Google Rolls Out Link Spam Algorithm Update
Google has finally started rolling out their link spam algorithm update, which many professional SEO companies have been looking forward to. According to the search engine company, their link spam update will be more effective at both identifying and nullifying link spam, which benefits both SEO companies and users.
According to Google, many companies nowadays monetise their sites and blogs using methods that lead to creating and using outbound links. But if people overdo this, the search engine company said that it could violate their quality guidelines. Google then shared a reminder on how to deal with such links and how they would continue to improve their system to reduce the impact of link spam on the search results.
Google began rolling out the update on 26 July, and it will take at least two weeks before getting across the search results in multiple languages. However, the search engine company notes that changes in the rankings are imminent for some website owners.
According to Google, the algorithm will reassess websites that participate in link spam, and their owners will see significant changes in Search – which is good news for sites that do not use such tactics. The search engine company also believes that the new link spam update will improve the overall quality of the search results.
Google’s announcement page had bits of information strewn throughout, suggesting a particular emphasis on targeting links from guest, sponsored, and affiliate content. Their announcement began with a casual reminder to mark up affiliate content with the appropriate rel values. Afterwards, Google digresses and avoids mentioning the news about the algorithm update until at the end of the blog post.
What Google did could indicate that they want website owners to pay attention to their advice on how to deal with links in content where there is an exchange of value involved. What’s more, complying with Google’s guidance seems especially relevant to the algorithm update.
Types Of Links In Value Exchange
An affiliate link is a unique URL containing a specific affiliate’s username or ID. Advertisers utilise such links to record traffic sent to their websites. So, if a search engine user clicks through the affiliate link and performs an action that the advertiser paid a commission for, the affiliate earns out of it.
Website SEOs can also use guest and sponsored posts from other sites to earn more. Guest and sponsored posts are articles created by or in the name of one website but are published on a different site. Google notes that they have noticed campaigns with low-quality guest and sponsored posts primarily intended to gain links.
Guest and sponsored posts are quite similar, but they have their differences. A guest post, for instance, is when a site owner lets another fellow publisher contribute to their blog for free. In return, the former can reward the latter by allowing them to link back to their site – a win-win situation.
On the other hand, a sponsored post is when a site owner gets a proposal from a company that sells products and services relevant to the site niche. The latter would then ask the site owner to write a positive review, including a backlink to their website’s product page. Publishers usually receive some sort of payment to reward the writer’s efforts.
Google Link Tag Best Practices
Google reminds SEO companies and online businesses to properly qualify links when they link out to other websites. The sites must place tags to their links if there is a value exchange between two domains. In particular, Google singles out affiliate links as well as URLs from guest and sponsored content.
Below are some of the tips that Google recommends for each link type:
Affiliate links: Google asks websites that participate in affiliate programs to qualify these links with the rel=”sponsored”, whether they created the links dynamically or manually.
Links from guest posts: These links should be marked up with the rel=”nofollow” value.
Links from sponsored posts: Links that are paid placements or advertisements should be marked up with the rel=”sponsored” value.
Moreover, the search engine company states that they may issue manual actions when they find websites that do not appropriately qualify the links mentioned above.
Google Improves Their System
Google notes that the fight against link spam online has been effective over the past two decades because they constantly improve their spam detection and ranking systems. The search engine company also gave thanks to the many websites that follow their guidelines and SEO publishers who improve sites to promote high-quality content and a great user experience.
Nevertheless, they admit that there is still room for improvement, especially as they intently search for sites that intentionally build spammy links to manipulate their rankings.
Although their latest link spam update is effective, Google reminds website owners and businesses to ensure they comply with their guidelines for incoming and outgoing URLs. They also said that focusing on creating high-quality content and improving user experience will always win over manipulating links. Moreover, promoting a website’s online presence using the appropriate tagged links and monetising them with the right tagged affiliate links will do wonders for their search rankings.
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