Gary Illyes from Google sent us this statement:
When speaking yesterday, a statement I made about manual actions was phrased in a way that sounded like I was talking about Penguin -- that was incorrect and I apologize for the confusion. What I was trying to get across is that, when there are clear signs of search manipulation, manual actions may be used to discredit links.
Shocking news, at least to me, came out yesterday at Pubcon from Gary Illyes talk. The other day, Gary said Google's Penguin algorithm is prepared for manipulation but in his presentation, he took it one step further.
He said that if Google Penguin sees mass manipulation, it can decide to discount all of the links, including all the bad ones and even all the good ones. And having no links, no PageRank, no link signals can be devastating for a site. Discounting all links, will feel as bad as a demotion.
I tried to get Gary to confirm he said this, but he did not confirm anything with me yet.
But there are tons and tons of tweets coming out of the conference with him saying this. Here they are:
That is serious stuff.
Former Google spam fighter, Pedro Dias said on Twitter "Folks, it works like this since forever." Yes, but with the Penguin 4.0 launch it was suppose to be more granular, so it looked at things and discounted links on a link by link basis.
Also what isn't 100% clear is which links will ALL be discounted? All the links pointing to the target site or discounting all the links going out of source site? I am not sure, but sounds like a target site issue to me.
For more on Penguin click there.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Google is going to send us a revised statement but it seems like the algorithm doesn't do this but rather a manual action can lead to not trusting all the links. This makes a lot more sense.