As you might have heard, Google started rolling out its “Google link spam update” on July 26th, 2021, which involves a change in its algorithm for spam link detection and nullifying. The company has stated that it will take about 2 weeks for the change to broadly affectand that the updates will target searches performed in multiple languages.
But what does this algorithm update mean for your business?
What Are Spam Links and What Is Google Doing About Them?
Link spamming is the process of posting links that are out of context on sites and other internet pages such as forums or other places where users can post comments. These links usually do not provide any value to the person who might be clicking on them.
A common example of a spam link goes on in the comments section of a blog post. If you scroll down to the comments, in between users who are genuinely talking about the post at hand, you might see a user posting a link that has nothing to do with the topic at all. It”s usually a link to an external page.
Google wants to cut down on these types of links because they directly influence user experience, as spammers will often not specify where the link is directing a user.
“The search engine has no way of knowing the link is relevant on your site unless you specifically tell it the type of link it is.”
The change in algorithm will mostly impact websites that take part in link spam, as the search algorithm will assess those links and likely influence their ranking on the search engine results pages. But, even if you don’t directly take part in these types of activities, it doesn’t mean your site won’t be impacted. Google made it a point to draw attention to links from 3 types of content: sponsored, affiliate, and guest.
What Does This Mean?
Google warns site owners to be more careful as to how they mark up links coming from these sources. Specifically, it wants site owners to clearly mark the kind of value a user gets when clicking on such links.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Sponsored links: must be marked with the rel=”sponsored” value
- Affiliate links: also marked with the rel=”sponsored” value
- Guest content: must be marked with the rel=”nofollow” value
The search engine has no way of knowing the link is relevant on your site unless you specifically tell it the type of link it is. It might be necessary to go back to some of your content and manually add these values to your link, to prevent Google from classifying them as spam.
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