As reported by Search Engine Land, Google officials issued a number of manual link penalties to websites with a large number of outbound links, this weekend. An email issued to webmasters through Google Search console read:
“If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.”
Whilst there hasn’t been an official comment from Google as of yet, webmasters are being advised to log into their search console accounts and check all messages regarding any potential notifications.