Spam crackdown continues
Matt Cutts has announced that Google has penalised two unnamed link networks based in Poland, in the search company's continued fight against spam.
The head of webspam said in a tweet on Monday night: "Not done with Germany yet, but we just took action on two Polish link networks."
Although it may take a few days for the results of the action to be seen, websites using those link networks could soon see dramatic changes in rankings. Affected webmasters will also receive penalty notifications through Webmaster Tools in the coming days or weeks.
Similarly it will take a few days to confirm which networks were targeted. Twitter user Piotr Cichosz suggested it may be Prolink and E-Weblink, which was greeted by an enigmatic smiley face from Matt Cutts.
Keeping Google happy
The move is the latest in a string of penalties on link networks in Europe, following French link network Buzzea in January, and a German agency and its clients earlier this month - with Cutts promising "more to come" for Germany.
The tweet was accompanied by a link to a blog post in Polish, reminding webmasters what constitutes an unnatural link: participation in link schemes and buying links that pass PageRank are both mentioned as harmful. The blog also explains that "after proper analysis and repair", webmasters can submit a reconsideration request to Google. A similar blog was published in German on 3 February.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, commented: "For a long time, link networks and schemes have been widely viewed as dangerous ground. This continuing international crackdown could affect a huge number of websites. The lesson is, as always, to future-proof your strategy by focusing on quality, relevant, meaningful links based on trust and useful content."