Once again, Google’s latest algorithm update has SEO folks scrambling. Like earlier “Penguin” updates, the latest update focuses on “link spam” as well. As Google’s Gary Illyes pointed out, link spam refers to not just the link itself, but the source as a whole.
Should I be worried? If you weren’t worried about past updates then there’s really no reason to worry about this latest algorithm shift. Google has come out and said that link spam is essentially being devalued now, as opposed to penalizing the link recipient. This makes sense since it would be too easy to spam a competitor with bad links in an effort to get them penalized.
Illyes said: “The good thing is that it is discounting the links, basically ignoring the links instead of the demoting.” You can read an interview with Illyes and Search Engine Land’s Bary Schwartz here.
It’s possible that you could have manual actions taken against you, as Illyes warns, but
Using Google’s Diswavow Tool
Google introduced this tool in October of 2013 to give website owners the ability to denounce spammy links pointing to their website. How do you determine a spammy link? You’re probably going to need help from a third party software, such as SEMRush. Most of your other options for evaluating backlinks are paid, but majestic.com has a free option.
Once you’ve determined the spammy links you’d like to disavow you’re supposed to make an attempt to contact that website owner to request that the links be taken down. If no action is taken, then Google recommends you login to Webmaster Tools and follow the steps here to alert them.
With Google stating that this latest algorithm update isn’t meant to penalize, but rather simple discredit, spammy links it begs the question, do I even need to disavow? Probably not, but it’s good practice.
None of our websites have ever peen penalized by Google in the past, and I’ve never diswavowed a link before, but it’s simply good practice. The process is so simple, and if you have the software to identify risky or “toxic” links it only makes sense to make Google aware that you aren’t tied to that link or website.
If you’d like to learn more about SE, including how to improve your practice’s search engine visibility, then give TRBO a call at 877-673-7096 x2 or leave us a note here.