sly : marketing

Google has applied a manual spam action to my site

Once again, I’m writing, and it’s 5 am. I’m watching the fire in the fireplace, and the darkness is surrounding me. I’ve started to get used to having snow outside, but yesterday, it started melting. That might be the sign of what was coming to me. I love snow, and the winter is amazing, walking outside, just looking outside at nature covered in white.

Once again, I’ve been hit by Google, and I just don’t have a clue what I’ve been doing wrong. The first time it happened, was when I was testing Google Adsense on my site. It didn’t take long, before I received an email from The Google AdSense Team, saying that I had done something that was “unnatural” and hence, I was being banned from using AdSense.

Yesterday, I received a new email from Google, but this time it was from Google Webmaster Tools, telling me that, again, I had been doing something “unnatural”:

Google has detected a pattern of artificial or unnatural links on this site. Selling links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. As a result of unnatural links from your site, Google has applied a manual spam action to There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.

I still don’t understand what I’ve been doing. I don’t accept guest posts anymore, and I hardly ever link to external sites, and I don’t participate in link building schemes and I don’t sell links. I’m not saying that it’s not my fault, because it probably is – but I just don’t know what I’ve done.

Right now, I’m thinking that I’m kind of happy that I’m not a professional blogger, because an email like this from Google might have destroyed my business or at least it would mean loss of income.

It might be too much to ask for, but since Google is a huge corporation with close to 54000 employees, I’d like an email explaining exactly what I’ve been doing wrong (and maybe even a warning before receiving manual spam action). Like I said, it might be too much to ask for, since there are a lot of websites in the world. But, receiving a manual spam action like this, feels like a kick in the guts from someone you thought was your friend.

What I’ll be doing

The first thing I did, was to install a plugin that helped make all my links “nofollow”. I am not sure if this is that important, but that’s what I did, because I feel desperate for a solution.

I am not exactly sure what I’ll be doing next to make this right. But, I’ve been thinking about contacting Google, but that didn’t work the last time. I know that I’ll be working hard, reading, and trying to find out what’s been happening to my site. It might have been hacked, and I need to find out what’s been going on.

I might contact someone that can help me. I need help finding a solution, and I need help explaining what happened. I need to understand it, because I really don’t want this to happen to me again.

20 responses to “Google has applied a manual spam action to my site”

  1. John Lynn says:

    Dig into Google Webmaster tools some more. They’ll have more details on the links in and out and what Google can see.

    • Thanks John.

      I have been looking at the details, and I found some links that I had to remove. But, fortunately I have received help from a brilliant guy. Hopefully, this time, everything will be ok.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hi Jens, I know someone who could help, do you know Mayura from Mayura4Ever? I bet he could help you. Did you dig deep in the Google Webmaster tools and analytics? I can\’t imagine what would have caused it for you Jens.I\’ve not seen any black hat SEO done here before. Good luck with it! And let us know how you make out in a future post.

  3. Hey Jens, Sorry that happened to you. Getting hit by Google feels like a punch in the gut.

    An idea: your penalty from Google May come from a link in a comment, perhaps in CommentLuv. Whenever I comment on your blog I get a notice of a link to The Wonder of Tech from Sly Marketing via Talkwalker Alerts. This doesn’t happen for any other blog.

    You can changer the settings in CommentLuv so that commenters only get Do Follow links after 10 comments. This may solve your problem and avoid future problems.

    • You’re right, it seems that it was due to some bad links from comments. I have been removing many, and I have received help from Mayura. I’m hoping that everything is ok by now, but I won’t know until Google replies to my email.

      I need to keep my blog healthy, and I’ll look at the various settings in CommentLuv to see if I can do something about the comment spam I’ve been receiving.


  4. Hmm…I have no idea what to say.

    I am sorry for the experience….I do agree with you. Google needs to do a better job of explaining these things, instead of sending automatic responders (which is fine for a huge company like Google…but, better explanations are needed).

    I recommend what Lisa and Carolyn said…you could ask Mayura (he might have something to help) and you could also modify the comment luv settings.

    I am not sure it will help here..but you could try contacting Matt Cutts? (he seems to respond to user questions..I know, he is in a different dept – Spam team, but this problem is part of that, right?).

    Hope the problem gets resolved soon 🙂

  5. Tim Bonner says:

    Hi Jens

    Sorry to hear about your troubles with Google Jens.

    I can’t understand why they would have applied a manual spam action against you.

    It could be from a link in the comments like Carolyn mentions.Have you also run a broken link check recently?

    I always use

    You might want to check out this guide on Moz as well:

    It’s a guide on the steps to take if you get a manual spam action against you for unnatural links.

    Mayura may be able to help further or possibly Ashvini?

    I hope you get it sorted out Jens!

    • Thanks a lot Tim. We’ve been in touch on Twitter, so you probably know that I’ve been in contact with Mayura, and that he’s been fixing my issues. It seems that it was a lot of links from comments on my blog that was the problem. I have just been approving “everything” without thinking about what kind of links they added to the comments. I’m not doing that anymore, that’s for sure.

  6. Jack says:

    I have no idea what is the reason. I never got hit by a manual update. You must check all the latest things and link building methods you are following. There must be something wrong with something you have done recently.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this Jens. That is so undeserved. I’ve never been manually penalized before but I did lose a significant amount of traffic due to their algorithm changes.

    I ended up doing a massive cleanup of my CommentLuv links and I ended up manually checking any that I wasn’t positive were still active links from trusted bloggers. The two tools that I used (in addition to checking my site on were and

    I found a surprising number of CommentLuv links that point to spammy sites (using abandoned/sold domain names) and parked domains riddled with GoDaddy (and other vendors) spammy ads.

    Good luck! I know all of us here wish you the best.

    • That’s exactly what’s happened to me Sherryl. I have been approving too many links, and I guess I was just happy that people were commenting on my posts. Now, I’ve been doing a major cleanup of my CommentLuv links as well and removing all the suspicious links.


  8. Josh says:

    Hi Jens,

    My guess is that you got stuck with some bad links from some comments that CL didn’t identify as spam, but I really don’t know for certain.

    Hope you get this cleared up soon.

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