This weekend Google hit many bloggers who write about food, decor and craft with an “Unnatural Outbound Links” manual penalty, for offering follow links in return for free products.
This Google update follows a direct warning issued last month which asked bloggers who publish product reviews to both: 1) disclose if the product is received free of charge; and, crucially, 2) to nofollow links to “the company’s site, the company’s social media accounts, an online merchant’s page that sells the product, a review service’s page featuring reviews of the product or the company’s mobile app in an app store.”
Google has removed the trust flow from any blog site that has received a manual penalty. With trust flow integral to their business, this penalty is devastating. These sites will only be able to submit a reconsideration request – so that the webspam team can double-check and remove the manual action – once all follow links within bad-practice product posts use rel=nofollow.
It’s yet to be confirmed if Google will be adding a further manual penalty to the brands who have links from these sites. If applied, the impact would be huge in terms of brand presence. As such we are recommending to all clients that they act now to take control of their link profiles.
If you’d like help taking control, we offer a Link Management Service. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 881 5941 to discuss further.