Google is rolling out the link spam update today and throughout the next two weeks. This link spam update targets spammy links “more broadly” and “across multiple languages,” Duy Nguyen, a Google search quality analyst, said.
The announcement. Google wrote “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.”
Nullifying link spam. You can see the word Google used here was “nullifying,” which does not necessarily mean “penalize,” but instead, to ignore or simply not count. Google’s efforts around link spam have been to ignore and not count spammy links since Penguin 4.0 was released in 2016.
Might feel like a penalty. While Google may not penalize your site for these spammy links, if Google ignores or nullifies links that may have been helping a site rank well in Google Search, that might feel like a penalty. In short, if you see your rankings drop over the next two weeks and if it is a sharper drop, it might be related to this update.
Best practices on links. Google’s Duy Nguyen published a blog post about link spam and best practices that you can read here.
Why we care. Again, if you see ranking declines in Google over the next two weeks, it might be related to this new link spam update. Make sure your links are natural and in accordance with Google’s webmaster guidelines. Work on improving your site, so it can naturally attract new links over time.
As Google wrote, “Site owners should make sure that they are following the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing. Focusing on producing high quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links. Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links, and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.”