Google has released a spam update, an update to the ranking algorithm but aimed at the spam side of search results. The company called this update “spam update 2021” and it will take about a week to roll out , in which it might show up in search results.

“ As part of our regular work to improve results, we launch the spam update on our systems. This update should be fully implemented in a week. We encourage sites to follow our search engine best practices , “the company said on its Twitter account, in addition to suggesting that publishers follow its webmaster guidelines in order to improve their indexing.

As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems. This November 2021 spam update should be fully rolled out within a week. We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search:

– Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) November 3, 2021

Of course, when talking about spam, Google is not referring to the annoying email messages that our mailbox labels us as spam. In this case, the webspam pages are identified because they are the ones that try to deceive the Google algorithm in order to improve their positioning, or that directly carry out illegal activities.

Among the elements considered part of the webspam pages are:

  • Using deceptive redirects to other websites
  • Pages that have no content, or whose content does not make sense.
  • Hidden or invisible text on the website.
  • Pages that imitate other websites, or those that impersonate a person.
  • Websites with fake reviews.
  • Websites that are created to collect user data and that are used for illegal purposes.

Google’s latest spam update called simply Link Spam Update was carried out in July 2021, the month in which the company also carried out a core update , a year in which more updates have been noticed for the great search engine.

An algorithm update focused on nullifying link spam

Link spam is a positioning strategy, by means of which a site rises in ranking through the use of links that do not meet Google’s quality requirements . This new update will reinforce the search algorithm in order to determine what kind of sites are carrying out this type of inappropriate behavior, and, once identified, take action on these actions.

As happened in the last spam update, the pages that are identified will not suffer a penalty, such as its closure, however, their positioning will be corrected by disregarding the links presented, which could lead to a sharp drop in the ranking.

This action in itself is already a heavy penalty. Well, being one of the first searches implies a greater reach and opportunity for engagement with the community. For this reason, Google urges website owners to follow the platform’s quality guidelines regarding the implementation of links. Among them, they highlight that improving the user experience and creating quality content are better options to stand out in search results. Likewise, it has taken advantage of the announcement to emphasize the best practices for the incorporation of commercial links in the content of websites.

Best practices for incorporating links

Links are not only one of the factors with which Google evaluates the relevance of content for its positioning in the results. If not, it is also a means by which owners can monetize their websites or blogs, which is why maintaining proper use of these tools is even more important.

In this way, the blog  presented by  Duy  Nguyen , Google Search Quality Analyst, highlighted the best practices to carry out the incorporation of affiliate links, sponsors or third-party publications. In this way, it is clarified about affiliate links that they are generated manually or dynamically, they must be qualified as follows: rel = “sponsored”.

On the other hand, the sponsor links must also be specified with the value of: rel = “sponsored”. These, together with the affiliate links, comprise the main source of monetization within this strategy. Finally, third-party publications refer to posts written on behalf of another website through which the user is directed to this. For the links integrated to these publications it is necessary to identify them with the value of rel = “nofollow”. 

google spam updates 2021

Google’s fight against spam

This is one of Google’s battles to try to control the bad practices that many webmasters do to try to cheat their algorithm.

And is that while so constant internet giant refines its algorithm to face the webspam, has also made available to users  a website  through which it is possible to generate a report manually.

And one more of its weapons against webspam is Artificial Intelligence, a system that works to verify if the content that matches can be spam . If so,  “the content will not appear in the main search results.”  Furthermore, Google ensures that it uses this information to improve its systems and prevent such spam from being included in the index.

This system appears to be very effective, so much so that Google assured that they have improved ” detection capacity by 50%” , which resulted in the company removing most of this pirated webspam from its search results.