Google: Manual Actions Backlogged & Delayed Responses

Danny Sullivan of Google confirmed on Twitter that there is or was a backlog of manual actions issued by Google. Google has been slow and delayed in responding to those manual actions but is working through the backlog.

Danny said “we apologize for the delay in processing the reconsideration. We’ve had a backlog & now cleared the action.”

Here is that tweet:

There are others with similar issues, hence the backlog:

Now, this case is interesting in that this publisher was so upset about its Google rankings, it made a huge amount of noise. That noise got Google to respond saying that the manual action was not hurting the site’s rankings but it devalued the links it had on its outbound links. It obviously was caught for allegedly linking out for pay or other link schemes. Specifically the Unnatural links from your site manual action:

Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links on your site. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Google stopped this site from passing link value externally.

That being said, here is the full response from Danny about this case:

Click through to the original tweet to see the full complaint.

So the only thing new in this story is that Google is delayed for processing manual actions. The specific manual action is not new, Google can prevent sites from passing link value (since before 2012) and before that, even before Google had manual actions. And yes, loud people sometimes can catch Google’s attention but will it matter?

Forum discussion at Twitter.