Google’s head of Search Engine Spam, Matt Cutts, has tweeted a warning to webmasters in Italy and Spain concerning spammy backlinks. While Google has been punishing sites with spammy link profiles for years, they are really starting to step up the game globally. Last month Google went after Polish and German link spammers, and it looks like they will be continuing their march through Europe.
Cutts sent out two tweets, and also updated the webmaster tools pages for Italy and Spain to warn people of the upcoming ‘Google Slap.’ The Tweets said:
“A reminder (in Spanish) about unnatural/paid links and that we’re willing to take action on them: http://t.co/uTBdJpRNbw”
To the Italian webmasters he said:
“And here’s a reminder about unnatural/paid links for Italian: http://t.co/OoA4dSXqhl #hint #hint”
The hashtags used in the Italian tweet might be Cutts’ attempt at humor, but the warning is certainly real. Many people with foreign based websites have gotten away with using link spam much more than those in the US or other English speaking countries. It is clear that Google is looking to remedy this situation.
What specific actions Google will be taking has yet to be seen, but it can be assumed that the algorithms for non .com Google sites will be updated to be more similar to that of the main .com site. Any link farms or networks that exist in these countries may be specifically targeted as well.
How many of you have sites in these, or any non English speaking countries? What do you think of this update from Google?