Google had been working over the weekend and the task it was performing was to issue manual penalties to countless websites that it found guilty of using unnatural or irrelevant outbound links. According to Google these links violate Google Webmaster guidelines as they are used to artificially manipulate web page rankings. Although Google has issues link related penalties earlier also, this is the first time that the technology giant has targeted outbound links. This essentially means that Google is now penalizing the source site rather than punishing the sites on which the links are posted.
Affect On The Organic Traffic Of Penalized Sites
The move has been welcomed by many as a smart one, especially since Google has not provided any details about whether the penalties will result in any other action being taken against the websites. In general, there has been no significant change in the rankings or organic traffic of the penalized sites for the time being. It is also possible that the actual affects of the recent round of penalties might take some time to be reflected in search results. However, the webmasters will definitely need to review their link building strategy especially if it seems even remotely unnatural.
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Best Course Of Action For Penalized Sites
Since Google has issued manual penalties rather than algorithmic ones, the affected websites still have very good chance of recovery. The best course of action to be taken for the webmasters of such sites is to compile a list of all the spammy outbound links and then either remove them or add a “nofollow” tag to them. Webmasters can use the nofollow meta tag to apply it to all the links on the website or they can complete the task one link at a time. Having cleaned the outbound link profile for their websites, the webmasters can then submit a reconsideration request to Google, along with the details of the changes that they have made.