It’s taken until mid-January for it to be confirmed, but Google has now fully rolled out its December 2022 link spam update, with an interesting artificial intelligence (AI) system making its first outing.
Over the last couple of years, Google has really clamped down on spam content. The search giant claims that 2021 saw it detect six times more spammy sites than it did in 2020. In keeping with this continued effort, Google has integrated its SpamBrain system into its latest update, making it the first time it has been used on links.
Despite this debut appearance, SpamBrain is not brand new technology. In a report last year, Google confirmed that SpamBrain was launched back in 2018. In the years since, it has been used to pick up an increasing volume of what Google calls “sophisticated spam”, while having its performance tweaked along the way. With AI writing tools becoming increasingly available on an open-source basis, no doubt Google will continue to have its work cut out in differentiating helpful human-created content from machine-generated filler of little value, with Google maintaining that using AI-written content is against its guidelines.
The December 2022 update focuses specifically on links, with Google claiming SpamBrain is able to identify sites that are buying links, as well as ones used solely to pass outgoing links. When found, Google uses the term “neutralise” rather than “penalise” to describe what happens to these sites, meaning they will be ignored. However, this could be seen as purely semantics – a site that was previously ranking but is now being ignored is, in effect, being penalised.
If you’ve noticed any fluctuations in your rankings over the last few weeks, make sure any links in your content are relevant, natural and lead to reputable, high-quality sources. If you need help creating content that can boost your rankings and attract more business through your site, have a chat with us at Engage Web.