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Will Webmaster Tools give examples of which links or pages caused a manual spam action?

Will Webmaster Tools give examples of which links or pages caused a manual spam action? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

MATT CUTTS: Today’s question comes from Phoenix, Arizona. Ben Holland asks, “Will Webmaster Tools ever tell us what links caused a penalty?” So let’s back up and get some context here. First off, remember algorithmic things are just rankings. So they don’t generate messages in Webmaster console. However, if you log into the Webmaster Tools console and you see that there’s a message, that means that there has been some direct manual action by the web spam team that is somehow directly affecting the ranking of your website. So in those cases, right now some of those messages have example links or example URLs that are causing issues for us. We wouldn’t necessarily say that those are the only things, because if you have a million URLs that are offending things, we couldn’t send all million URLs in an email or even a message, because that’s just going to take too much storage. But we are going to, over time, give more and more information in those messages. And so I wouldn’t be surprised if you see one, two, three, some number of example URLs or links that give you an idea of where to look in order to find the sorts of things that are causing that particular action. So I think that is really useful. We’re going to keep looking at how we can expand the number of example URLs that we include in messages. I think that that’ll be a great thing for webmasters, because then you’ll have a really good idea about where to go and look in order to help diagnose what the issue is.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: