Google's Matt Cutts, as you may know, spoke at PubCon this week. It's where he revealed Google's new Link Disavow tool. That seems to have overshadowed just about everything else from the conference (even the news that PubCon founder Brett Tabke has sold WebmasterWorld), including other things Cutts talked about.
It's understandable, as webmasters have been waiting months for the tool to be released, but Danny Sullivan points out another piece of significance from Cutts' speech. Google now claims to be sending out messages to webmasters for pretty much every manual action it takes on a site. Sullivan reports:
“We’ve actually started to send messages for pretty much every manual action that we do that will directly impact the ranking of your site,” said Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team, when speaking at the Pubcon conference this week.
“If there’s some manual action taken by the manual web spam team that means your web site is going to rank directly lower in the search results, we’re telling webmasters about pretty much about all of those situations,” he continued.
Cutts said there might be a rare “corner case” that might not make it but that reporting is “practically 100%” and “the intent is to get to 100%, and as far as I know, we’re actually there.”
It's been quite obvious that Google has been sending out many more messages this year than they have historically, but this is good information for webmasters to know, especially since certain activities that are in violation of Google's quality guidelines could really either be hit by a manual action or an algorithmic action, particularly since Penguin launched.
I suppose this is all part of Google's effort to be more transparent, which has also included semi-monthly lists of algorithm changes and more tweeting about major updates in recent weeks.