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Google has finally done rolling out its 2022 Helpful Content updates & Link Spam updates on January 12, 2023. While the December 2022 Helpful Content update helps Google to better ensure that people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, in the search results, the link spam algorithm aims at fighting link spam more broadly.

Ranking Updates Release History
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As a result of these updates, experts saw some fluctuations on December 26th, again from January 3rd to 5th, and then again on January 10th and 11th.

Earlier last week, Danny Sullivan noted that “Both the updates are continuing to roll out. Normally these types of updates would have concluded by now, but rollouts can slow or pause when we get into the holiday periods.”

Google Search Liaison
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He said on Twitter that these two updates will complete likely within two weeks or one week, but there’s no guarantee and timings might change.

Quick Facts on These Updates

December 2022 Helpful Content Update

The December 2022 Helpful Content update started on December 5, 2022 (noticeable on December 6th). It took 38 days for this update to roll out, which completed on January 12. This sitewide signal targets websites with a relatively high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content, where the content is first written for search engines. This global update would help Google’s systems to detect more forms of low-quality content created for search engines and primarily not for people.

This update currently impacted only Google Search, not Google Discover or other Google surfaces. However, it is expected that Google may expand this to Discover and more in the future.

Websites that are hit by this update should evaluate their content and see if they can do better with Google’s recommendations. Though Google updates the scores constantly, it can take several months to recover from this update.

December 2022 Link Spam Update

The December 2022 link spam update started on December 14, 2022, and was completed 29 days later on January 12. This update targets both sites buying links, and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links. When it comes to penalty, this update will “neutralize” links that it detects as being spam. Detected links won’t be counted and may show a decline in rankings. With this update, this is the first time Google is using its AI-based spam detection, SpamBrain, for link spam purposes. This launch will affect all languages.

Google recommends that “Site owners should ensure that they follow the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing. Focusing on producing high quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links. Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links, and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.”

Is your site impacted by any of these updates? Do you publish quality content? Are you following linking best practices?

What you can focus on are –

  • engage in efficient link building strategies
  • create and post informative, unique, interactive content
  • stay active on social media
  • stay up-to-date with SEO algorithms and updates

Take support from an experienced digital marketing services company. Our MedResponsive team stays abreast with all the Google updates and guidelines. We design effective marketing strategies to meet your business goals and increase conversion rates. Discuss your requirements with us at (800) 941-5527!.