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Two 2022 Google Algorithm Updates Carrying Over to 2023

Two 2022 Google Algorithm Updates Carrying Over to 2023

The new year brings familiar updates from Google. Here’s what you need to know.

As we make our way into 2023, the ghosts of Google’s 2022 updates are still lingering. Google’s Search Liaison John Mueller confirmed via Twitter that the search engine’s second release of the helpful content and link spam updates in December 2022 are still ongoing.

December 2022 Helpful Content Update

Google’s second installment of the helpful content update began on December 5, 2022. According to the official announcement, the second release of the helpful content update impacts content globally across all languages.

To recap, the helpful content update launched in August 2022. In its announcement, Google said the update aimed to prioritize content that isn’t deemed “helpful,” including content that is unoriginal, low quality, and was created primarily for search engines, not for the benefit of users.

So how are you supposed to determine if your content is helpful in the eyes of Google?

The best way to make sure your content is ready for this update is to follow Google’s quality guidelines. Remember, the helpful content update is focused on prioritizing user-friendly content, not content that’s been manipulated to rank high in search engines.

Luckily, Google did provide some additional advice on how to make sure that your content employs a “people-first” approach. Click here to read more.

December 2022 Link Spam Update

On December 14, 2022, Google announced the rollout of its second link spam update. According to the official announcement, Google says it's using SpamBrain, its AI-based spam-prevention system, to “detect spam directly,” and that “it can now detect both sites buying links, and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links.”

Google lists link manipulation as an official type of spam. Any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search’s results may be considered link spam. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

Google said that the December 2022 link spam update impacts all languages, and some sites with links deemed “spammy” could experience changes in search ranking.

Spam updates from Google can happen occasionally throughout the year. Before this latest December 2022 update, Google released an October 2022 spam update and a November 2021 spam update. Before that, a link spam update was released in July 2021.

When Will These Updates Be Complete?

Usually when Google rolls out an algorithm update, it will provide an estimated time for the update to be completed, and then will often let users know when the process is officially completed. However, Mueller recently said that the start and end dates projected by Google are not finite.

Mueller answered the following question posed by Search Expert Barry Schwartz on Mastodon:

Google updates are usually vague by nature, and knowing that not every update has a definite beginning and end adds to the mystery. This is particularly true when one new update seems to roll into another. In fact, Schwartz noted that web traffic volatility on January 3–4, 2023 was already indicating the possibility of another algorithm update. We will be sure to keep you updated on any new algorithm updates that Google releases in January 2023 and beyond.

Start the Year With Wins on Search

The team at RebelMouse is dedicated to keeping you abreast of every twist and turn that Google may throw at us this year. That’s because we’re a modern, enterprise CMS platform and web performance agency that’s built for consistent wins across search.

Our powerful platform has a rich SEO toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story. It also empowers users to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

As far as keeping up with Google’s flurry of updates? We stay on top of those with frequent product updates that align with industry trends, and frequent communication on how to best update your content strategy to move the needle for your business.

Request a proposal to learn more about RebelMouse and how you can boost your search performance in 2023.

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