Google Link Spam Update Targets Spammy Links More Broadly

Google said it began rolling out a new algorithm update for Google Search named the link spam update. This update “is even more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam more broadly, across multiple languages,” Google wrote. It will roll out from yesterday, July 26th, over a two week period or so.

So Google writes this long blog post named “a reminder on qualifying links and our link spam update.” The whole blog post is mostly a reminder on what types of links is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. There is more of an emphasis on this blog post around links with a “commercial nature.” But it goes through best practices, affiliate links and how they should use nofollow or rel=sponsored, it talks about sponsored and guest posts, and more.

Then Google announces at the bottom of the blog post the new link spam update with this paragaph:

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.

Some points here:

  • Link Spam Update is the name (not with a date, like Link Spam Update July 2021)
  • Started Monday, July 26th
  • Will take two weeks to roll out
  • Global and multilingual update
  • Nullify spammy links but not penalize them (just not count them versus not penalize the site)
  • Ignoring links will feel like a penalty
  • Nofollow is fine, you do not need to use rel sponsored
  • Google won’t say how much this will impact the search results

So if you see a drop in your rankings over the next couple of weeks, it might be related to this link spam update. Was this related to what we saw over the weekend? I am not sure, but when I was writing it, I thought, wow – the black hat link builder types of communities are noticing this much more than others. Again, Google said it started rolling out on Monday and what I wrote about was spotted on the previous Friday and Saturday.

In any event, I’ll keep an eye on the SEO chatter and let you know what I see with this update. Right now, the chatter and tracking tools are not showing much. At least not yet… Stay tuned.

This is also a global, impacting all languages type of update:

Google also won’t say how much of the search results are impacted by this update, like Google use to tell us with Penguin and Panda and some other updates:

There is a lot of people saying you now must use rel sponsored and not nofollow, that is not true:

What it is not?

Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld.

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