Google announced an update to its spam detection system called the December 2022 Link Spam Update. The update took 29 days to roll out, starting on December 14, 2022, and ending on January 12, 2023.
This update leverages what Google calls SpamBrain to neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results, find purchased links, and detect domains primarily used to pass links to other sites.
Google’s Official Announcement
On December 14, 2022, Google announced this new update and what to expect from the update in its official blog post.
Today, with our December 2022 link spam update, we’re leveraging the power of SpamBrain to neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results. The update launches today & will take about two weeks to rollout. Learn more: https://t.co/ACO2Ut8wmi
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 14, 2022
What Are People Saying?
Many SEOs took to Twitter to give their insights about the December 2022 link spam update. Check out the link spam update quick facts shared by search geek Barry Schwartz and the discussion around it on this Twitter thread.
So SpamBrain is new for links https://t.co/oEaz3az0ra
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) December 14, 2022
Still not seeing a ton of impact from the Dec Link Spam Update, but checked a confirmed drop. *Really bad* unnatural links. Reminded me of when I did a lot of Penguin analysis. Hard to believe Google couldn't pick this up before this update. Most anchor text was exact match… pic.twitter.com/GxrEWYC218
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 17, 2022
What’s Next – Dealing With This Update
If you’re following Google’s best practices regarding incoming and outgoing links, it’s unlikely the December 2022 Link Spam Update will negatively impact you.
However, ensure your links are natural and follow Google’s guidelines. Work on improving your site to attract new links over time naturally.
This update will affect all languages. What matters is how you build links and connect to other sites, which will determine whether this update impacts your website.