Jun 28, 2016
Recently, Google took what is called a "manual action" against my website due to the fact that they erroneously believed that I was engaging in "link schemes"--i.e., selling links on my site for the purpose of helping other sites increase their domain authority. I actually wasn't doing anything wrong, but the process of getting the issue sorted out and getting back on Google's good side was very eye-opening and educational for me.
If nothing else, the experience hit home the fact that when Google decides you are doing something wrong, you are guilty until proven innocent. This very topic is actually the subject of a lawsuit against Google making its way through the courts right now--more on that below.
Another thing I learned in the process of researching how to resolve this manual action was that apparently I wasn't the only one dealing with this issue right now--there appears to be some sort of a crackdown going on regarding outbound links, as this article in The SEM Post points out.
Because link-building is such a huge part of SEO, and because Google's actions both against me and in the two examples sited above really throw into question what is and isn't a "legitimate" link as far as Google is concerned, I thought this was an important topic to cover on my podcast.