SEO News You Can Use: Google Releases December 2022 Link Spam Update

SEO News you can use

Google is rolling out yet another update; this time, it’s the December 2022 Link Spam Update. It was released on December 14 and is expected to be complete in two weeks.

This is an upgrade to Google’s spam detection system, SpamBrain, an artificial intelligence (AI) based system aimed at detecting spam and unnatural or bought links. SpamBrain can detect ingoing and outgoing links,

The update is expected to roll out over two weeks and will be applied to search results in all languages, meaning it could affect websites globally. Google has strict regulations pertaining to links used to improve website rankings solely.

When it comes to embedded affiliate links, for example, Google’s guidelines advise qualifying it with a rel=sponsored tag. Additionally, guest post links need to be tagged with rel=nofollow. 

Sites that don’t follow Google’s best practices will likely be affected.

Google’s guidelines relating to qualifying links are explicit and encourage the use of natural links that can be added over time. High-quality content supported by a great user experience (UX) will always produce better results than manipulated links.

More SEO News You Can Use

New Google Search Status Dashboard Released: In the latest, Off the Record podcast, Google announced some interesting factors relating to the Search Status Dashboard. This new feature allows communications even when experiencing outages. This feature is particularly helpful for web hosting, as both users and service providers will be able to communicate with each other via the dashboard instead of using platforms like Twitter to announce outages. Although Google does not plan to update the dashboard to be available in all languages, there may be plans to add additional features to communicate various outages down the line. At the moment, the Search Status Dashboard will allow communication regarding crawling, serving and indexing. This will help users to discern whether the change in rankings they may be experiencing is due to a global Google Search issue or if something has gone wrong on the user end. For more information, visit Search Engine Journal here.

Google Makes It Easier for Users To Find Help With Cost of Living: Google has seen a surge in searches regarding “cost of living” recently. To help users find useful information quicker, Google has implemented the following updates. As a result, searchers will be able to find resources relating to specific queries about financial assistance quicker, particularly those regarding medical bills and disability. Google also provides eligibility requirements and application processes for various programs, including information related to food assistance. For more information, visit Google’s Find Food Support platform or Search Engine Journal.

New Google Visually Enhanced Search Guide Released: Google has recently released a brand new guide, complete with visual elements to help define the elements that make up a search results page (SERP). For those looking for answers to search engine optimization (SEO) queries, it can be challenging, especially if you aren’t using the correct terminology or are not specific enough. The Visual Elements Gallery showcases the most important elements of a SERP, for example, attribution, text vs. rich results, image vs. video results, as well as exploration features. In total, the gallery offers information pertaining to 22 search features, which will most likely be updated going forward depending on which ones become most popular. Read more here on Search Engine Journal.

24 SEO Experts Predict SEO Trends 2023: Search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing, and to get ahead of the competition, it’s important to get ahead of the trends. Search Engine Journal recently released its SEO Trends 2023 e-book, outlining various SEO strategies to help boost rankings in SERPs and overall revenue. The ebook provides expertise and insights from 24 SEO professionals. The ebook tackles everything from artificial intelligence (AI) content, how to address some of the biggest changes and their impact, SEO core best practices, search features, on-page elements, trends, how to manage and be prepared for the economic uncertainty of time ahead and much more. Discover more about what you can expect to uncover by downloading the SEO Trends 2023 ebook here.

Google Will Be Shutting Question Hub Down: Google announced that as of January 15, 2023, Question Hub will be sunset for good. Users can save all data via Google Takeout until March 2023. Question Hub has been a useful tool allowing content creators, writers and bloggers to produce more valuable, rich content by using unanswered queries to their advantage. This is an excellent feature as it provides the opportunity for content creators to fill content gaps that competitors have not yet done. The question is, where will Google release this information going forward? Speculation has it that Google Console is experimenting with a Content Ideas function, which feels and looks a lot like Google Question Hub. This provides content creators with tips and topic ideas for content that is likely to rank and, in turn, provides more content for Google to crawl and index. It’s a win-win.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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