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Google confirms an update to its spam detection system, called the December 2022 link spam update, is rolling out now and will take up to two weeks to complete.

What’s In The December 2022 Link Spam Update?

Google is upgrading its spam detection system with the ability to find purchased links, and detect domains used primarily to pass links to other sites.

The December 2022 link spam update utilizes Google’s AI-based spam-prevention system, SpamBrain, to nullify unnatural links.

In addition to detecting spam directly, Google says SpamBrain is now capable of identifying sites buying links, and sites used for building outgoing links.

Will The December 2022 Link Spam Update Affect My Site?

Google advises that rankings may change as the December 2022 link spam update neutralizes unnatural links, which will remove any signals passed to the linking domain.

This update affects search results in all languages, which means it has the potential to create a widespread impact.

Whether your site is affected by this update comes down to how you acquire links, and how you link out to other pages.

Google has strict guidelines against obtaining links primiarily to boost search rankings. Additionally, Google has guidelines about qualifying links passed to other websites.

If you’re embedding an affiliate link within a body of text, for example, you need to qualify that link with a rel=sponsored tag.

Failing to tag affiliate links appropriately could result in your site getting hit by the link spam update.

Additionally, you need to tag links in guest posts with rel=nofollow, or that could get you in trouble with Google as well.

If you’re following Google’s best practices regarding incoming and outgoing links, it’s unlikely you’ll be negatively impacted by the December 2022 link spam update.

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Source: Google