Google is targeting unwanted SEO optimized pages and spam with its new search update

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Google today took aim at the search engine optimization (SEO) industry that manipulated search rankings to destroy the value of Google search results. Too often, consumers searching the web for product recommendations, reviews, deals, and discounts turn up low-quality or spammy websites that don't deliver the expert reviews or helpful promotions they promise, despite their high rankings. The company said this is about to change with the latest update to the company's research.

Google on Tuesday Announced an update to search quality Which will specifically focus on improving the search quality ranking of websites and updating Google Search spam policies. In the latter case, Google's new policies will address the need to keep low-quality content out of search, such as “defunct websites that have been repurposed as spam repositories by new owners,” she says, as well as obituary spam.

Overall, the update aims to improve Google's ranking systems to demote pages created for search engines rather than people, the company's announcement explains. This means that sites that have a poor user experience or that appear to be tailored to match a very specific search query will be affected. Google estimates that through this update and its previous efforts, it will be able to reduce low-quality, unoriginal content by 40%.

Although Google's blog post failed to mention the term “artificial intelligence” or “AI” directly, it did mention the term “artificial intelligence” or “AI” directly A detailed post on Search Central does just that. The company explains the impact of this new technology on the web, by explaining that expanded content creation methods often benefit from “automation.” Because of the complexity of these technologies, it's not always clear whether the content is human-generated, whether it's a matter of automation, or whether it's a combination of the two.

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Instead, Google says it will focus on the abusive behavior of creating content at scale to boost search rankings, regardless of how the site was created. This may affect web pages that pretend to provide answers to common search queries, but do not actually provide much value to the end user.

Google tells us The rating changes will “directly address low-quality AI-generated content that is designed to attract clicks, but doesn't add much original value,” according to spokesperson Jennifer Kutz. “The updates will also address other types of content — content that may be primarily created by humans but doesn’t add much value to users. “The ultimate goal is to reduce the visibility of pages that look unsatisfactory, and lack original content,” she said. Google noted that the policy Large-scale content abuse will focus on content created by humans, generative AI, or other automated means.

Google's changes will also address “site reputation abuse,” which occurs when a website that typically features valuable content hosts low-quality content from third parties on its domain, in an attempt to confuse users and build on the site's existing reputation. The company gives an example of how an educational website also includes payday loan reviews to get the benefits of the rating, but we can also imagine that this affects many product review sites that seem to no longer conduct real hands-on tests, just pretend that they do.

This issue was recently raised by 404 media, Which pointed to recent German research that found that Google search quality was objectively getting worse, after analyzing thousands of search terms over the course of a year. Search marketers also agreed with this assessment, Saying that the scammers were winning. Meanwhile, independent sites focused on a niche market, such as HouseFresh's air purifier review site, are affected by increases in SEO spam, which is overwhelming human-led niche product research. “Google is killing independent sites like ours,” HouseFresh wrote. In a blog post last month which delved into how product recommendations from big media publishers outperform their reviews on Google, even though they don't appear to be legitimate editorial reviews.

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The update will also address expired domain abuse, which aims to mislead consumers that new content is part of an old site, and when domains are resold and repurposed to promote low-quality content and spam.

If Google successfully addresses these issues by updating search quality, it could have a significant impact on how consumers perceive the usefulness of Google Search, something that many people have become increasingly concerned about in the wake of AI advances. Publishers are seeing fewer clicks on new websites and startups, and Arc's web browser and news readers are looking to AI to summarize information at the expense of website traffic that keeps publisher sites alive.

Google says it's publishing its policy two months before implementation on May 5 to give site owners enough time to make changes.

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