Google December 2022 Link Spam Update: 9 Link Spam Examples To Avoid

Once again, Google is upgrading its spam detection system, through SpamBrain,  an AI-based prevention system.   Google adds “ Today, we’re leveraging the power of SpamBrain to neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results.” The spam update which started on December 14, 2022, is expected to take two weeks to roll out. The previous spam update before this was in  October 2022.

Not only does it detect spam but also identifies sites buying links and sites used for building outgoing links. We know that any links that are intended to manipulate rankings on Google Search Results may be considered link spam.   Here are nine examples of link spam that you need to avoid so that you are not impacted by this update. 

  1. Buying or selling links for ranking purposes. This includes:
  • Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links
  • Exchanging goods or services for links
  • Sending someone a product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
  1. Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  2. Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
  3. Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link
  4. Text advertisements or text links that don’t block ranking credit
  5. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass ranking credit, or links with optimized anchor text in articles, guest posts, or press releases distributed on other sites. 
  6. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
  7. Keyword-rich, hidden, or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites
  8. Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites

As the update rolls out, search ranking may change as spammy links are neutralized. The updated algorithms’ objective is aimed at nullifying unnatural links at scale.  To ensure that your ranking is not impacted, follow the above suggestions. 

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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