Google Link Spam Update: Everything You Need to Know
As a site owner, you work hard to ensure that your website performs well on search engines. After all, slipping from the first page of Google to the second will cost you a huge amount of organic traffic. Whether you are an e-commerce seller or work in a different industry, having little organic traffic from Google is never a good thing. Getting traffic to your site in other ways is hard work and often expensive. Unfortunately, the Google link spam update is one more thing to worry about.
Why do we say this? Although link spam isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be, savvy website owners need every possible advantage. This is especially true in highly competitive niches, such as e-commerce. To help further level the playing field between honest site owners and those who take shortcuts, Google launched its latest version of the Google link spam algorithm update in late 2022.
What is the Google link spam update?
According to Google’s developer notes, the link spam update is an improvement to pre-existing spam filters on Google. Specifically, it relies more heavily on the AI-based Spam Brain tool. While previous versions of Google’s spam detection technology was very good at finding spammy links, the older technology mostly depended on links that proved to be spam over time.
With the new Google link spam update, the search engine is much better at finding links from link farms. A link farm is a website that sells access to its backlinks so that a client’s website looks like it has a higher level of credibility. This is a common shortcut used by affiliate marketers and others looking to maximize their website monetization. Unfortunately, failure to declare those links to Google is a violation of their policies.
Another advancement relates to guest posting. Before the latest update, Google didn’t always detect when to website owners would do a guest post on each other’s pages to improve their link profile. While Google doesn’t have a problem with a guest post, you’re supposed to add a no follow tag to the backlinks. This tells Google that they shouldn’t count your link toward the rankings.
How can you avoid getting penalized?
Image Source: Sistrix
Strictly speaking, the Google link spam update does not penalize sites that run afoul of the rules. That is, you don’t technically get demoted for links that don’t measure up. Instead, the algorithm ignores those links, thereby depriving you of any benefit from them. Google’s approach here is similar to other updates, particularly Google Panda.
With that said, consistently breaking the rules can get you a manual action. This is when a Google moderator finds significant problems with your website, such as a whole bunch of spam. However, in this case, you’re more likely to simply see your search engine ranking drop.
Recovering from the Google link spam update
The best way to recover is by fixing your link profile. If you have a bunch of junk links, you can certainly remove them. You can also work harder at building legitimate links and at properly identifying links with commercial intent.
Ultimately, the goal of the Google link spam algorithm update is that the highest quality content on a topic should rank the highest. Practically speaking, this means that your job is to create and publish the best possible content. Not only does quality content help with the algorithm at several points, but it also encourages organic links. In other words, as people find your content valuable, there’s a greater chance that they’ll link to it. These are the links that Google assigns the highest value.
Through the Google link spam update and many other algorithm changes, Google is making it clear that they only want the most relevant, highest-quality content to reach the first page of most SERPs. This is unsurprising when you consider that Google’s business is giving searchers what they want, thereby keeping them loyal to Google Search.
Producing high-quality content on your own can be difficult, however. Many business owners are great at marketing or at running a business but are not very good at writing web copy. That’s where WriterArmy comes in. Our team of SEO specialists, writers, and editors can help you feature the best possible content on your website. Best of all, our services are a cost-effective solution for site owners. Contact us today for a free consultation.