Google Targets Link Schemes with New Algorithm Update Third Spam Update of 2021 Begins Rollout

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, SEO

After a summer of frequent updates, Google has launched yet another update to its algorithm. This time, they’re targeting link spam.

Google announced on July 26 that it would begin rolling out what it is calling a ‘link spam update.’ This follows a pair of spam updates that were rolled out in June.

In a blog post, the search engine company wrote that “links are one of the ways Google understands what content may be helpful to searchers, and they can be good for sites to receive, as long as they’re well deserved. A best practice is to avoid methods of acquiring links that violate our guidelines against link schemes.”

Specifically, the update will target links that Google identifies as unfair or deceptive. Google will nullify these links, meaning that sites won’t face any direct punishment, but will lose out on the benefits that their links would have provided.

What is Link Spam?

Good-quality links can improve a page’s SEO score. However, not all links are obtained in an ethical and transparent way.

Many of the problematic ways that sites obtain links can fall under the umbrella of ‘link schemes’ – these are defined by Google as “any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results.”

Examples of link schemes may include low-quality sponsored posts (or guest posts), or link exchanges with other content creators.

It’s important to note that you may notice a drop in rankings even if you do not participate in link schemes. Google’s algorithm is not perfect when it comes to differentiating between genuine links and spam, and your links may get nullified.

What’s Google’s Advice?

“Site owners should make sure that they are following the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing,” they suggest. “Focusing on producing high-quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links. Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links, and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.”

Google says the update will continue to roll out over the next two weeks. We recommend keeping a careful eye on your site’s performance over this period.


Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Google Core Update Shakes Up Black Friday


Media Loses on Visibility Over Shopping Sites

As it does several times per year, Google launched a new Core Update last week and its effects are rocking the Holiday Shopping Season. We’ve never been given a lot of guidance on this topic, except for the article back in 2019 called What site owners should know about Google’s core updates, that had information about content quality evaluation and E-A-T – or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

This particular update was launched a week before Black Friday and it shook up the SEO community. Amsive Digital researched this topic and the results are outstanding.

The results of the analysis conducted show – among other things – a decrease in visibility for big news sites, such as reuters.com, while the visibility for shopping and eCommerce sites such as Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc., seriously increased. And just in time for Holiday shopping!

Another interesting thing to note is the declining visibility of the FDA site, after enjoying much of it last year with Covid-19 in full swing. According to the research, Google is currently giving more room for other health publishers and retailers, letting them rank better.

The update may have come at the right time for eCommerce and Shopping sites, but it’s important to remember this may be a short-term thing since it takes about a week or two for a full rollout.

Don’t delete the bad reviews

Speaking of the Holiday Season and Google, don’t delete bad reviews you might get for your customer service (not because you’re bad, but because – hopefully – you’ll have a lot of work and customers could wait longer for their presents 😉 ).

According to Google, you should value all reviews, for they can come in handy to potential customers when they’re honest and objective, and therefore – trustworthy.

Start with yourself – would you buy something if all the reviews were only good and not a single star was missing? Reply to your reviews, offer help and add more context and show potential customers you care.





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Google releases November 2021 spam update


The rollout for this Google search algorithm update will take about a week

Google has released a new algorithm update, targeted specifically to search spam and it should take about a week for a full rollout. The announcement was made via Twitter saying it is a part of their regular work to improve results, but there wasn’t much more information. Google wasn’t so specific in explaining if this is connected to links, content, or other forms of spam, so they took the opportunity to link to the high-level Google webmaster guidelines.

Why is this important?

Spam updates target specific guideline violations which could affect your ranking or traffic. They are usually designed to cherry-pick low-quality websites that are violating Google’s best practice guidelines  – so, actually listening to their advice and going through the guidelines does sound like a good idea. However, if you noticed some changes with your website traffic – you may have been impacted with the new November 2021 update, but give it some time and wait until the update finishes rolling out, and then check if there are changes you need to make. If you need help – you can always contact us here.

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