A new Google algorithm update that will aim at spam links will be rolling out over the next 2 weeks. What will be the core of that update and what websites will be affected?
On 26th July 2021, Google announced a new update concerning spam links. The update will be fully rolled out during the next 2 weeks. According to Duy Nguyen, the change is going to be wide and include many languages.
What’s the new spam links update really about?
Following Google’s blog, the latest update’s job is to identify spam links and ignore those in the evaluation of the website they lead to. It means that a website that has many low-quality backlinks won’t be penalized, but instead, all those links will be ignored.
However, in fact, this may cause such websites to lose their ranks in search results. It’s the continuation of the approach brought to the Google search engine by Penguin 4.0.
In our continued efforts to improve the quality of the search results, we’re launching a new link spam fighting change today — which we call the “link spam update.” This algorithm update, which will rollout across the next two weeks, is even more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam more broadly, across multiple languages. Sites taking part in link spam will see changes in Search as those links are re-assessed by our algorithms.
How to build your links to avoid getting hit by the update?
Guidelines for the linking process remain the same. We have tackled this topic many times on our blog. You can also read about the most important link-building rules on the above-mentioned Google blog. However, to make your life a little bit easier (and keep you on our website 😉 ) I will quickly summarize Uncle Google advice:
- Affiliate links are ok. In other words, if someone willingly places your link on their website for commercial purposes – that’s perfectly fine. Google encourages to tag such links with rel=”sponsored” attribute.
- Sponsored links and guest posts are also fine unless they violate link scheme guidelines.
Now, a few words about what not to do (I will summarize Google’s approach to link schemes, so you don’t have to read it all):
- Don’t buy links transferring PageRank – in general, don’t buy links that are not sponsored posts, it won’t pay off.
- Don’t go for large-scale link exchanges (“I’ll link to your site, you’ll link to mine” thing. A few such links won’t affect your website, but don’t go all-in for that tactic.
- Don’t overdo links in sponsored and guest posts, be especially careful with anchors. One link is totally enough.
- Don’t use automated link creators.
- Don’t require a link as a part of a Terms of Service, contract, or other cooperation of this kind, especially when not allowing third-party to qualify the outbound link.
In addition, Google determines which links are considered unnatural. These, among others, include:
- Links in the footers
- Forum comments that go like “great article, thanks!” and featured with a link
- Content that contains numerous links placed on keywords. How many times have we seen such mockery of an optimized text like that in Google’s example:
- Keyword-rich links, hidden links, or those embedded on widgets.
Summing up, the best way to avoid being hit by the update and get a good link is surrounding it with qualitative and unique content, and obtaining it in a natural way. Link building still makes sense and according to the MOZ study makes up to 30% of the SEO process success. It’s quite a number, isn’t it? 🙂