Google’s Link Spam update has officially completed

Algorithm update finished

Originally slated to be complete in two weeks, it ended up taking a little longer than planned. However Google has now announced the Link Spam update as complete and offered some additional advice to marketers.

As I reported back at the start of August, the Link Spam update began to roll out on 26th of July with the expectation that the process would take around two weeks.

It took longer, another two weeks longer in-fact, but thanks to confirmation published via the Google Search Central Twitter account, beneath the original (and rather un-subtle) reminder about the importance of qualifying affiliate links, we know that, as of August 24th the Link Spam update is now done and dusted.

That original tweet back on July 26th was firmly aimed at reminding all concerned about the importance of not just qualifying affiliate links used as monetization techniques, but also guest and social posts with the same aim.

Many have felt a sense of frustration regarding the continued effectiveness of old (some might even say ‘spammy’) techniques, especially those who are now doing things the way Google wants them to.

That makes these types of update, which directly address these issues a welcome move, but maybe not so welcome by those who have still actively sought to benefit from the spammier side of backlink building.

The many replies to Google’s announcement that the update was complete reflect that; some cheer Google on in their ongoing fight to improve search results, while others seem to feel quite the opposite.

A tricky time to measure the impact

As with every update, SEO’s have headed straight to Google Analytics and their preferred tracking tools to take a closer look at the impact it has had on their websites.

The problem with doing so at the moment is the small matter of Google’s Title Tags update along with any or all micro updates that the search engine giant might be rolling out, but not always confirming.

That makes attributing any losses or gains specifically to the Link Spam update a challenging task.

Praise for those using best practice

For those who are following Google’s quality guidelines, the Link Spam Update Blog Post includes words of thanks and a few wise words of advice:

”Thanks are also due to the large majority of sites that follow our guidelines, focusing on building websites with great user experience and providing high quality content.”

As for the advice, it’s simple:

“Focusing on producing high quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links.”

Low quality link building it seems might have had its day. Those who have relied on it in the past might do well to take notice. Many have used the extra time this update took to prepare and get ahead of it, by reviewing their backlink profiles and to make any necessary changes.


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