Google’s Cutts On How To Locate Unnatural Links Pointing To Your Web Site

google-links-featuredGoogle’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released a video today explaining how a webmaster can locate which links pointing to their website is “unnatural.”

As you know, Google has been sending unnatural link warnings to Webmasters for about a year now. Webmasters should act when they receive this email; they should remove the unnatural links. What happens if you really do not know which links pointing to your site are unnatural?

Google’s Matt Cutts gives you two ways to discover these links.

(1) You can sort your links to your site within Webmaster Tools by most recent links.

(2) Google is now often sending examples of unnatural links within the unnatural link warning emails to webmasters. They may list a few examples of the types of links Google finds to be unnatural; this way, a webmaster has something to work off of to start their process to remove the unnatural links.

I should note, this feature has been around for about 10 months, and Matt Cutts said he believes it was rolled out already as well.

Here is the video from Matt Cutts:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Webmaster Central | Link Building: General | Link Building: Paid Links


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Lord of SEO

    Not this twonk again, how the fuck does Barbara’s hair salon from Winnipeg know what the FUCK an unnatural link is ffs?

  • Andy Sheridan

    “I hope that’s helpful”
    Well, it’s not. Instead of making my website better I’m running around in circles trying to reverse widespread marketing techniques we used in the past that were considered perfectly acceptable before Google decided they weren’t anymore.

    What would be “helpful” is if you took those links you “don’t trust” and simply discounted them. At least then I could focus on what’s important to my website’s visitors – the content. But then I doubt I’d be spending as much time obsessing over GWT and we wouldn’t want that now, would we? ;-)

  • Marcus Miller

    It’s somewhat hard to understand what they are trying to achieve with this. Sure, unnatural links, you have identified them, then discount them. Fire off a warning, tell the webmaster that they have just got a single strike for unnatural links and to play nice.

    Heck, even use your examples to let them know what they were doing wrong but this whole expecting folks to figure out what is unnatural is just getting daft.

  • Juggernart Games

    1. Perfect timing, Matt!
    The Webmaster Tools Backlinks is currently bugged, showing just a fraction of the existing backlinks: (mine went down from over 300.000 to not even 3000!)

    2. A lot of webmasters received unnatural link warnings without examples of unnatural links, as I did. I received the warning around 20th July 2012 (read the story: No examples were sent out that time. I did not receive any subsequent warning with examples. Now I have to analyze the links all on my own by going through over 50.000 lines of links that my allLinks.csv spits out (I fortunately downloaded one before the WMT bug).

    A first reconsideration request I made a couple of days ago was rejected. I just started to go again through the 50.000 lines.

    What a frustrating work!

  • Fede Einhorn

    We should now focus on removing links you (google) don’t trust while you still can’t recognize good links from link networks:

  • Alan

    Well said and the wonderful thing about the current situation is that you start smashing cheap links at your competitors website and guess what they are now busy evaluating links and trying to work out what is a bad link. They now have less time to build “great” content.

  • Alan

    Yes it is frustrating and the funny thing is if you want your competitor to be busy doing this sort of work, just blast 200k fiverr job links at them and bang they are busy looking at WMT and not at creating great content!

  • Charmis Pala

    Sometimes i feel that matt cutts is really trying to confuse us, he is no where clear with the questions and the answer seems to be unrelated too

  • Website Sales Lab

    Too bad our google webmaster tools doesn’t show us our links any more!!

  • Jophan

    Some of you won’t believe it but on fiverr there’s really a seller who offers this kind of gig. And he got a lot of positive feedback. Seems like you can really destroy your competition with this! Google, wake up! !!

  • Stuart Wooster

    What we need to is a check box to say “Disavow all links and analyse content only” Pfft!

    It is getting stupid and Google is losing the plot if it wants me to spend all my time chasing my tail round looking at a back link profile I haven’t even created. Our clients shouldn’t be paying to clear up Google’s mess either!

  • bharat.suri

    Hi All, Here is my point, if your competitor is making bad links for you and after that you get the unnatural links warning then Who is responsible for this. Me, competitor or Google. I think, Google Should update their Link Alog instead of placing link penalty on Good Website. this is frustrating for every one which didn’t do anything.

  • Sue

    My question is how are you supposed to remove links from other websites?
    If someone is out to get you as stated below, are they going to roll
    over and take them off?

  • Nick Ker

    What were you doing in the past that is no longer “perfectly acceptable”? Just because a lot of people got away with something doesn’t mean it was acceptable.

  • Nick Ker

    I think it is somewhat of a scare tactic. Cracking down on link spam with little to no mercy sends a clear message that just might get through to those who would consider trying to game the system in the future.
    It does suck for unsuspecting webmasters who didn’t know better and fell for one of those cheap gazillion backlink offers, or the link spam packages a lot of cheap hosting providers label as SEO.

  • Alan

    Whether NEG SEO happens or not when you blast the links at the site the webmasters going to have to start looking at them. Will get frustrated by them, will probably start chasing them down and will start submitting the bad links to disavow tool.

    So for as little $50 you have made A LOT of work for your competition.

    What I saying here is that Google has not thought this through at all. Instead of building great content we are now having to look at our backlink profile.

    Here is an IDEAD Google and Matt how about you automatically disavow bad links? Almost sounds like what Danny would call “ignoring bad links”.

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  • Shakeel Asghar

    great work its very helpful for me
    Download drivers

  • CPUDave

    Yep, I think that is what one nasty competitor did to our site. Literally knocked us from #1 spot to nowhere to be found.

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