Over the last few years, Google has enhanced its capabilities for detecting and eliminating spam. This is taken one step further in December 2022 with the latest update to their spam detection system that improves the recognition of purchased links and domains that are used primarily to direct traffic to other sites.
By utilizing Google’s AI spam detection and prevention system, SpamBrain, unnatural links are identified and nullified automatically. Google has stated that the system does not only detect spam more efficiently, it also identifies websites which are buying links or built specifically with the purpose to frontload outgoing links.
Google wants to emphasize and promote high quality content through this constant evolution of their algorithm. Unfortunately there are many websites out there that are publishing poor quality, low effort content that abuses links for the purpose of financial gain.
From December 2022 onwards, Google has advised that search rankings may change as a result of this improved spam detection system. This is the case for all websites that utilize purchased or excessive outgoing links, regardless of the language or hosting location of your domain.
Your site will only be affected if you are breaching Google’s strict guidelines for obtaining and including links on your pages.
If you are working with affiliate links, you will need to specify that it is a sponsored link with a relevant ‘sponsored’ tag. If you do not highlight the fact that a link is sponsored, the spam detection system may flag your site and result in a lower search ranking.
Below is a list of items that Google identifies as link spam with the SpamBrain system:
- Buying/selling links in order to achieve higher Google search rankings. This includes purchasing or selling posts that contain links.
- Offering services or products in exchange for links
- Writing a post with a link in exchange for a product
- An excess of link-for-link exchanges. This essentially means that your website and partner pages provide too many links to each other
- Using automated systems to create links to your pages
- Including a link requirement in your terms of service or other contractual documentation
- Excessive links in footers or templates of multiple sites
While this is a simple summary of Google’s link spam policy, you should review the full terms of service to ensure you are covered with your published content.
Much like any other website, people who are making use of guest post services need to adhere to the same guidelines to avoid any impact from this update.
One thing to make note of is that links within guest posts will need to be specifically tagged with ‘rel=nofollow’ or you could risk being deranked as a result of the link spam update.
While impacted users may feel the effects in terms of website analytics, you will not be notified within the Google Search Console if you are specifically targeted by the SpamBrain link spam detection system.
If you are making use of guest post services and adhering to the Google guidelines, there is absolutely no need to worry about any negative impacts of this update.
The Google link spam update began to take effect from December 14th, 2022. Users who have links that do not meet the guidelines highlighted above will need to have adapted their content from this point onwards. Despite this specified date, the update took around two
weeks to completely roll out, giving users some time to adapt as required.
Since link spam and purchasing has become a more prominent issue on the internet in 2022, Google is making clever use of their SpamBrain detection system to neutralize websites that are abusing their links.
While websites that are breaching Google’s guidelines could be hit hard now that the update has rolled out throughout December 2022, people who are continuing to employ compliant content will not be affected.
This goes for the use of guest post services, where the proper use of tags on links will ensure that there is no risk of pages receiving lower rankings overall. We at QGP, all our guest posts are posted naturally without any link attribution tags such as ref=nofollow, sponsored, UG.