Originally at http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/3725716

Posted by Angular

[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]

As SEOs, we often find ourselves facing new changes implemented by search engines that impact how our clients’ websites perform in the SERPs. With each change, it’s important that we look beyond its immediate impact and think about its future implications so that we can try to answer this question: “If I were Google, why would I do that?”

Recently, Google implemented a series of manual penalties that affected sites deemed to have unnatural outbound links. Webmasters of affected sites received messages like this in Google Search Console:

Google Outbound Links Penalty

Webmasters were notified in an email that Google had detected a pattern of “unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links.” The manual action itself described the link as being either “unnatural or irrelevant.”

The responses from webmasters varied in their usual extreme fashion, with recommendations ranging from “do nothing” to “nofollow every outbound link on your site.”

Google’s John Mueller posted in product forums that you don’t need to nofollow every link on your site, but you should focus on nofollowing links that point to a product, sales, or social media page as the result of an exchange.

Now, on to the fun part of being an SEO: looking at a problem and trying to reverse-engineer Google’s intentions to decipher the implications this could have on our industry, clients, and strategy.

The intent of this post is not to decry those opinions that this w…

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