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Google Search Updates: Unveiling Core and Spam AI Updates

March 13, 2024By Kyle Steinberg

Topics: Blogging, SEO

In recent years, the amount of spam we see in our Google search results has skyrocketed, leaving many users with unrelated content & unanswered questions. While Core Algorithm updates occur routinely, these updates go far beyond changing the algorithm. Let’s dive in. 

Slicing Through Spam 

You may have noticed; people don’t seem to trust Google as much as they used to. In a world where “Google it”, is shorthand for “ask a search engine and find the correct answer”, it’s unnerving to see one of the titans of the tech industry swarmed with spam to the point of affecting user experience.  

Where people used to search for “best ___”, some have found better yielding results by throwing “Reddit” at the end of the question and breaking through the endless spam and advertisements. People want to hear from real people. 

Not going down without a fight, Google has started the wave of AI & Spam Content updates that seek to improve user experiences. This update is designed to reduce the presence of unhelpful and low-quality content in search results by an impressive 40%.  

More Than Just an Update 

Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product Management at Google Search, emphasized that this update is more than just a routine tweak to the algorithm; it's a comprehensive effort to enhance multiple core systems simultaneously. 

At Its Core 

So, what does this mean? Google is streamlining their approach to evaluating content, in terms of relevance and quality. The addition of the content classifier into the core update allows Google to more effectively identify and prioritize content that is created with users in mind. In simpler terms, Google is training the new algorithm and systems to spot spam AI generated content.

That’s not all, the core update enhances the way that the platform understands the quality and intent of the webpages, therefore presenting you with the best webpages possible. It’s clear that Google is putting its foot down, telling us that they value content that is created for people rather than for search engines.  

What Should You Do? 

It’s simple: 

  • Keep making helpful, people-first content 
  • Focus on quality over quantity 
  • Don’t cheat the system 

Prioritizing high-quality content can only help you overall, as Google works to cut down on the amount of spam in their search engine. Content that looks to inform and help the user will always set you up for success.

Creating a large volume of AI-generated is a direct violation of Google Terms & Service that explicitly calls out "Producing content at scale". This includes humans and obviously AI.

Spam Strike Down 

The updates combating spam represent a significant step forward in the battle against low-quality AI generated content getting pushed to the top of your front page. Coinciding with the March 2024 core updates, these changes will provide users with a more trustworthy experience.  

Sealed Content Abuse Search Spam 

That’s a mouth full, let’s break that down. This update targets websites that produce content at scale for manipulating rankings in search results. This was already against Google's guidelines but with the rise of AI, made the issue much harder to detect and control. 

“This will allow us to take action on more types of content with little to no value created at scale, like pages that pretend to have answers to popular searches but fail to deliver helpful content,” Elizabeth Tucker wrote in a new blog post 

Cracking down on clickbait, Google is trying to fight back against those pages that pretend to provide answers to helpful questions, only to be full of low-quality content that offers little if any at all.  

Expired Domain Abuse Has Expired 

Expired domain abuse involves buying expired domains and repurposing them with low-quality content to boost search rankings. What this does is trick users into thinking the content on a domain is still part of the old site, when it might not. This sends a clear message to content creators trying to manipulate search engines, that will no longer be tolerated.  

Parasite SEO  

Also known as “site reputation abuse”, this is where third-party websites host low-quality content provided by third parties to piggyback on the power ranking of one of those websites. What does that mean? Think of a third-party website publishing a payday loan review on a trusted educational website to gain ranking benefit from the site.  

Giving advanced notice on this policy, the platform plans to start cracking down on parasite SEO at the start of May 2024. So you have a few weeks to exterminate those bugs before they exterminate you! 

What This Means for You 

Recent complaints about the quality of Google search results haven’t gone unnoticed, with the company taking big steps to address the concerns being raised by its users. Acknowledging that users of the platform seek content from real people with relevant experiences, they are working to better provide those experiences. Google has made it clear with this update their commitment to the development of AI, the teachings of these updates are likely to inform future decisions on AI advancements. 

If you’re someone who creates content, it’s more important than ever to make sure it is built on a solid foundation. Realizing that the tips and tricks of using and appealing to SEO may soon hurt you.  

A special note I want to make for you before you finish up. AI (no matter which you use) is a great tool that can help you come up with ideas and help flesh them out. Using AI to write a blog with a simple prompt will doom you, so instead use it help draft an outline for you. This still helps drastically reduce time to publish and keeps you safe from the updates.

Lastly, while these updates are massive in terms of scale and reach this isn't over yet. These updates are the foundation for the new search era we find ourselves in with AI. So don't think it's all clear after March! Core Algorithm updates occur roughly every quarter, based on previous history but with AI these could become more frequent. 

And if you’re looking for advice from an SEO expert, Trailblaze Marketing is here to help you! Head over to our contact page and reach out. 

Keep creating helpful content, the algorithm will thank you. 

Looking to leverage results-driven digital marketing for your business? Contact us today and let's get started!

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