This was fast… And impressive… It is possible that while many of you didn’t even heard what went wrong, Google already begun working on fixing it during the weekend… But if many of you don’t know what was the problem, how can you know what has been fixed…?
So let’s go over the recent events briefly: Last week, Google sent a lot of webmasters unnatural link warnings in their Webmaster Tools account. Those little messages caused a lot of panic because Google said before that if you received one of those, a manual action (penalty) against your site is about to be taken.
But “no, no, no” Google’s Matt Cutts said, those recent warnings sent don’t actually means that the website is about the be hit, but it can also means… absolutely nothing! Naturally, many have outraged about this links warnings havoc (including me) and urged Google to be clearer and transparent about this sensitive matter.
Ironically, Google’s whole purpose of those warnings was to be more transparent…
So after some raging rants and comments, Matt Cutts hurried to release an update to his original Google+ post, stating that Google have made couple of changes to the unnatural link warnings that will be sent from now on:
1. Different warnings will distinguish between websites which were penalized (or about to) to websites which have some unnatural links pointing at that Google just ignores:
…we changed the messages themselves that we’ll send out to make it clear that for a specific incident “we are taking very targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole.” So anyone that gets a message going forward can tell what type of action has occurred.
2. The messages won’t be marked with the frightening yellow color which indicates that “dangerous is nearby” (my own wording):
…these messages won’t show the yellow caution sign in our webmaster console at http://google.com/webmasters/ like our other webspam notifications. This reflects the fact that these actions are much more targeted and don’t always require action by the site owner.
I’m still waiting to see how those changes would really be implemented on the next round of warning messages and if indeed it will be clear enough. By the way, Google might resend some webmasters the new version of the warnings messages so they would know better where they stand.
And just not to be ungrateful, thank you Matt Cutts for really trying to resolve the issue fast and of course thank you anonymous lonely engineer that had to work on the weekend…