Google Webmaster Tool Warning

Targets | Recovery Strategies | Case Studies | Update History

Unnatural Links Webmaster Tool Warnings come in a variety of flavors with different meanings for each. Usually these are followed by a drop in rankings or loss of traffic depending on the type of message received. If your site has been impacted by the a unnatural links warning, you’ll need to do a remediation, remove unnatural links, and submit a reconsideration request as well as a disavow file to be reconsidered and get rankings back.

Other Update Guides
Google Algorithm History | Panda | Penguin | Hummingbird | Webmaster Tools Warnings

WMT Warning Targets


Outed Blog Networks

Google has gone after a few of the larger backlink networks (MyBlogGuest, AlgoRank, German, Italian, Spanish Link Networks). If you had a significant amount of links from them, you may have received a warning.

Too Many Exact Match Anchors

Similar to Penguin, Unnatural links warnings can come from having too many exact match anchors.


Recovery Strategies


Link Remediation

There’s pretty much no way out of it – You need to put in effort to remove any and all unnatural links. Do a complete audit, remove everything. Anything not possible to remove, submit in a disavow file

Submit Disavow File

In webmaster tools, submit a disavow file for all domains that you couldn’t remove links from.

Submit Reconsideration Request

You have to submit a reconsideration request if you have an unnatural links warning. In the request, explicitly show Google which links you removed. They want to see a significant effort. Also tell them that you have disavowed anything else that was unnatural. Google usually responds in 2-4 weeks.


WMT Warning Case Studies

Manual Penalty Removal (Ahrefs)
Case study that involves finding toxic links, disavowing links, and reconsideration request.

The difference between Penguin and an Unnatural Links Notice
Not a case study but a good clarification. Basically, Penguin penalties are algorithmic and filing a reconsideration request will not do anything. However, Unnatural Links warnings are a manual penalty, in which you will need to file a reconsideration request.

How To Use Google’s Disavow Tool Case Study
Case Study involving link remediation, disavow tool and reconsideration request.

WMT Warning History

Unnatural link warnings started sometime in 2011, then really ramped up in 2012
Google sent out another big batch around July 19, 2012, but then said not to worry