BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Google’s New Manual Actions Feature in GWT & Their Latest Attack on “Unnatural” Links

August 13, 2013

Last week, Google announced a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools where you can see if your website was manually penalized. This feature is called “Manual Actions”.

To navigate to this section, sign into your GWT account and select your website. Next, click on Search Traffic then Manual Actions. There’s a 90% chance you will see this;


The other 10% could see something like this;


According to Google, there are a variety of reasons why a site could get manually penalized. We haven’t actually seen the other reasons. But, if you have a website that was manually penalized for something other than for having ‘unnatural incoming links’, please share with us below.

The good news is Google is becoming more transparent. The bad news is they are only telling those manually penalized if their site was penalized, not if your website was penalized algorithmically.

You can also access the reconsideration request page via the Manual Actions section.

NoFollow Infographics and Widgets

Besides Google becoming more open about manual penalties,  Matt Cutts also recently suggested that we nofollow links that come with widgets and infographics. In other words, you shouldn’t get credit for all that hard work you put into creating a widget, tool or infographic. Here’s what he said;

“I would not rely on widgets and infographics as your primary source to gather links, and I would recommend putting a nofollow, especially with widgets,”

“Depending on the scale of stuff you’re doing with infographics you might consider putting a rel=no follow on infographic links as well. The value of those things might be branding, they might be to drive traffic, they might be to sort of let people to know that your site or your service exists but I wouldn’t expect a link from a widget to necessarily carry the same weight as an editorial link freely given where someone is recommending something and talking about it in a blog post.”

Google is nearing the point where they have  backed all links into the unnatural links corner. Some people will stress about this, others will work around it. Others will be happy to do what Google is suggesting. Which bucket to you fall in?