To fight link spam update – The rollout took two weeks longer than expected.
Google has completed the rollout of its link spam update, which began just over four weeks ago.
“The link spam update is complete,” Danny Sullivan reported via the Google Search Liaison account.
Why it took so long?
Google originally said the update would be “up and running within the next two weeks.” But as you can see, it took another two weeks to complete – four weeks in total. Why did it take so long? Google didn’t say, but I suspect things got a little stale, and the rollout encountered unexpected difficulties.
The initial announcement.
As part of our ongoing effort to improve the quality of our search results, today we’re rolling out a new change to combat link spam, which we’re calling the ‘link spam update.’ This algorithm update, which will be launched in the next two weeks, is even more effective at identifying and destroying link spam at a broader level and in more languages. Sites involved in link spam will see changes in search as these links will be re-evaluated by our algorithms
Eliminating link spam
You can see that Google used the word “ignore” here, which doesn’t necessarily mean “penalize” but rather ignore or simply disregard. Since the release of Penguin 4.0 in 2016, Google’s efforts to combat link spam have boiled down to ignoring and not counting spammy links.
Why we care?
It may be hard for you or your clients to determine exactly what happened, since it took a month to fully roll out the project. But if you’ve noticed any changes in your rankings, perhaps significant ones, in the last month, it may be due to a new link spam update.
Make sure your links are natural and in line with Google’s guidelines for webmasters. Work on improving your site so that it can attract new links naturally over time.
As Google writes:
Site owners should make sure they follow best practices for links, both inbound and outbound. Focusing on creating high-quality content and improving the user experience always wins over link manipulation. Raise awareness of your site with properly labeled links and monetize it with properly labeled affiliate links