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SEMRush selling links? Legal white hat link building tactic receives scrutiny from Google|June 2020 W1

By howard-go on June 6, 2020

SEO News Updates_ June W1 Edition

02/06/2020 – Update to Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Team announced on Twitter that Backlinks is back in the new Bing Webmaster Tools. 

This time, it’s not just backlinks for your site but also for other sites, including a few sites suggested by Bing. 

This will be very helpful when doing a competitor analysis. If you want to check out the tool, here’s the link: Backlinks. 

Besides just Backlink, the report also doubles as the link disavow tool and link manager.

Note: The report is currently still under beta.

02/06/2020 – SERP Update: Sitelinks with Border

A few days ago, I spotted something different with the site links. They had boxes for each link. Here’s how it looks:

I also came across a few tweets with screenshots of it. So, I’m not exactly sure if Google is testing this or the change is confirmed. Are you seeing this on your end? Let me know!

03/06/2020 – Do Old Domains Rank Better?

Following the SERP volatility since the May 2020 Core Update, attention has been brought to “old domains” which are seen to be dominating cross keywords and industry.

Twitter user Yashpal shared his observation with Google and asked if this was related to the indexing issue or May 2020 Core Update. 

The answer? 


John Mueller replied straightforwardly that there are no “old domains” ranking change.

04/06/2020 – Featured Snippets Now Takes Users to The Exact Text

Previously, for AMP pages, Google will bring you to the exact text when you click on the featured snippet. 

If you forgot how it looks, here’s an image to remind you:

Image source: 9to5Google

Now, it works even for non-AMP pages on featured snippets. On top of that, Google SearchLiaison mentioned that there’s no markup needed to make this happen. It happens automatically using Scroll To Text for HTML pages.

You can learn more here about Scroll To Text Fragment here. What do you think of this change? 

04/06/2020 – SEMRush 

Twitter user @Lockedown_ brought SEMRush to light, asking if SEMRush is selling links now. 

SEMRush then replied but the tweet has been deleted after John Mueller has replied. 

Here’s a screenshot shared by Twitter user @Goran_Majic.


Some may think that it’s okay after SEMRush said it’s legal white hat link building tactic. 

But, it seems like that’s not the case. Google’s John Mueller came across the tweet and replied that the links are considered unnatural links. They’re the kind of links the webspam team might take action on. 

Google had posted a reminder about this back in 2017. John Mueller also added that manual action can be avoided if their links use rel=nofollow / rel=sponsored. In fact, it would still allow sites to get visibility.

So yeah, this is pretty interesting considering that it involves SEMRush. A good reminder as well. 

And that’s it for this week’s update. I hope you enjoyed this week’s news update and see you next week! Take care for now. 

Updated: 11 July 2020

Howard Go

About Howard Go

Howard is a student of life, constantly learning and progressing. He has always been interested in business studies and fascinated by the capabilities of Marketing in transforming the whole business game.

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