Google has, over the past weekend, issued a number of manual actions, Google penalties for “unnatural outbound links.” This particular penalty is handed out manually by the Google manual actions team These penalties are given to sites that are linking out to other sites in an effort to manipulate the Google search results. With these situations Google decided to penalize each site by deciding not to trust the links found on the website.
Here’s the email that was sent out to the webmasters:
If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.
The following image shows one of the numerous complaints about this manual action in the Google support forums.
If you’re curious to see if you’ve gotten this notification, log in to your Google Search Console account and check your all messages box. If you’ve been hit by the outbound link penalties, there will be instructions on how you can fix them over here.