Former Googler: Links That Change Are Trusted Less By Google’s Algorithms

google-links-featuredA former member of the Google search quality and web spam team, Pedro Dias, said publicly on Twitter yesterday that “Google is less likely to trust a link once it has changed from the first time it was seen.”

So if you changed the anchor text or URL path of the link, the value and trust of that link will be less than it was before you made any changes.

Here is Pedro’s tweet:


Is This True?

As I covered, I asked Pedro what his source of the information was and he didn’t really want to disclose if it came from his previous work as a Google search quality member or if it was through his work and tests as an SEO consultant, which he is now. He did imply to me that if he said, it may get him in trouble with his previous employer, i.e. Google.


I followed up with Google, but Google refused to comment on the topic.

So it is hard to know if this is indeed fact, although it would make sense.

Is Changing Links A Bad Signal?

Pedro says it isn’t a negative thing, that people do change links and it won’t necessarily hurt you. Pedro wrote on Twitter, “I wouldn’t fret too much about this, it’s not necessarily bad.” He added, “less trust doesn’t mean it’s bad or negative. Specially if it’s on a reputable site.”



Again, we do not know if this is indeed correct. He did work for Google for several years and he now is an SEO consultant. Google would not comment on if what Pedro said is true or not. Like I said, it would make sense for Google to trust the link less if it was changed.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Link Building: General | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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