Posted by Angular
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.
[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]
As SEOs, we often find ourselves facing new changes implemented by search engines that impact how our clients’ websites perform in the SERPs. With each change, it’s important that we look beyond its immediate impact and think about its future implications so that we can try to answer this question: “If I were Google, why would I do that?”
Recently, Google implemented a series of manual penalties that affected sites deemed to have unnatural outbound links. Webmasters of affected sites received messages like this in Google Search Console:
Webmasters were notified in an email that Google had detected a pattern of “unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links.” The manual action itself described the link as being either “unnatural or irrelevant.”
The responses from webmasters varied in their usual extreme fashion, with recommendations ranging from “do nothing” to “nofollow every outbound link on your site.”