Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Unnatural links


No sooner had I posted this link


last week on my Facebook page as a heads up for writers, did I find in my email a request from Best Colleges Online to remove an “unnatural” link that might be hurting their blog’s – and mine – optimization in search engines.

A link to what? Their list of Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs.

Say it with me... 

Huh?

Posting a link for a writer’s resource is an “unnatural” link? I seriously do not understand. Nevertheless, I removed the entire post because it contained links to other sites.

If you read the Problogger article, it seems geared more to blogs of professional organizations rather than individuals, but obviously anyone’s a potential target.

For what? Having Google “de-value” your blog. Don’t ask me what that means.

Here's the notice I received:

Hi Webmaster,
 
We would like to discuss an important matter with you regarding your site.
 
It has come to our attention that Google has penalized our site due to our backlink profile. Unfortunately, a link to our site on your website may be considered unnatural by Google and may be partially responsible for our penalization.
 
Because of this, we request that you remove the link to our site that is located here and says:
 
top 100 creative writing blogs
 
Since we believe this link could be unnatural, it may affect the onearch engine rankings of your site as well as ours. Removing the link will be mutually beneficial, and we hope you will consider doing so.
 
Please drop us a line if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. We look forward to your reply!

And I did reply to ask what would make the link "unnatural" but as expected, received no answer.

So now, in addition to being extra careful about what images you post, you also need to be careful about links. But honestly, I have no working criteria for what links might be viewed as "unnatural" and what constitutes a "natural" one. Do you?

Has your blog been targeted as having "unnatural" links? Do you understand what it means? (If so, please share!)

5 comments:

Donna Hole said...

No clue what any of it means.

.......dhole

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Several have posted about Google's new rules with links and 'guest posts,' but that seems really extreme. You are a writer and the link is to writing links. Not unnatural. I think they overreacted.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That is really strange. And of course they didn't answer.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a weird development. One could almost say it's... unnatural.

Cate Masters said...

lol Donna - me either.

Hopefully that's all, Alex, or I won't have a clue what links to use anymore.

Yep, predictable Susan. :)

Ha - true, Susan S!