Whilst viewing Webmaster Tools last night, I came across a new section under Search Traffic entitled “Manual Actions”. As you may know, my Martial Arts Videos website currently does not receive much traffic from Google. To be more precise: It receives less than five visits per day.
Google already responded to an email I sent them and confirmed that no manual penalties have been applied to my website. This new Manual Actions sections seems to confirm this. I checked all of my websites and did not see any website that had a penalty against it.
A quick search showed me that Matt Cutts announced this new feature last Thursday. It noted that under 2% of all domains indexed are marked as webspam.
I am really pleased that Google is adopting a more open-approach to penalties. Website owners have been in the dark in the past with these kinds of issues. Hopefully this trend will continue. I would really like to see them expand on this and give website owners more advise through Webmaster Tools. Perhaps they could follow the lead of their own Page Insights service that advises which details exactly what webmasters need to do to speed up their websites. Here’s hoping 🙂
If your suspect your website has had a penalty applied to it, I encourage you to log in to Webmaster Tools and check to see if that is indeed the case.