Google is changing its search results to weed out SEO spam

Among the complaints about declining quality of search results is Google pinching its algorithms do a better job of weeding out spam or automated content. The company said the ranking updates coming in May will “keep the lowest quality content out of search.” In particular, Google says its engine will be better at weeding out today’s automated (read: AI-generated) content, which is harder to detect.

Google said it took what it learned from its 2022 algorithm root “reduce useless, unoriginal content” and apply it to the new update. The company says the changes will drive more traffic to “useful and quality sites.” When combined with updates from two years ago, Google estimates that this fix will reduce spammy, inauthentic search results by 40 percent.

“This update involves improving some of our core ranking systems to help us better understand whether web pages are useless, have a poor user experience, or are designed for search engines instead of people,” said Elizabeth Tucker, director of product management at Google. he wrote. “This may include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries.”

Google sounds like a target SEO spam generated by AI with their notes on scaled content abuse. The company says it’s beefing up its approach to the growing problem of sites generating junk automated articles (as well as zeroing in on old-fashioned human-generated spam).

“The methods of creating content at scale today are more complex, and it’s not always clear whether content is created purely through automation,” said Tucker. Google says the changes will “allow for action on more types of content that have little or no value created at scale, such as pages that respond to popular searches but don’t provide useful content.”

AI-generated content farms are a growing challenge to shotgun content to game the system, so Google’s changes – if they’re as effective as promised – will be welcome. While it’s easier to detect sites that only spam this content, it will be interesting to see if there are scenarios where once reputable sites are experimenting with AI-generated spam.CNET and Sports Illustrated are recent examples) will affect.

Another change to the algorithm will eliminate the practice of otherwise reputable sites having low-quality content from third parties designed to tarnish the site’s good name. Google provides an example of an educational site that hosts a third-party payday loan review. “We will now consider very low-value, third-party content produced primarily for ranking purposes and without close oversight by the website owner as spam,” Tucker wrote.

Finally, Google’s updates are said to be better at rooting out expired domains that have been purchased by someone else and turned into click mills. The search engine will start treating those websites as spam.

You won’t see the improvements right away, as Google gives site owners two months’ notice to adapt accordingly. The changes in the search system will take effect from May 5.

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