The new spam algorithm has rolled out aiming to fight link spam.
Google has rolled out the link spam update targeting spammy links.
The algorithm update is more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam that spans multiple languages.
Sites participating in spam that are identified by the algorithm are likely to see their rankings drop due to “nullifying,” which does not necessarily mean “penalize,” but instead, will be ignored and simply not counted
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What can you do if you see your rankings drop?
If you have seen your rankings decline in Google, 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.
How to identify spammy links
A significant number of spammy links can negatively impact your site. In order to find out if you have any spammy links, check for the following:
- Spammy anchor texts – Links that contain spammy keywords may be discarded by Google’s new algorithm. Oftentimes these sites will use keyword-rich anchor text in order to pass value to a page or site.
- Sudden changes in link count – A drop of 3,000 links may be an example of spam because it is unlikely that those pages were removed and the domain has not lost any popularity. If you see sudden spikes or drops in link numbers, your site should be checked to ensure no harm has been done.
- Links from similar sites – Another red flag for spam is when domains that are related to yours are linking to you with the same anchor text using nofollow attributes. This might be an attempt to juice your search engine results and this type of activity may lead to penalties.
- Links from unrelated sites – Spammylinks will typically be from unrelated domains and these links may not have any anchor text at all.
Sudden changes in link count or new links that are coming into your site should always be checked out to see if they are spammy or natural. Combining the above four factors also helps to determine a potential rogue link. After identifying the offending sites, reach out to them and ask that they remove the link. If this fails proceed to a submitting a disavow file to Google.
How to perform a link detoxification
In order to see if you have any links that are not following Google’s guidelines, it will be necessary to perform a sitewide link detox. There are a couple of methods, the first:
1. Google Webmaster Tools
- Go to Search Console
- Scroll down until you see “Links to Your Site” and click on it. This will bring up a list of all the sites linking back to your website or blog.
- From this page, click on the ‘latest links’ that will bring up a list of the newest links to your site.
- Scroll through these sites to find anything that is irrelevant or spammy and reach out to them to have it corrected. Check all categories for any new link such as “NoFollow”and “Outgoing.”
- Submit a disavow file to Google listing all spammy links
2. Use 3rd Party Link detox software
The use of such software will come at a cost and requires a high level of understanding and competency to achieve the best results. Within these platforms links are graded using a traffic light system where green is good and red is bad, so far so good. The skill comes in analysing those that fall within the amber zone, get it wrong and the consequence will be the removal of good links that are aiding your rankings!
Final word about Link Building
Make sure your site is high-quality enough to attract quality backlinks. Adding content on a regular basis will help with building credibility with other sites. Additionally, actively respond to comments left on your site so that other webmasters can learn more about your business and potentially link back as well. This takes extra time and effort, but it is a worthwhile investment when you see new links coming into your page from high-quality domains.
Improving your site’s authority is at the core of good rankings, and hiring a professional Search Engine Optimisation like Nettonic will offer a quality link building service.