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16th December 2022 - Chris Regan

Google Link Spam Update 2022

This week, Google has rolled out a new update to their search algorithm designed to combat unnatural link-building techniques, which have become popular amongst some SEO agencies and consultants to manipulate the search engine rankings in a way.

Google Link Spam Update

Importance of links

Before jumping into the technical side of this update, it may be worth explaining the importance links play in SEO and how they work.

As you may already be aware, links are essential for SEO because they signal credibility and authority for search engines. When a website links to another website, it is essentially vouching for the content and relevance of that site. The more high-quality and relevant links a website has, the more likely it is to rank higher in search engine results pages. Additionally, links help search engine crawlers discover new pages on a website, which can help with indexing and ranking. Overall, links are a vital factor in determining a website's visibility and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

What is the link spam update?

The Google Link Spam Update is a new update to Google's Search algorithm where Google tries to detect unnatural links to a website and neutralise the impact of that link. To do this, they are using a system called SpamBrain which is their AI-based spam-prevention system. Google says that SpamBrain is capable of detecting not only a website that is buying links but also sites used to pass outgoing links.

What is an unnatural link?

An unnatural link is a link that has been acquired through manipulative or deceptive tactics rather than earned organically. This can include buying links, exchanging links with irrelevant or low-quality websites or creating links through automated programs. Unnatural links can be seen as an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings and violate the search engine's guidelines.

Un unnatural link building is still relevant because, unfortunately, it still works. Some SEO specialists find it easier to buy links than to build them organically, allowing them to see the same results.

When search engines detect unnatural links pointing to a website, they may penalise the site by lowering its rankings or removing it from the search results altogether. Website owners must focus on building high-quality, relevant, and organic links to avoid the negative consequences of unnatural linking practices.

What is the importance of this update?

Google's latest attempt to try and stamp out the problem of unnatural link building by simply detecting unnatural links and neutralising them so they have no impact on the rankings of a website. The importance of the update as it makes it easier for website-building links organically to compete in the rankings.

For a while now, Google has tried to stamp out unnatural link-building. In 2012, they released the Google Penguin update, which aimed to penalise and decrease the ranking of websites known for using manipulative or deceptive link-building tactics. However, rather than kerb the problem, this just made SEOs try different approaches. This new update uses AI technology to learn new ways people are trying to gain unnatural links and immediately neutralise them.

Final Thoughts

Here at Arriba, we only use fully organic link-building techniques and have never bought a link, swapped, or built links through an automated system. We welcome the news that Google is doing more to make it a level playing field between our clients and their competitors. We also believe that Google has used the correct penalty with this new update of neutralising unnatural links, as penalising websites or removing them from the search results, which they've decided to do in the past, is too extreme, especially when a client may not be aware of the techniques there agencies are using.


Google's Official Annoucement

Chris Regan

About the Author

Chris Regan

Chris is the Managing Director and Founder of Arriba. With a degree in web development and over 10-years of experience in the SEO industry, Chris is an expert in all aspects of user-experience and technical SEO.

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