A Google algorithm against spam links for guest posts and affiliate links

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Crackdown on spam links, which continue to pose a problem for the quality of search results: the “spam link update” started on July 26 by Google, an algorithmic update that will allow the search engine to identify and cancel spam on links more effectively and widely, in multiple languages, hitting with “penalties” ranking sites that participate in this phenomenon and do not follow best practices in relation to monetization with affiliate links or sponsored content and guest posts.

The Google spam link update

Giving out the news of the launch of this new algorithm – which fits into a pretty intense picture of movements on the search engine of recent months, with two different core updates and other relevant interventions – is Duy Nguyen, Google Search Quality Analyst, which explains that the implementation of the spam link update link will go on for about two weeks and affects “more languages”. In general, it reads in the article, the effectiveness of spam links has been greatly reduced in the last two decades, thanks to constant improvements in Google’s systems for the classification and detection of spam; however, a further effort is needed, especially when “sites that intentionally create spam links with the intent to manipulate ranking, often in deceptive ways” still appear among SERPs. And just such sites that take part in the spam link “will see changes in Search, as those links are revalued by our algorithms”, anticipates and threatens Nguyen.

Complying with the rules about links

Contributing to the reduction of spam is also “the vast majority of sites, which follow our guidelines, focusing on creating websites with an excellent user experience and providing high quality content“, writes the Googler, which recalls how “site owners should make sure to follow best practices on both inbounding and outbounding links“. In Google’s view, in fact, focusing “on producing high-quality content and improving the user experience always wins over the manipulation of links“.

Tips on link management

In this sense, Google invites to promote site awareness “by using properly tagged links and using monetization techniques with appropriately tagged affiliate links”. And exactly on the monetization options of sites and blogs focuses the attention of Google, because some of the methods of revenue through sites “lead to the creation of outgoing links that, if exaggerated and not annotated correctly, could violate our quality guidelines”. And so, Nguyen indicates what are the official tips to manage links that could have a commercial nature and, in practice, protect yourself from this spam link update that could lead to shocks to the rankings of sites that do not fit the new standard.

Avoiding spam links on your site

In summary, the links on the site must be natural and comply with Google’s webmaster guidelines. As we know, links “are one of the ways in which Google understands what content can be useful for users” and, “if well deserved, they are also useful for sites that receive them” in pushing opttica to the ranking and authoritativeness of the domain. A first best practice is to avoid methods of link acquisition that violate guidelines against link schemes: in particular, says Nguyen, if our site is linking to other sites we must “qualify such links appropriately“, using the appropriate rel= tags that allow you to identify links “that involve payments, sponsorships or are of a commercial nature”.

Identifying affiliate links

Affiliate links on pages such as product reviews or shopping guides are a common way for blogs and publishers to monetize their traffic; generally, Google allows the use of affiliate links to monetize a website, but asks sites that participate in “affiliate programs to qualify these links with rel=”sponsored”, regardless of whether these links were created manually or dynamically”.I link di affiliazione With the goal of “improving ranking for searches about products and better rewarding high-quality content”Google may take manual actions to prevent these links from affecting Search and may also take algorithmic actions on its systems, the article says. Both of these interventions – manual and algorithmic actions – “can influence the way we see a site in the Search, so it is good to avoid things that could cause penalties, where possible”.

Tips for guest posts and sponsored content

Another common way in which sites can monetize is to “accept sponsored content and guest posts from other sites”: it is, summarizes the article, articles “written by or on behalf of a website and published on a different website”. In the past, Google recalls having “observed sponsored article campaigns and guest posts of low quality, primarily intended to obtain links“, which in the past have led to the introduction of algorithms intended precisely to raise the quality, as the well-known Google Penguin update.
Guest post e contenuti sponsorizzati Today search engine algorithms are greatly improved in detecting and undoing such link schemes, and advice for site owners is to apply the appropriate rel values to these links. When “we detect sites engaged in publishing or acquiring links with an excessive number of sponsored content and guest posts without adequate link tags, algorithmic and manual actions may be applied, similar to affiliate links”, explains Nguyen. Sponsored post links – advertisements or paid placements, classically called paid links – must be marked with the value rel=”sponsored”. Guest post links must be marked with the classic rel=”nofollow” value.

A new focus on links: following best practices to avoid risk of penalties

Google then again draws attention to spam links and the management of links coming out of the site, indicating to site owners the best practices especially for the content in which an exchange is involved. Sites are forced to add tags to links where there is an exchange of value (money or agreements) between the two domains, worth violating the guidelines for webmasters and leading to the black hat SEO. The risks for those who do not follow the rules are quite high: we talk openly about manual or algorithmic actions, but the article also says that Google can “ignore or cancel” these links. In practice, it always means loss of ranking, resulting from a sanctioning intervention or elimination of the benefit obtained in an illegal way. And so, ultimately, this crackdown should convince site owners to avoid the use of these link schemes and properly tag the outbounding links from their content, trying to only insert natural links and comply with Google’s guidelines.

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