New Google Update Targets Link Spam & Other Unnatural Links?

For the past few days, I have been tracking webmaster forum chatter around another update that may have started around December 26th or so. The dates are a bit fuzzy, but the theme is that more SEOs on the “black hat” end of the game are complaining about their rankings. This is unrelated to theMaccabees update that seemed to target morewhite hat techniques.

This one seems to have targeted unnatural links, links built through link spam, PBNs, or other forms of black hat link development.

There are threads at Black Hat World and new discussion in the ongoing WebmasterWorld thread. The discussion is somewhat slow and limited but most of the world is closed this week and forum chatter in general since Christmas has been very slow.

The automated tracking tools, for the most part, are not showing any significant changes around the 26th of December but we can’t always depend on those tools for tracking these things.

Here are some comments from the community around this potential update:

The sites I was following were using a lot of BH links, PBN and whatnot, my site seems unaffected if not a tad-bit better. What about you?

There has been some chatter (and I’ve received some inquiries) about many sites, affiliates, in particular, being hit with unnatural link manual actions. Has anybody here heard anything of this yet?

While some webmasters, more on the “white hat” side of things are reporting nice climbs:

Whoah, my numbers are starting to climb. I don’t know if it’s a temporary glitch or if all the work adding schema to my pages (500 finished, 300 to go) is starting to work.

Today I also see an improvement after this daily drop.

Same here jump in traffic starting on the 25. Yesterday back to “normal”. today too early to tell but looks promising.

Here are some posts on Twitter:

Thanks for the heads-up. I see several in that space dropping (like you said). 12/26. Merry Christmas from Google. At least it wasn’t on Christmas Day. Wow. :)

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe)
December 28, 2017

@rustybrick Despite the holiday season, I’ve seen some major SERP changes this past week, especially beginning 12/19. Plus, according to sources, there have been MANY unnatural link site-wide manual actions against tons of affiliate/thin content webmasters. Crazy end to the year!

— Vlad Rappoport (@vladrpt)
December 29, 2017

There is a lot more chatter, but I can’t post everything here.

Are you a black hat? Did you see changes in your client’s rankings in the past few days or so?

Forum discussion at Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld .

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