Google link spam algorithm in July’21
Google recently introduced a link spam algorithm update in July this year. This algorithm can identify spammy links and nullify them. Site owners are warned that this update can shake things up in their ranking activities based on the link spams introduced.
As an SEO agency, we want to make sure that you are aware of this update to take necessary action for your website. Will this update, prepare for backlinks removal while you work towards link building.
What is link spam?
Before we move on to tell you more about the algorithm, we want to tell you about link spam and how it works.
A link spam refers to the posting of unrelated links on discussion forums, blog comments, websites, or guest books. Some site owners have resorted to such activity with the objective to lead website visitors to their product pages. However, the user might feel tricked into being led to a site that does not provide any value.
For instance, suppose you are reading an article that talks about the best electrician in town. How to find out whether the technician is right for your work? The article gives a list of factors that define the great qualities a technician should have. You find a link within the article embedded in a line that says, find best technicians here, so you click the link only to be led to a site that sells electrical equipment. So, the user has spent time reading an article that was eventually of no value because they could be led to a real technician.
In much the same way, link spam is also known as comment spam, blog spam or wikispam. Link spammers usually are known to leave comments that have links but lack value.
Why do link spammers do this? They’re not trying to cheat you, but it inadvertently goes in that direction.
Here’s why – their objective is to increase the number of external links made to a site that the site owner wishes to promote. This helps increase page rankings and improves the intended site’s search engine’s results page (SERP). Increasing rank positions leads to higher visibility above competitors, which means more visitors who eventually become paid customers.
Is link spamming that bad?
You could say that link spamming is innocent, but at the same time addictive and misleading. Google is all about protecting its users from being misled and preventing them from missing out on valuable content.
Link spamming started in website guest books, where spammers would repeatedly paste links to the site being endorsed or promoted. Around 2003, it got worse, where spammers started to attack open comments in blog posts.
As of now, many blog software systems have devised ways to eliminate or reduce link spamming to a great extent.
But, there’s always a twist and a loophole for spammers. They found a way around locked doors. They refrained from targeting common sites, and started looking elsewhere, like wikis. Wikispam was created as a result, and therefore, wikis, Wikipedia have pages in their sandbox testing. These are filled with spammed links along with active pages that are defaced by links.
However, when spammers are present, search engines get wary. Search engines like Google do not support such spammers and hence, decide to remove the spammer’s website from the search results page.
Also, there is a manually effective way for site owners to prevent spammers from adding out-of-context links to their comments section. The site owner can manually check the comments and approve or disapprove them, depending on the nature of the comment. There are even banned words that are blacklisted to help detect spam.
So, now that you understand what spammers can do and how they create link spams, let’s move on to the much talked about update.
Why is everyone talking about the link spam update?
Based on Google’s announcement about the update, it is clear that particular emphasis is laid on targeting links from sponsored, guest, and affiliate content.
The update announced casually reminds site owners to mark up affiliate content with the appropriate ‘rel’ values. Google mentions the algorithm update at the end of the blog post, leaving many wondering whether it’s to get site owners to pay attention. This advice is crucial and explains how to handle links within content that is used for exchanging value and nothing else.
Google alerts site owners to qualify links with caution when linking out to other sites. As a site owner, you must add tags to links that share value with the reader. Google is not entirely neglecting your brand objectives and only focusing on creating value for the customer. That is why when you share a link, and as it sends the users to your website, make sure your link provides them with meaningful and valuable information. At the same time, you can create content that encourages the user to take action like buying a product or reading more about your brand.
Moving on; Google singles out affiliate links, sponsored links, and guest content to recommend the following actions:
- Affiliate links: Google asks affiliate marketing site owners to qualify their links with rel=“sponsored”. This should be done regardless of whether the links were created manually or dynamically.
- Sponsored link posts: Advertisements or paid placement links can be marked up with the rel=“sponsored” value.
- Guest post links: Guest post links are to be marked up with the rel=“nofollow” value.
Suppose a website does not qualify in the above types of links, Google will issue manual actions to such site owners.
If you want a professional SEO agency to conduct a thorough backlinks removal analysis for your website, connect with us. We provide SEO services and offer successful link building results. You can book a free consultation session with us to understand where you are headed, and how you need to tackle link spamming issues. We’ll make sure that your ranking efforts are not wasted due to minor issues that can be managed by our expert team.