All you need to know about the Google link spam update

Google introduces a new algorithm, the Google link spam update from July 26, 2021.

With the increase in the rates of blackhat SEO practices and website owners trying to manipulate search engine result pages (SERPs), Google sets up new policies to regulate things.

It is unarguable that most business owners are growing to understand the benefits of SEO and getting organic traffic. This awakening has led lots of web creators into using SEO techniques that violate Google policies.

Some of these wrong SEO techniques include the use of spammy links, link exchange, private blog networks (PBN), keyword stuffing, and thin content. The overall aim of these practices is to boost the domain authority and page authority of a website and drive organic traffic.

However, we cannot neglect the fact that link building is a fundamental process in SEO. Nevertheless, the process of getting and using backlinks is what matters here. 

The Google link spam update is to ensure strict adherence to measures in the use of outbound and inbound links. This also encourages web creators to stick to the best practices and also penalize defaulters.

This article includes all you need to know about the Google link spam update.

What is Google link spam update?

Google link spam update is an algorithm update that deals with the process of qualifying links. These include a set of guidelines that guide web creators in acquiring, and using links that will not violate Google’s policies.

The algorithm is also in charge of identifying and nullifying spammy links. This could also include penalizing the web page for going against the rules through a means called Manual actions. Google link spam update works at reducing the rate of links used to manipulate Page Rank factors or a site’s rank position on Google’s search results.

Google Link spam update handles link schemes that will have a negative impact on SERPs.

Some of these link schemes include;

  1. The use of unnatural links
  2. The use of bots or auto-services to generate backlinks
  3. Mutual Backlink exchange
  4. Targeted Guest blogging
  5. Purchase of backlinks
  6. Acquiring backlinks without due qualifications by parties involved.

The link spam update will sustain the appropriate process of link-building. This will also ensure that business owners don’t trade their links with authoritative sites.

All you need to know about the Google link spam update and how it will affect your business

As a business owner, you must be aware to help you effect necessary changes in your website practices to avoid a manual action.

· Affiliate Marketing

Google rolls out a set of rules that guide the practices involved with inserting links from affiliate marketers and review sites.

We understand that a lot of bloggers and business owners make a lot of money from affiliate programs and product reviews. Google does not intend to cut off your source of income; rather it requests that bloggers qualify their affiliate links before using them.

You should qualify affiliate links using the rel=”sponsored” tag.

· Sponsored posts and Guest blogging

A lot of business owners have realized that guest blogging is one of the easiest ways of acquiring outbound links and building do-follow links. On the other hand, they also serve as sources of revenue for your website. A web owner could place charges to have your guest blog on their website.

However, there has been an increase in the circulation of thin content published as guest posts, not with the intention of driving relevance, but to gain backlinks.

These practices go against Google’s guidelines for link schemes. Google has advanced in its algorithm updates, making it easier to identify and nullify spam links or ‘illegal’ link schemes.

You should qualify guest posts using the appropriate rel values, according to the content structure and purpose.

The appropriate rel values for guest posts include the following:

  • rel=”sponsored”

This marks out guest posts that are purely sponsored. Paid articles fall into this category.

  • rel=”ugc”

The rel value UGC refers to all user-generated comments. These comments include all comments, forum posts, and discussions made by your users. If you wish to cite or make reference to them in your publication, you must qualify those comment links using the rel=”ugc”.

  • rel=”nofollow”

The rel=”nofollow” value only applies for links that are not sponsored posts or user-generated comments.

However, web creators and business owners must know that links qualified by rel values are not followed. Google will not crawl links with such qualifications. Crawling and indexing will come from sitemaps, organic or inorganic traffic through SERPs.

How do you use the rel values to qualify for Google Link Spam Update?

You must only use the appropriate rel ppl values in the <a> tag. Nevertheless, you could multiple rel values in one <a> tag.

You could use multiple values with a comma separating each value, or a space indicating differences.

Here are five examples of how to use the rel values to qualify a link for the Google Link Spam update.

  1. Give me the <a href= rel=”sponsored”>ball</a>now.
  2. Can you give me the <a href= rel=”ugc”>ball</a>now.
  3. Pass me the <a href= rel=”nofollow”>ball</a>now.
  4. Help me with the <a href= rel=”sponsored, nofollow”>ball</a>now.
  5. Give me the <a href= rel=”ugc nofollow”>ball</a>now.

Will defaulters be penalized for the Google link spam update?

There are speculations on what will Google do to people that ignore the Google link spam update and fail to qualify their links.

The reason for rolling out the new link spam update is to ensure that link schemes are adhered to and shun black hat SEO practices. This includes improving search results by displaying only relevant results and high-quality content.

However, Google states that manual actions will be given to defaulters that ignore the Google link spam update.

Manual actions are issued when a human reviewer discovers that some or all of your pages are going against the Google webmaster quality guidelines.

Manual actions will cause the removal of some or the entire pages of a website from the search results or cause it to rank significantly lower.

There will be manual Actions if your website has any of these issues;

  1. Third-party spams
  2. Thin content
  3. Cloaking
  4. Cloaked images
  5. Spammy free hosts
  6. Structured data issue
  7. AMP content mismatch
  8. Unnatural links to/from site
  9. Hidden text and Keyword stuffing
  10. Sneaky mobile redirects


The Google spam link update is not rolled out to make life harder for bloggers. This is a deliberate action to ensure that sanity and due processes by web creators.

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