Search engine optimization specialists know the value of having links back to your site. Links indicate to Google that your site has authority in your field, and that your site is full of quality content. However, there have always been sites, and specialists, who try to cheat to system. There are a number of black hat SEO tactics to acquire links that improved sites rankings at one point. However, Google has been cracking down on link farming and the value of low-quality links. Learn more about the link building practices that Google cracked down on by reading below:
Cutting Down on Link Spam
Google announced that they were cutting down on “link spam.” Link spam is defined as being anything that breaches Google’s webmaster guidelines. Google has repeatedly explained that they are focused on reducing link spam, while still maintaining the effectiveness of authoritative and relevant links to your sites ranking ability.
While Google did not say specifically what the update they made was, they did vaguely describe the update saying they “made a number of bad linking practices less effective for manipulating ranking.” While this does not explicitly explain what the update changed, it is safe to assume that it reduced the effectiveness of black-hat SEO tricks such as link farming. Google also reiterated that they are working closely with search engine optimization specialists and webmasters to dis-spell myths about which link building practices are good or bad for optimization.
Above all, Google stated that the best way to avoid getting a penalty for link spamming is to avoid collecting links with the sole purpose of increasing your website’s ranking. Rather than being focused on improving your sites rank by adding as many links as possible, focus on high-quality links to websites with authority to help improve your sites rank.
Other Highlights In Report
In addition to cracking down on link spamming, Google also covered a few other minor announcements in their report including:
- They received 180,000 search spam user reports from Google users. They were able to respond to 64% of the reports.
- Sent out over 186 million messages to website owners regarding the appearance of their site in the search engine result pages
- Reduced the impact of user-created spam on search users by 80%
- Less than 1% of all pages visited by users qualified as spammy pages.
Overall, this update has informed search engine optimization specialists that while links are an important ranking factor for Google, you shouldn’t focus on building links for the sole purpose of increasing your website’s ranking. Focus on collecting high-quality links to authoritative sites and your rankings should follow suit!