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Google Made More Linking Practices Less Effective at Manipulating Rankings

Google Made More Linking Practices Less Effective at Manipulating Rankings

In Google’s newly released webspam report, the company reveals how it dealt with link spam in 2018.

Link spam is one of three types of spam discussed in the report. Other standouts include spam on hacked sites and user-generated spam.

Here’s more about how Google fought those types of spam last year.

Link Spam

Link spam refers to any type of link building practice that violates Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Google stresses the value of links as a search ranking factor when explaining why it’s important to fight link spam.

“We continued to protect the value of authoritative and relevant links as an important ranking signal for Search.”

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Egregious link spam is dealt with swiftly, Google says. A number of link building practices were even made less effective last year

Without getting too specific, Google says it “made a number of bad linking practices less effective for manipulating ranking.”

Lastly, Google touts its webmaster and SEO outreach efforts:

“Above all, we continued to engage with webmasters and SEOs to chip away at the many myths that have emerged over the years relating to linking practices.”

The best way to avoid getting penalized for link spam, Google explains, is to avoid building links primarily as an attempt to rank better.

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Other ways Google fought webspam in 2018

Here’s a quick recap of other key highlights from the report:

  • Less than 1% of results visited by users are for spammy pages.
  • 80% reduction on the impact of user-generated spam on search users.
  • In 2018, Google received over 180,000 search spam user reports.
  • Google took action on 64% of the reports it processed.
  • Google sent over 186 million messages to website owners regarding their site’s appearance in search results.
  • Around 2%—or about 4 million—of the messages Google sent were related to manual actions.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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