Google properties- Images, Shopping, Youtube, Places etc. There is no place left to get a good site in Google results. Earlier it's was possible to get what you want in top 10 results but now top 5 pages are filled with craps and things that are of no use. The motive of this is to compel users to click on ADS as they will never get what they searched for and in the last the Ads results seems better than organic results.

Guest

07/10/2013 12:56 pm

I have seen some sites that have scrapped content, title meta from wayback machine of a site that is now penalized and are ranking in top where the penalized site was as penalized site tried every thing from changing content to removing links to get back its ranking but will never do so. On the other hand a 2-4 months old domain who scrapped the content of this site is ranking in top.

John Doe

07/14/2013 10:57 pm

The exact same thing happened to me. June 27th & July 5th. They really do want us to use the disavow tool to negative SEO ourselves.

Suchita

07/19/2013 04:19 am

Hey you idiot what do u mean by Indian. Ur mind are not so intelligent so google using the mind of intelligents. And u and me all knows what google is doing then why use google. Don't use it. If google starts getting less traffic and some other search engine who loves seo starts getting more traffic, Matt Cutts will understand what to do and they definately make undo to their algos - Panda and Penguine

Graham Ginsberg

07/19/2013 12:26 pm

"Suchita" asks me "Hey you idiot what do u mean by Indian"? The 'Indian' is the man who calls from Google saying saying their name is 'George', but their real name is Navjot. The 'Indian' is the woman who calls from Google saying saying their name is 'Susan', but their real name is Rajalakshmi. People can call themselves whatever they want. Hey, you even called me an idiot. But if you want my respect. If you want a decent conversation on the phone with me (after all, its Google that called ME) DO NOT LIE TO ME about your birth name.

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