Google regularly updates its algorithms to improve the quality of search results and to combat spam. These updates can directly affect the visibility and ranking of your websites in search results, especially if the site is found to be engaging in practices that violate Google’s guidelines for webmasters. Some examples of such practices include cloaking, buying or selling links, keyword stuffing and creating low-quality content. So, it is crucial to stay up to date with the guidelines and best practices recommended by Google to ensure that your website is not penalized by spam link updates.
What is this update all about?
This update is targeted towards upgrading the spam detection system of Google. It has the ability to find purchased links and detect domains used primarily to pass links to other sites. This update utilizes Google’s AI-based spam prevention system—SpamBrain—to nullify unnatural links.
Apart from detecting spam, this update can also identify buying links and sites used for creating outgoing links.
Will this update affect your site?
Google advised that some websites may witness a fall in ranking as this update neutralizes unnatural links and removes any signals passed to the linking domain.
This update is applicable to all languages, which means you can expect a widespread impact. After this update, the ranking of your website will depend on how you acquire links and how you link out to other pages.
Google has stringent guidelines against obtaining links primarily to boost search rankings. Also, Google has guidelines about qualifying links passed to other websites.
If you are embedding an affiliate link within a text, for instance, you need to qualify that link with a rel=sponsored tag.
If you fail to tag affiliate links appropriately, it could result in your site getting hit by the link spam update.
What could be the potential reasons for getting hit by this update?
If you wish to rank better on Google, then posting quality content is a must. If you have any flaws in the content, then you can likely get hit by this update. Below are some of the reasons to get hit by this update:
- Thin content – If your website doesn’t have amazing content or it contains thin content, then you should be ready to face this update. Thin content typically indicates content that doesn’t provide much value. In short, it is that type of content that doesn’t provide actionable insights to the users.
- Poorly created meta tags – Many websites that were affected by this update had pages with duplicate meta tags or ones that were written to rank on search engines and not inform users. So, make sure you don’t make such mistakes.
- Keyword stuffing – Despite several notifications from Google, people still indulge in practices such as keyword stuffing. Regardless of the keywords are being stuffed in meta tags or blogs, Google will penalize you for this malpractice.
Fortunately, most of us are already aware of these practices, so if you implement them tactfully, you can easily avoid getting penalized by Google. The update will only harm your website if you use dodgy link practices and poor-quality content. So work on both of them to stay on top of Google results.
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