Google Fights Spam With Their December 2022 Link Spam Update
Updated on: 23 December 2022
Just when you thought Google’s latest helpful content update 2.0 would be the last Search update for 2022, they released, on 14 December, a revised link spam update, which Google referred to as the December 2022 link spam update. It is anticipated that the global update will be fully implemented by 28 December.
Leveraging on the neutralising capabilities of SpamBrain, the AI-based spam-prevention system by Google, the link spam update in December 2022 will not only be able to detect direct spam and unnatural links on SERPs but also detect purchased links and websites created solely for passing outgoing links.
This latest Search update will impact every site globally, affecting every language.
How does this spam link update work?
So, what the update involves is more than just a spam update. It also involves the implementation of link spam detection in SpamBrain. SpamBrain was launched by Google in 2018 and has, since then, been credited by the global search company for neutralising six times more spam links and sites in 2021 as compared to 2020, reducing hacked and gibberish spam on hosted platforms by 70 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.
Google stated that they have always emphasised against links created solely for the artificial manipulation of Search rankings. Such sites are considered link spam. This is also the first time that Google is using SpamBrain to detect link spam.
Will the link spam update impact my ranking performance?
Similar to every algorithmic update before this, users will not be notified when the update hits their site. This link spam update in December 2022 is not a manual action that requires your notification. However, if you do experience a significant drop in your Google traffic and visibility within the next couple of weeks, it might be a result of this update or the helpful content update 2.0. If it was affected by the helpful content update 2.0, it might be worth taking a look at some of your content strategies, such as ensuring that your content is original and brings value to searchers.
However, if it was affected by the December 2022 link spam update, making any changes might generate little improvement. This is because when SpamBrain neutralises link spam, the previous link credit is lost permanently and cannot be regained. So, whether your site’s ranking performance is affected boils down to how you decide to link out to other web pages and how you acquire links.
Google has stated that you do not have to worry about spammy links or negative SEO pointing back to your site as long as you did not build them yourself. Many individuals might not realise that by neutralising those links, Google is not counting them. Hence, they will not help or hurt your SEO performance.
Google has imposed strict guidelines against acquiring links solely to boost your ranking on SERPs. In addition, they also have stringent guidelines against qualifying links that are passed on to other websites. Hence, for instance, in the event that you are looking to embed an affiliate link within your content, you have to qualify that link by including a “rel=sponsored” tag. Failing to do so means that your content could be hit and neutralised by the spam link update.
Furthermore, tagging links within guest posts have to include a “rel=nofollow” tag, or you may get hit by Google. Generating quality links involves a lot of practices, as well as being aware of certain link-building misconceptions to steer clear of.
As with every update that Google releases, Google constantly recommends that site owners ensure that they adhere to the latest and best SEO strategies, both content as well as incoming links and outgoing links. If nothing else works, outsourcing to an experienced digital marketing agency in Singapore for their SEO services can help to lift unnecessary stress in managing your SEO marketing campaign.
At the end of the day, rather than trying to find ways to manipulate links, you should always focus on improving user experience and creating the best possible user-centric content. Promoting awareness of your site involves using appropriately tagged links, and monetising it involves properly tagged affiliate links.