SEO News Roundup: Questions of an Update Arise After Changes to Link Spam Targeting

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Tom Williams brings you the latest news from the world of SEO, including changes to link spam targeting, confirmation that Google won't reveal the identity of discredited links, and more.

Changes to Link Spam Targeting

Fluctuations in visibility on sites using aggressive link building tactics have led many to believe that an algorithm update has occurred. Though unconfirmed, the change may be part of Penguin 4.0, targeting sites that use link building tactics that sit outside of Google’s guidelines.

Google Confirms It Won’t Reveal Discredited Links

In a Twitter interaction last week, Gary Illyes confirmed that Google does not intend to add filters to Google Search Console that would allow webmasters to distinguish which followed links are identified as discredited or disavowed. In response to the query surrounding if this was ever going to change, Garry Illyes said:

absolutely not. that's basically giving link spammers everything they'll ever need.

The inference is that the ability to identify which links in particular have been marked as disavowed or discredited would allow spammers to counter-attack Google’s algorithms.

Changes to AMPs Makes URL Sharing Easier

Google has made changes to AMPs that now make it easier to share the original URL. Rather than the URL taking users to Google’s render of the content, the URL will now show the publisher’s site, and will lead directly back to the original story rather than Google’s copy. This makes the original source easier to identify and ensures the links are safer and more dependable.

Google Tests New Approach for Reporting Offensive Autocomplete Suggestions

Google is making it easier to report offensive autocomplete suggestions. Currently found buried within Google’s Support section, a new approach is in testing, allowing users to make a report directly from the SERPs. While in testing, the final look is not yet confirmed, but Google is hoping for a global rollout in the near future.

Whiteboard Friday – How Dated Keyword Modifying Can Cut Through The Noise

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin discusses the effectiveness of modifying keywords with a relevant month or year to outrank competitors.

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