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Google October Spam Update 2022 – Explained By The SEO Expert

Do you want to know more about Google Spam Algorithm Update October 2022? Google announced a new algorithm update to its systems aimed at eliminating spam. Around three weeks ago, on October 19, 2022 and rolled out completely on October 21, 2022. The so-called October 2022 Spam Update targeted SERPs (Search engine results page) globally in all languages around the world.

Google announced that the algorithm spam update would be immediate. It took less than 48 hours to roll out.

Google is still working on automated systems for detecting search spam. (TheSEOSpot.com) gives you complete details about every step that Google take and significant improvements for spam detection and how they work. 

To benefit from October 2022 Spam Update, read our research article thoroughly. 

Table of Contents

  • What is this October Spam update about?
  • What Google said About this new spam update of Oct 2022:
  • How does “Spambrain” impact the sites?
  • What is SpamBrain, and how it works?
  • What should you do if your website is affected by this update?
  • How do I recover my site from Google October Spam Update Penalty
  • Simplifying the google statement for affected sites.
  • List of updates for search ranking.
  • Google Spam Policies – A guide for beginners.
  • List of the Spam that violates Google spam policies.
  • Conclusion – Beneficial for the original content producers.

What is this October Spam update about?

October Spam Update of Google is mainly dealing with bloggers/blogging website, news and sites that claim to provide some specific information or results. The update was fully functional from October 21, 2022, and the new algorithm changes are about to eliminate spam. It impacts the fraudulent sites on google that rank high on Google SERPs.

Example:

  • Let’s suppose you published a post/page on your website having a title Watch Money Heist Season 5 Online for free, but the actually content inside the post contains irrelevant information along with spammy affiliate links and some ads; just wasting the time of visitor and redirecting him/her somewhere else.
  • This update is going to affect the SEO-based (Black-hat and gray-hat SEO techniques ranked via creating artificial backlinks, keyword stuffing, and spam) rankings on google search results. Google’s ultimate goal is to give users the spam-free and authentic information and solution they are looking for.

Last year in November 2021, Google launched an update on spam and stated that Google considers irrelevant links in content as spam. Last year this update significantly impacted search results and de-ranked most websites that Google’s AI Spam detector (Spambrain) detected spam sites. 

What Google said About this update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates.”

Explanation:

Google said this update isn’t the last one; We are constantly working on eliminating all spam sites. Google’s automated system that detects spam on the internet is known as “Spambrain,.” An intelligent AI system was first launched in 2018 and significantly improved in 2021. This AI intelligence helped Google identify bogus and spammy websites and penalize the fraudulent websites. As a result, Google in the year 2020 found around 2 billion spammy sites in just one day, which continues for several days. 

Google talked about “Spambrain” – Impact on sites

“For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time to time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Explanation: 

Google says: SpamBrain is an AI-based spam prevention system, and Google optimizes it to improve spam detection and catch new types of spam so websites can function correctly. 

This benefits original content creators and punishes the content thieves. In addition, it’s a message to robbers to think twice before stealing others’ content.

In other words, Google improves its Spambrain AI intelligence to detect better and catch new types of spam.

What is Spambrain, and how does it work?

The problem that every user faces on search engines is inaccurate results. This is all because of the spam content. Spam is the major issue that our digital world is facing. Google always fights spam and comes up with solutions for spam issues to provide accuracy in search results. Google have introduced an AI based system named “Spambrain ” in 2018 and publicly announced it in April, 2022. This smart AI is a spam prevention algorithm that is highly effective in detecting and reducing spam and spam search results. Spambrain is a self-learning AI that detects spam and low quality content unarguably.

Google said this AI advanced tech is self-improving and improves its own performance in understanding and identifying spam. In 2020 Spam brain detected alone more than 2 billion spam sites in the annual of Webspam report 2021 we saw significant improvements which are:

  • Spam identification rate increased 6x as compared to year 20220
  • Google claimed 99% of search results are spam-free
  • 75% Reduction in gibberish spam was recorded
  • 75% spam reduction was seen in web hosting platforms
  • Hacked spam site rate was also reduced from 75%

In addition to spam, Google works hard to reduce low-quality content and ranking manipulation by combating the behaviours that attempt to narrowly avoid violating our quality guidelines while also manipulative in nature and degrading the user experience.

What should you do if your website is affected by this update?

Google’s statement is relatively straightforward. Google says:

“Sites that see a change after a spam update should review our spam policies to ensure they are complying with those. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all. Making changes may help a site improve if our automated systems learn over a period of months that the site complies with our spam policies.”

How do I recover my site from Google October Spam Update Penalty

If you want to recover your website from this Google October Spam update, primarily you have to take few basic steps.

  1. Analyze the content Remove all the spinned and plagiarized content from your site, you must remember that good content is always important.
  2. You must the remove the AI- Written content.
  3. Disavow all the links that you think are created for backlinking purposes(Yes you have to). Don’t worry about loosing all the links, you will get good of those in future, instead of loosing whole site you are loosing just some links.
  4. Remove the external links from posts that are extremely doing backlinking generating practice and are spammy.
  5. After all this try updating the theme of your site if you are WP user, as it would give your site a new look and feel both for visitors and google bot as well.
  6. In future try linking to high authority (.edu, .gov, researches, authentic urls and relevant sites) from your posts/pages.

List of updates for search rakings

Almost from 3 years google has launched 21 updates for search engine rankings and in year 2021, Google launched 10 updates more than 3 of them were spam updates.

1October 19, 2022October 2022 spam Update.
2September 20, 2022September 2022 product reviews update
3September 12, 2022September 2022 core update
4August 25, 2022August 2022 helpful content update.
5July 27, 2022July 2022 product reviews update
6May 25, 2022May 2022 core update.
7March 23, 2022March 2022 product reviews update.
8February 22, 2022page experience update for desktop
9December 1, 2021December 2021 product reviews update.
10November 17, 2021November 2021 core update.
11November 3, 2021November 2021 spam update.
12July 26, 2021July 2021 link spam update.
13July 1, 2021July 2021 core update.
14June 28, 2021second part of the June 2021 spam update.
15June 23, 2021first part of the June 2021 spam update.
16June 15, 2021page experience update for mobile.
17June 2, 2021June 2021 core update.
18April 8, 2021April 2021 product reviews update
19December 3, 2020December 2020 core update.
20May 4, 2020May 2020 core update.
21January 13, 2020January 2020 core update.
List of Google Updates For Search Rankings

Simplifying the google statement for effaced sites.

Google said sites that see the changes after the Spam update should review the spam policies and ensure they comply. Google’s spam policies violating sites may lower or not appear at all in search results. However, if a site changes and the automated systems learn that the site has complied with spam policies for several months, the site will increase in ranking, and the search results will be seen better.

Google Spam Policies – A guide for beginners.

Google spam policies are for the protection of users while also improving the quality of search results. Your content should not violate Google Search’s overall policies or the policies listed on the Google spam policy page to appear in Google web search results. Google considers web pages, images, videos, news content, or other material found across the web. These policies apply to all SERPs, including Google properties too.

Google detects policy violations through automated systems (Spambrain) and, when necessary, human review, which can result in a manual action. As a result, sites that violate policies may appear lower in search results or not at all.

If you believe a website violates Google’s spam policies, please notify Google by submitting a search quality user report. It helps Google to understand its weaknesses in controlling the spam automatically. Google is working hard to create scalable and automated solutions to problems and use these reports to improve spam detection systems even more.

Google policies cover the most common types of spam, but they may take action against any spam they detect.

List of the Spam that violates Google spam policies

These are some common spam forms listed by google

  1. Cloaking
  2. Doorway pages
  3. Hacked Content
  4. Hidden text and links
  5. Keyword stuffing
  6. Link spam
  7. Machine-generated traffic
  8. Misleading functionality
  9. Scraped Content
  10. Sneaky redirects
  11. Spammy automatically-generated content
  12. User-generated spam

Let’s discuss each in detail.

Clocking

The type of spam in which spammers try to mislead search engines and users. The content is about something else while showing something different to the search engine to manipulate search results and users.

This spam is used to harm users or lead them to wrong results. 

For example: 

  • Spammer creates a page, showing search engines it’s about home decor, but he sells furniture to users.
  • He put home decor content and keywords for the search engine to get a ranking.

Clocking may not be unintentional, and this is a clear violation of Google’s guidelines, resulting in heavy penalties.

Doorway pages

Doorways are spam practices used for getting ranking on a specific or similar query. Doorways are websites or web pages with slight variations used to trick users into going through intermediate pages to reach the destination. These intermediate pages couldn’t be more helpful and what users seek, but the destination page is what they are looking for. 

For example:

• Multiple websites with slight URLs and homepage variations to get maximum reach for specific or similar queries.

• Having multiple domain names or pages that are intended for specific regions or cities and funnel users to a single page.

Hacked Content

Hacked content is that which is placed on your site without permission and lead users to unwanted place or malicious in nature and cause harm to their machine by automatically installed in their systems.

For Example:

  • Code Injection: When your website got hacked, the hacker might place malicious codes into existing pages of your website.
  • Page injection: Hackers usually add new pages or tags to your website that might contain spammy or malicious content. These pages are intended to trick search engines. Although your existing pages may not show signs of hacking, these newly created pages may harm your site’s visitors or performance in search results.
  • Redirects: Hackers may put malicious code into your website, redirecting users to malicious or spammy pages. The type of redirect may vary depending on the referrer, user agent, or device. Clicking a URL in Google Search results, for example, may redirect you to a suspicious page, but there is no redirect when visiting the same URL directly from a browser.

Hidden text and links

In this type of spammy practice, spammer inserts content on a page solely to manipulate search engines, which is not viewable by human visitors as hidden text or links. Hidden text or links that violate Google policies include:

  • Empty Anchor.
  • Using white text on a white background to hide the text.
  • Text hidden behind the pictures.
  • CSS text positioning off-screen.
  • Changing the font size or opacity to zero.
  • Hide a link by interlinking to only one small character (for example, a hyphen or full stop in the middle of a paragraph).

There are many web design elements available today that use dynamic showing and hiding of content to improve user experience; these elements do not violate Google spam policies:

  • Accordion or tabbed content that hides and reveals additional content.
  • A slideshow or slider that alternates between images or text paragraphs.
  • When users hover their mouse over an element, a tooltip or similar text appears, displaying additional content.
  • Text that is only visible to screen readers and is intended to improve the experience of those who use them.

Keyword stuffing

In this type of spam. The practices of adding keywords in excess with the intention of misleading search engine crawlers to get ranking on search results. These keywords frequently appear in a list or group in an unnatural or out-of-context manner.

For example:

  • Phone number lists with no significant added value.
  • Text blocks that list the regions and cities for which a website intends to rank.
  • Repeating the exact phrases and words so frequently that it sounds unnatural. For example.

A kitchen appliance store may use the keyword “appliances” excessively without knowing it. However, if the same appliance store repeats the phrase “affordable kitchen appliances” in every paragraph and at the end, this is most likely intentional keyword stuffing.

Link spam

Link is a main factor for Google in determining relevancy of web pages. Spammer use this to manipulate Google crawler to get search rankings. Now Google has advanced spam detection systems who identify this type of spams and demote them or totally throw them out from search results. 

This includes any manipulation of any links to your site or outgoing links from your site. 

For examples:

  • Purchasing or selling links for the purpose of ranking. This includes the following:
    • Exchanging money for links or posts with links.
    • Providing goods or services in exchange for links.
    • Sending a product to someone in exchange for them writing about it and including a link to it.
  • Link exchanges that are excessive (“Link to me, and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages only for the purpose of cross-linking
  • Using automated programs (Bots) or services to create links to your site

Google understands that buying and selling links is a normal part of the web’s economy for advertising and sponsorship purposes. Such links are not against Google spam policies as long as they are qualified with a rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attribute value to the a> tag.

Scraped content

Many bloggers now a day run their sites based on content of other famous sites. This practice is called Scraped content. Google consider scraped content as a spam content. If you are adding more value to that content and making it more useful to the users google may value your content and rank it, but If a significant number of valid legal removal requests are received, your site may be demoted.

For example:

  • Sites that republish the content of other sites without adding value or even quoting the original sources, considered as scraped content. 
  • Those sites who publish the content with just changing synonyms or adding little changes to it.
  • Sites that are solely dedicated to embedding or compiling content from other websites, such as video content, images, or even other media, with almost no significant value added to the user.

User-generated spam

User-generated spam is spammy content that is added to a website by users via a channel assigned for user content. Site owners are frequently unaware of spammy content. Here are some examples of spammy user-generated content:

  • Spammy accounts on hosting services where anyone can sign up
  • Spammy forum thread posts
  • Blog comment spam
  • Spammy files are being uploaded to file hosting services.

Conclusion – This update was really beneficial for the original content producers

After analyzing the all the aspects of Google update Oct 2022, Our experts came to the conclusion.

This update is totally user friendly it may hit the sites in some manner, but overall spammer percentage will significantly decrease from search results. It means no more content speculation (Republishes) will get upper hand upon the original content producers. Those who do spam practices unintentionally must read the Google guidelines and policies to make it practices correct and accordingly. This spam update will continue to hit sites two to three months until Spambrain come to the point that your site isn’t doing spam.

Google will continue to fight spam in order to maintain high quality and accurate search results. 

Some site might continue to do spam and develop new tactic to overcome from this update may be they find the weakness of this system. But Google is constantly developing new methods to detect and prevent such sites from ranking highly in Google search.

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