Google releases December 2022 link spam update

Organic Search

Google Search have released a link spam update which uses the power of SpamBrain to reduce the impact of unnatural links on search results. This is a global update affecting all languages and it will take two weeks to rollout.

Google have confirmed it will continue to roll out the December 2022 helpful content system, while this latest spam update is being rolled out.

What is SpamBrain?

SpamBrain is an Al-based spam-prevention system originally launched in 2018 and Google have been continuously improving its performance. In 2021, SpamBrain identified six times more spam sites than in 2020. The result was a huge reduction in hacked spam (70%). Google have clarified this is the first time it is using its AI-based spam detection SpamBrain for link spam purposes.

How does SpamBrain work?

SpamBrain can identify disruptive and malicious behaviours among billions of web pages, enabling more than 99% of searches to remain spam free. As well as being able to detect spam directly, SpamBrain can now detect both sites buying links and sites used for passing outgoing links.

How could the update affect your site?

If you notice your ranking decline in Google over the next two weeks, it could be related to this new spam update. As this is a not a manual action, you won’t be notified in Search Console if you are targeted. Make sure your links are natural and follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. We would also recommend working on improving your site naturally, which will attract new links over time.

Why are Google doing this update?

Links obtained to artificially manipulate search rankings are referred to as link spam. Google algorithms and manual actions are designed to invalidate these links that it detects as spam on a large scale, meaning the links will not be counted and may cause a decline in rankings.

Google said:Site owners should ensure that they follow the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing. Focusing on producing high quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links. Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.”

Google’s latest link spam update – the view from Spike

As the update is not manual, users need to be aware that they won’t know if they have been targeted, therefore Spike recommends businesses to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines and make sure that any links on sites are natural. As Google suggests, adding natural content regularly to your site is a good way to help achieve new links in the future.