Hey, there Google enthusiasts!
It’s been a wild ride, but the December 2022 updates from Google are finally here. That’s right, both the helpful content update and the link spam update have officially completed their rollouts. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s talk about why these updates took a little longer than expected.
What Took So Long?
Google initially planned for both updates to be completed within two weeks, but as we all know, the holidays can throw a wrench in even the best-laid plans.
Due to security issues surrounding the holiday season, Google decided to take a pause on the updates. But, as the saying goes, “better late than never,” and the updates finally went live on January 12, 2023.
What To Do If Your Site Is Impacted?
So, what exactly do these updates mean for your website? Well, let’s start with the “helpful content update.” This update focuses on content that is created to rank well in search, but doesn’t necessarily help humans.
Helpful Content Update
In other words, if your content is more focused on keywords than user experience, you may be in for a rough ride. But don’t worry, if your website was hit by this update, there’s still hope for recovery. Google advises taking a look at your content and seeing if you can improve it to better align with their guidelines.
It’s worth noting that this update only impacts Google Search, and not Google Discover or other Google surfaces. However, Google may expand it to Discover and more in the future. Also, unlike a core update, this is a sitewide algorithm, meaning the whole site will be impacted.
Link Spam Update
As for the “link spam update,” this one is aimed at both sites buying links and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links.
The goal of this update is to “neutralize” links that Google detects as being spam. So, if your website has been buying links or participating in link schemes, you may see a decline in rankings. But, unlike manual actions, you won’t be notified in Search Console if you are hit by this update.
This update also marks the first time that Google is using its AI-based spam detection, “SpamBrain,” for link spam purposes. It’s a global launch, affecting all languages.
All in all, these updates may have caused some inconvenience and delay, but they’re here now and it’s important to stay informed and adapt to the changes.
Keep an eye out for fluctuations in your website’s rankings and take the necessary steps to ensure that your content is high-quality and aligns with Google’s guidelines. Happy optimizing!