If there’s one thing that Google loves to do, it’s toying with the Digital Marketing industry… And with the possibility of yet another “unnamed update” having taken place at the start of the month, it seems they have no plans to stop shaking things up.

Originally reported by SearchEngineLand, it appears as though Google may have updated Penguin once again (despite claims that they wouldn’t, of course) or released an entirely need algorithm. Either way, the long and the short of it is that Google appears to be better at picking up spammed links and heavy link building campaigns.

This includes everything from aggressive link building exercises to establishing a PBN (or Private Blogger Network).

As long as you are running a white-hat link building campaign, early reports suggest that you’ll be fine. Things become a problem when you’ve been using black-hat techniques such as paid links or the aforementioned PBNs. So, how should you investigate whether you’ve been hit?

To begin with, you should check your Search Visibility using SearchMetrics! Use the tool to look at the visibility graph for your domain, and if it has seen a sudden (but relative) drop on the graph, then it may be time to look at your backlinks!

If that is the case, then the next thing you should do is go to Majestic SEO and look at your domain’s backlinks to see which ones have the lowest Trust Flow, or have the highest amount of links to your site for one domain! If you have one site linking to your with, for example, 100 links then that’s a Site Wide Link and needs to be addressed!

Put together a list of all the bad links to your site, and put them in a text files like this:

domain:example.com

Then, save this file as “disavow.txt” and log in to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and visit the Disavow Tool page (found here). By uploading this file, you are basically telling Google that you are not associated with these links and do not want any equity from them. This will cut off all negative equity from these domains, but beware, it will also cut off any positive equity from any domains within the file as well!

So make sure you only disavow negative links from domains that are not related to your site or have no Trust Flow! Do it wrong and you could end up ruining your backlink profile entirely!

Do you think you’ve been hit by this new update? Are you worried about what to do? Let me know in the comments below!

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