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August 9, 2021

Google’s Link Spam Update: What You Need to Know

When it comes to monetizing websites or blogs, web creators have gotten creative over the years, coming up with multiple (and occasionally spammy) ways of doing so. As these methods incorporate more and more outbound links, Google has attempted to curb practices that might violate their strict quality guidelines. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do to avoid any unwanted ranking drops to your website due to poor link-building practices.

Qualify Your Links Appropriately

Links are just one of the ways that Google understands what content might be helpful to searchers, and while they’re great for sites to receive, it’s important that they’re well deserved. Use the following rel (or relationship) attributes to ensure Google understands your relationship to the linked page.

  • rel=” sponsored” – This tells Google that your link is a paid placement or advertisement, otherwise known as a “paid link.”
  • rel=”ugc” – This tells Google that your link is user-generated content (aka UGC), and it’s recommended that you mark forum posts or comments with this value. Likewise, if you have forum posters or visitors who’ve regularly contributed high-quality content, you can remove this value from their posted links at your own discretion.
  • rel=”nofollow” – You can use this attribute when the other values don’t apply, or you similarly don’t want Google to associate your site with a given link, or crawl the linked page from your site.

Double-check Your Affiliate Links

As affiliate links (such as product reviews and shopping guides) are a common method for blogs and publishers to monetize their site traffic, Google is cracking down on sites failing to use the rel=”sponsored” attribute on these links, regardless of how they were originally created.

As such, sites that fail to adhere to this policy may find themselves subject to manual action from Google, resulting in some or all of their site ranking lower or worse, no longer being visible in Google Search results.

Use Sponsored or Guest Posts Sparingly

While accepting sponsored and guest posts from other websites is a viable strategy to monetizing your web traffic, it’s important not to overdo it. In fact, Google has gotten particularly good at detecting and nullifying spammy link tactics like this one, classifying them as link schemes. Be sure to apply the appropriate rel values to your sponsored posts and guest posts to avoid manual actions from Google, similar to the precautions you should take when qualifying your affiliate links.

Work with a Digital Marketing Agency

Whether you’re new to link building or looking to add some extra assurances as to your website’s SEO optimizations, working with a digital marketing agency is a surefire way to keeping your site clean, compliant, and up to date with all of Google’s algorithm changes.

Contact VELOX Media today to find out how we can improve and optimize your link-building practices from the ground up.

VELOX Media is an award-winning, ROI-focused digital marketing agency that specializes in strategy, organic search marketing optimization, paid management, and web development.

We specifically target a 400%-800% monthly ROI above spend and are ranked among the top 3% of agencies in the world by Google.

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