Surprise, surprise — there seems to be more buzz floating around another potential Google update, which was then said to be reversed with another update on November 18th. According to Google’s John Mueller, there is nothing to announce about the changes seen around November 10th. While there is no concrete evidence, there have been reports of light changes in traffic around that time period. The reports aren’t super consistent though. Some practitioners claim to have witnessed a drop and others claim to have witnessed a jump. As for November 18th, people were reporting similar traffic instances, as well as claiming that the update is related to either mobile first index, Panda or Penguin.
Staying on the topic of consistency, let’s bring the attention to something that is always a possibility — spammy backlinks. Within the abundance of SEO tools and resources, it’s more than possible to disavow unwanted links. One of the reasons these tools and resources are made so easily available is because Google understands you don’t have control over who (most likely neglected, low authority websites) links out your content.
These links can also be a result of a link scheme from a previous marketing company or from being unaware of the best practices for link building. A couple of the most common mistakes are linking out to irrelevant content just to gain link juice and choosing anchor text that is unnatural for keyword stuffing purposes.
It’s a fairly easy cleanup for those who react in time, but for those unaware, spammy links can spell disaster. A malicious, intentional linking attack, also referred to as negative SEO, can cause a loss of rankings that set you back for a period of time. Not only is traffic lost during this time, but sales are most definitely at risk. Companies that are fortunate enough to have an experienced marketing team behind them have the potential to rebound, but this isn’t always the case.
This is where the importance of a full website audit comes into play. A website audit consists of various efforts to determine the overall health of the site. For spammy links specifically, this includes a link (external and internal) check-up and coming up with specific actions to better anything negative found within the check-up. Other items on the audit checklist include the overall optimization of the website, such as metas and titles, URL structure, text formatting, content, images, loading time, and usability.
Ultimately, taking care of backlinks and the overall health of a website is a full-time job, and chances are you already have one of those. Always Found will start with an initial audit and fix any issues we see, which usually nets us some quick wins. The bigger gains will come over time as the strategy we execute builds momentum. From there, we will continue to monitor your website so that you can tend to the other areas of your business.