Sensis have come out with a really great article called “Google updates algorithm to detect dodgy links” (full article below) about SEO and Google’s recent changes.
Link Building or creating backlinks has been an SEO practice for years. However, with Google’s latest ranking algorithm update, it now means that many websites will start to be penalised for dodgy links.
Sooooo, what is a “Dodgy Link” and what makes it “Dodgy?”
If your website is listed on other websites that are considered SPAMMY, have a BAD REPUTATION or if they are as a result of a PAID LINK, Google now assesses the quality of these links and penalises you in its search results. Originally, Google ONLY paid attention to the quality links. For example, if you were listed on 10 great websites all with nice juicy-great-quality links all pointing to your site and 20 poor quality, spammy links, Google would only take notice of the 10 great links. Google would effectively ignore the rubbish links. So, this lead to a LOT of dodgy link-building practices where people paid companies to list their website hundreds, if not thousands of often spammy, poor quality and unrelated websites just to gain as many backlinks as possible to their website. In the industry, we like to call this unstructured and rapid approach as “Black Hat SEO”.
Google is SMART. Really smart.
Google is that smart – it KNOWS if you have paid for hundreds of backlinks. Google even knows if an automated program has been used to artificially create those backlinks. It also does a check to assess the quality of the links pointing in towards your site. You cannot even get away with excessive reciprocal links where you “swap links” with another website owner. If you are trying to “cheat” Google…just like your Mother…Google has eyes in the back of her head! Google Sees ALL.
“Avoid the spammy link tactics and concentrate on serving your audience.
It might take more time, but it will deliver the best results.” ~ Sensis
Now this is what we have ALWAYS focused on at Web-Sta and we are paying even more attention to the quality of the websites we list our customers on.
- Quality Content
- Quality Back Links &
- Initial Google Research to determine TARGETED search phrases worth targeting
are all part of our greater monthly SEO service.
Original Article by Sensis – shared with us by Anna of Jurasic Earthmoving
Source: Written by 17 October 2016on
Google updates algorithm to detect dodgy links
In basic terms, the updated Penguin is designed to work out if you’ve purchased poor quality links from spam dealers, then penalise your site in search rankings accordingly.
This new update, dubbed ‘Penguin 4.0’, works in real-time so it’ll be more responsive to corrective changes. For example, if your site has received a Google penalty for poor link practices, you can fix it and have your rankings restored quickly.
Previously, it would take a long time for Penguin to re-assess and reinstate rankings after a penalty was delivered. This is a good change, but the announcement also serves as a reminder that Google is always refining and improving their spam detection practices.
In essence, if you’re looking to buy links to up your search rank, Google will work it out and you could suffer penalties.
The process of poor link detection makes perfect sense – Google makes money based on audience, the more people who use Google, the more ads they can serve those visitors.
As such, Google needs to provide the best, most relevant search results in response to every query – if they don’t, or they let their results get scammed by cheats, the user experience suffers.
Google knows that consumers have a range of choices for search these days. Not only in the form of Bing or other dedicated search providers, but also in social networks. Facebook, for example, facilitates more than 2 billion on-platform searches every day.
For website owners, Google’s latest update means that you need to check your link-building practices and ensure you’re not doing anything that could trigger Google’s anti-spam radar. Some things that could spell trouble for your SEO are:
- Buying or selling links – Exchanging money for links is always risky, and should be avoided
- Participating in reciprocal link exchanges – Google’s systems are now much better at detecting links from link exchange networks due to their non-related link patterns
- Using large-scale rich anchor links – Using overly specific anchor links can trigger red flags with Penguin, most notably when done at scale
- Using automated link-generation robots – Don’t use link robots or automated linking systems
These are just some of the signals Google’s Penguin Algorithm looks for and will penalise if it sees a pattern.
The best way to avoid a problem is to work to build links in a more natural, contextually relevant way. This is why many consider content to play a much bigger part in SEO these days, because rather than focusing on specific keywords, you’re focusing on creating relevant material which can be referenced a linked to in a more natural and informed way.
In some ways, it’s better to not approach content with SEO in mind – write for your audience and to their needs, then work to generate best response – analyse, refine and repeat.
Of course, you do need to include keywords in there, but if you’re writing about a specific topic related to your target terms, chances are you’ll include those keywords anyway, without having to go overboard.
It’s worth reviewing and ensuring the right terms are included where you can, but don’t go overboard. Google’s systems are getting smarter, more refined – they can understand context better than ever.
Avoid the spammy link tactics and concentrate on serving your audience. It might take more time, but it will deliver the best results.
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