Free product reviews penalized by Google over the last weekend

Over the last weekend, search engine giant, Google took manual action for outbound links that was associated with the warning Google gave a few weeks ago for bloggers exchanging links for free products and services.

On April 11, 2016, a report circulated over the web that Google sent outbound linking penalties to a huge number of webmasters past weekend. These penalties were directly linked with the warning that search engine giant gave a few weeks ago for bloggers who exchanged links for the free products and services.

Google asked bloggers to, “nofollow the link, if you decide to link to the company’s site, the company’s social media accounts, an online merchant’s page that sells the product, a review service’s page featuring reviews of the product or the company’s mobile app in an app store.”

After a few weeks of the announcement, Google took manual actions in typical Google style against those who regulated their guidelines.

Google’s John Mueller stated about the warning given by them in a few threads in their support forum. Individuals can now about the warning on https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/03/best-practices-for-bloggers-reviewing.html.

He further added, “In particular, if a post was made because of a free product (or free service, or just paid, etc.), then any links placed there because of that need to have a rel=nofollow attached to them. This includes links to the product itself, any sales pages (such as on Amazon), affiliate links, social media profiles, etc. that are associated with that post. Additionally, I imagine your readers would also appreciate it if those posts were labeled appropriately. Its fine to keep these kinds of posts up, sometimes there’s a lot of useful information in them! However, the links in those posts specifically need to be modified so that they don’t pass PageRank (by using the rel=nofollow).

Once these links are cleaned up appropriately, feel free to submit a reconsideration request, so that the webspam team can double-check and remove the manual action.”

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