Google is rolling out the Link Spam Update today and for the next two weeks. This link spam update targets “more general” and “multi-language” spam links, said Duy Nguyen, a Google search quality analyst.
The announcement. Google wrote, “In our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of search results, today we’re introducing a new change to combat link spam – which we call the ‘Link Spam Update’. This algorithm update, which will be rolled out over the next two weeks, is even more effective in identifying and canceling link spam in general and in multiple languages. Websites participating in link spam will notice changes in their search as these links are re-evaluated by our algorithms. “
Clear link spam. You can see that the word Google used here was “nullifying” which doesn’t necessarily mean “punish” but instead ignore or just don’t count. Google’s link spam efforts have been to ignore and not count spam links since Penguin 4.0 was released in 2016.
Might feel like punishment. While Google may not penalize your website for these spam links, it can feel like punishment for Google to ignore or cancel any links that may have helped a website rank well in Google Search. In short, if your ranking is going down and falling even more over the next two weeks, it could be related to this update.
Links best practices. Google’s Duy Nguyen posted a blog post on link spam and best practices that you can read here.
Why we care. Again, if you see a drop in rankings on Google in the next two weeks, it could be related to this new link spam update. Make sure your links are natural and follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. Work on improving your website so it can naturally attract new links over time.
As Google wrote, “Site owners should ensure that they are following best practices for inbound and outbound links. Focusing on creating quality content and improving the user experience always wins compared to manipulating links. Promote the awareness of your website with appropriately labeled links and monetize it with properly labeled affiliate links. “
About the author
Barry Schwartz is an editor at Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY-based web consulting firm. He also runs the Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is called Cartoon Barry and can be followed here on Twitter.