Google has rolled out the December 2022 Helpful Content Update last December 5 and now, it has also released a December 2022 Link Spam Update. It was rolled out last December 14 and is set to complete in two weeks. The spam update is global and affects all languages.
There have been a lot of talks in the past months on the quality of search results in Google and looks like these two back-to-back updates are set to combat these quality issues. First, with the helpful content update ensuring that helpful, original content that are written by people, are seen in the search results. And then now, with the link spam update that is set to leverage the power of SpamBrain to neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results.
What is SpamBrain?
SpamBrain is Google’s AI-based spam prevention system. Aside from using SpamBrain to detect spam directly, it looks like it can now also detect both sites that are buying links, and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links (sites used mainly for backlinking).
As spammy links are neutralized by this update, rankings may change as any credit passed on by these unnatural links will be lost.
By this statement by Google, it is safe to say that links are still an important part in ranking though it looks like their systems are getting better in detecting those that are legitimate links and those that are unnatural, spammy links. So much so that the system is able to detect sites buying links and sites that have the purpose of providing (or selling) links.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you experienced any ranking drops? Do you think SpamBrain is effective in detecting both sites purchasing links and sites selling links? Let's see if these two updates are effective in combating spammy content and sites in search and if the search results get better.