Thursday, July 18, 2024

Google’s Gary Illyes Debunks Negative SEO Myths

Google’s Gary Illyes has been shedding light on various aspects of Google Search recently. It has simultaneously shed light on the myths surrounding negative SEO. It provided some valuable insights into how Google protects websites from low-quality spam links.

Negative SEO is when competitors try to harm a website’s ranking by flooding it with bad links. It is hoped that Google will see it as spam. The tactic started in the competitive online gambling industry. It soon became well-known after Google’s Penguin update made people more aware of their inbound links.

Illyes was asked whether the negative SEO still harms websites. He referred to the Penguin update and shared his experiences reviewing alleged negative SEO cases. He worked on hundreds of examples which were submitted. He said that only one example might have been a genuine case. However, the web spam team was not entirely sure. Hence, it is an indication that the fear of negative SEO is largely overblown.

Illyes emphasized that Google actively disables a vast number of irrelevant links. This means negative SEO is ineffective. He said that Google evaluates the context of linking sites and matches them to the target site. If the topics fail to align, the links are disregarded.

The approach is an important part of Google’s strategy to ensure that only relevant and high-quality links influence search rankings. In the initial days of SEO such links from unrelated topics used to mostly boost site ranking. Google has now tightened its algorithms to prevent such manipulation.

Such detailed explanation is rare. Illyes explicitly outlined why negative SEO does not work. Google ensures that attempts to sabotage competitors through negative SEO are largely futile.


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