A reminder on qualifying links and our link spam update

Monday, July 26, 2021

Googlebot with a spider friend thinking about links

Web creators nowadays have many ways to monetize their websites and blogs. Some of these methods lead to the creation of outbound links that, if overdone and not annotated correctly, could violate our quality guidelines. In this post, we want to share a reminder on how to deal with links that might have a commercial nature and how we continue to work to lessen the impact of link spam on our results.

Best practices

Links are one of the ways Google understands what content may be helpful to searchers, and they can be good for sites to receive, as long as they're well deserved. A best practice is to avoid methods of acquiring links that violate our guidelines against link schemes. In particular, if you're linking out to other sites, make sure to qualify those links appropriately. Here are some more specific guidelines to help site owners manage links that involve payment, sponsorship, or are otherwise commercial in nature.

What affiliate links are

Affiliate links on pages such as product reviews or shopping guides are a common way for blogs and publishers to monetize their traffic. In general, using affiliate links to monetize a website is fine. We ask sites participating in affiliate programs to qualify these links with rel="sponsored", regardless of whether these links were created manually