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What is a Google Link Spam Update

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  • 14-09-2021
What is a Google Link Spam Update

On the 26th of July 2021, Google made an announcement. They introduced the internet to launch their completely new algorithm update, which we called the "Link Spam Update". Over the following two weeks, this update was rolled out for users across the internet, focusing predominantly on the ability to identify and nullify the link spam presented. 

The algorithms update was skilled enough to place links of various languages, which meant a wide range of affected links in this update. The update was successfully completed on the 24th of August 2021; originally, it was only supposed to take two weeks to complete; however, it took two weeks longer.   

How to avoid being penalised?

Whenever a huge corporation like Google rolls out an update, SEOs search teams use Google Analytics and tracking tools to monitor the impact on various websites. They gradually aim to identify and remove spam more broadly across multiple languages and the world in website links and search engines.

It is necessary to ensure that in this July launching new links update, your links are not penalised by Google. The best way to do this is by using these tagging conventions whenever it is most applicable: 

  • Affiliate Links: "Rel=Sponsored."Guest 
  • Posting: "Rel=Nofollow."
  • Sponsored Links: "Rel=Sponsored."   

There are numerous ways that you can avoid getting hurt by Google's latest update rollout to the algorithm. We highly recommend following these practices when you are externally linking: 

  • Avoid participating in any link exchanges as best you can. If it suggests that they will link to your site if you link to theirs. Relevant link exchanges occasionally can be beneficial; however, you want to avoid this as a central approach or source to link building. 
  • Do your best not to pay for any links, especially for links that have no genuine relevancy to your company page or organisations. 
  • Strive not to use tools such as content spinners or link generators as these could result in duplicates. A reminder to not require any links as business arrangements or contractual agreements, leading to potential trouble over time or potential disagreements.    

Google Best practices

Affiliate links Affiliate links on your website pages, for example, shopping guides, product reviews or references, etc., are a prevalent way for publishers, product owners and blogs to monetise on the traffic levels they are experiencing. 

Using these links to monetise on your website or blog is acceptable; however, regardless of whether your link has been created dynamically or manually, it is best recommended that you qualify all links by making use of the conversion tag "Rel=Sponsored." 

The latest news states that manual actions are being issued in response to the ongoing efforts to improve the Google search ranking of any product-related searches. These will reward high-quality website link content, allow more affiliate links to qualify, and prevent illegitimate sites from affecting the search algorithm. 

The algorithmic and manual actions may ultimately impact how software engineers and even customers see a site during search results, so it's best for sites taking part to avoid it at all costs.   

Sponsored and guest posts Another quintessential way websites can monetise their site activity is through guest posts from other sites and accepting these sponsors. These posts can be described as articles explicitly written in the name of a specific website and published elsewhere.

Historically, the campaigns of these guests and sponsored posts of relatively low quality have been thoroughly observed and intended to gain many links.      

Over time, the update has improved when identifying and nullifying link spam schemes against the system. We highly recommend that all site owners ensure they apply the correct, most appropriate Rel Values. 

Manual and algorithmic actions will be used on those sites that frequently subscribe to excessive sponsorship or guest posting without the proper tags.   

How does this help fight link spam?

Spam links have been even more effective in earlier years. However, throughout this July update and the past two decades, the effectiveness has been dramatically reduced; this is all down to consistent improvements and developments in identifying spam and ranking systems. 

In February and September of this year, Google has acknowledged that companies up and down the internet are fighting link spam. Spam will make changes increasingly over time if we proceed to improve. 

Many sites collectively follow the guidelines set to avoid being penalised by these updates. There has been a greater focus on building websites with high-quality content and excellent user experience. However, many companies are always seeking to improve the levels of identification to observe these various spammy links that may be intended to manipulate the search rankings. 

Sites owners should continue to ensure that they follow all best practices for both incoming and outgoing links. Make sure you consistently put high-quality content onto your sites so that they all qualify and therefore cannot be deemed spam. Be aware that it is best to promote the awareness and marketing of your site by using appropriately tagged links. Monetise your website activity with affiliate links that are all properly labelled.

For those website owners that have any further questions, please feel free to discuss any concerns with experts online or in the Google Search Central Community. There will be professionals there able to offer advice and the answers to all queries.