Why aren’t penalized sites notified in Webmaster Tools?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 Mattcutts Video Transcript

We got a question from JP in Los Angeles. JP asks “When a site is penalized by Google, why isn’t a message sent to the owner via Google Webmaster Tools telling them how/why it was penalized? Currently site owners are left grasping in the dark trying to figure out what they did to cause a penalty.”

But the fact is we do, we don’t do it for all penalties because there are some bad guys, some spammers and black hats who you don’t want to clue in. But for things like hidden text, if we think your site is hacked or even vulnerable to hacking, we’ve even talked about sending messages to people who we think have all Google analytics packages. But we do send a large number of people warnings about their site that sort of say ‘hey! Heads up we had to penalize your site because of hidden text or for some other reasons. We don’t do it for every single site we don’t do it for every single penalty, because there are people who try to see how far they can get away with and if they’ve been caught and if they know that they’ve caught they’ll start it on another site. So we’ll try to find out ways to let the good guys know that they have issues without clueing in or alerting the bad guys. But we’ll never be able to tell or probably never be able to tell every single person that they’ve been penalized. We’ll keep trying to do a good job though.

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