Matt Cutts puts the rumors to rest about whether or not Google sent out warnings regarding unnatural links.

Digital experts, marketing managers and content writers focused on SEO are constantly wondering what search engines are doing to enhance their abilities to improve brand visibility on the web so that quality, custom content can be generated to show up in web searches. In February 2011, Google released its Panda algorithm in the hopes of providing better results in SERPs and striking fear into the hearts of SEO marketers everywhere.

Brafton reported on Google’s most recent update, Panda 22, which impacted 0.8 percent of search queries in November. Although Panda is just one of many Google’s algorithms that influence results, content marketers are paying careful attention to changes in SERPS to adjust their content accordingly.

How many messages did Google send about unnatural links?Because so many are curious about what the search engine will do next, giants like Google are prone to rumors circulating about inside activity, which is why Distinguished Search Engineer Matt Cutts recently addressed some whispers about whether or not Google sent out 700,000 warnings to websites regarding shady links.

In his YouTube video, Cutts explains that the rumor emerged in black hat forums earlier this year, but that they’re untrue. Google did send out 700,000 messages, but they weren’t all about unnatural links. According to Cutts, most of the messages sent out- 90 percent- were about black hat, that is, shady SEO practices. In fact, only 3 percent of Google’s warnings addressed unnatural linking.

Cutts’ announcement and Google’s attendance regarding black hat marketing tactics should be considered carefully as content writers and SEO experts generate content. Optimizing material using white hat tactics is the way to go if marketers want their brands to appear in relevant searches.

Emma Siemasko is a former member of Brafton's editorial team. Emma has experience with blogging, travel writing, industry news, SEO and content marketing. She used to live in South Korea, where she mastered the art of using metal chopsticks.