Google Releases New Link Spam Update

We Last Encountered an Update Targeting Link Spam in July 2021

Just as SEOs thought Google wouldn’t release any major updates before the holidays, they surprised us by unleashing a rather large update last week.

On December 14, the Google Search Console Twitter account made the announcement.

Let’s dive into what we can expect to see from this update, named the December 2022 Link Spam Update.

What You Should Know

  • This update comes at the same time as a second Helpful Content Update that was announced on December 5, so website owners should be aware that any major fluctuations in traffic and rankings could be attributed to either update.
  • This update is centered around utilizing “SpamBrain” which is Google’s “AI-based spam-prevention system.”
  • Google has specified that sites may lose rankings as they neutralize links they deem as unnatural. So any credit sites were previously receiving from some links will be lost.
  • At this time, sites will not be notified in any form as a manual action for spammy links.
  • Several SEO experts such as Glenn Gabe, Lily Ray, and Marie Haynes often share reports and insights of websites they are monitoring during updates. Follow them on Twitter to find out what they have to share as the link spam update continues to make an impact.
  • The update is for all languages and is estimated to take two weeks to complete rolling out.
  • To find out when this update or similar updates have concluded, reference Google’s official search updates list.

Why You Should Care

This particular update, what is interesting is that businesses can be indirectly affected by this update. Say you are being linked from 100 different domains, and 30 of those domains get deemed as “spammy” by SpamBrain. The equity you once had from those 30 links is now lost, as well as any other businesses receiving links from them as well, resulting in a domino effect.

So in the end, be sure to carefully analyze your data over the coming weeks, and continue to strive to build quality, organic links in your upcoming 2023 SEO strategy.

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