Google announced on Google+ on Monday that it took action on two link scheme networks. One German and one European network were affected, although Google did not specify who or what they are.
In its announcement, Google told webmasters to review the guidelines on link schemes, should they need a refresher, and linked to the official post on the German Google Webmaster Central Blog that discusses unnatural links and reconsideration requests in detail.
The German post also links to the statement on the decay of guest blogging by Google's Matt Cutts. And did you know that Google help files now include "low-quality guest blog posts" as part of its guidelines on little or no original content?
While scheming webmasters are facing hard times with Google in Europe, on the other side of the coin, Google's not having a very easy time either - especially in Germany.
In June, German publishers tried to force Google to pay for what they said was a violation of copyright law to link to and publish snippets of their content. And in July, German officials stated they were going to more heavily regulate Google like they would a public utility company.
Regardless of the fate of Google in Germany or Europe, Google is operating in "business as usual" mode and advises webmasters to review their SEO practices:
"If you hired someone to work on your site, such as an SEO, check if they are using illicit practices by reviewing examples from the link schemes page."