Friday we broke the story that the BBC received a Google link notification of unnatural links.
This was a big deal - a huge news organization received a Google notification about bad things happening to their web site. I mean, if you can't trust the BBC from a link quality point of view, who can you trust? (Fox News folks, relax)
So what happened? Google's John Mueller dug into the details and discovered this was a "granular" penalty. John said in the Google Webmaster Help thread:
Looking into the details here, what happened was that we found unnatural links to an individual article, and took a granular action based on that. This is not negatively affecting the rest of your website on a whole.
So one page on the BBC had unnatural links. Because of that, Google took action on that one individual article. Google did not take action against the rest of the BBC web site.
The thing is, John did not tell Nick which page. So there is a manual penalty on a specific article page and Nick has no clue which page it is. Shouldn't Google tell him which page so he can fix it some how?
Anyway, this is an interesting case of Google penalizing the largest news organization in the world but only one specific page.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.