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October 2022 Google Spam Update

What is it?

Google’s spam update finished rolling out on October 21st 2022, a mere 48 hours after it started to roll out. As the name suggests, it was an update to Google’s spam detection systems with the aim of improving their ability to spot spam content and also to ensure that it catches new types of spam.

What is considered spam?

If you’re asking this question, it’s very likely that your content isn’t considered spam because Google’s definition of spam is very strict, so much so that you would know your content is spam if it were spam. Google’s definition of spam mainly revolves around low-quality sites that intend to trick their users into providing personal information such as addresses or payment details, or ones that try to persuade the user to download some sort of malware. These updates also tend to focus on scam sites such as phishing sites (sites that pretend to be another high-ranking website).

When it comes to users providing personal information, the focus here is on the word ‘trick’. If you are asking for a user’s personal details in a contact form, you are in the clear. This isn’t considered a trick so there is no need to worry.

What to do if you’re affected

Whilst Google rarely tells us about the exact changes you have made, if you saw an adverse change in your page rankings after this update, it’s likely that Google considers some of your content spam. It is highly recommended that you review Google’s spam policies and make the necessary changes to your content, to ensure that you are compliant. This couldn’t be any more important as Google says that sites affected by spam updates may feel that impact for several months as they struggle to recover, or in some cases even longer if Google opts to remove your site entirely.

Be sure to look at Google’s ‘Search Essentials’ (formerly Webmaster Guidelines) – a list of all the core parts of what makes your content both eligible to appear in SERPs (search engine results pages) but also perform well.

Google’s Guidelines:

  • Create high-quality content which aims to be helpful to people.
  • Be sure to place the keywords you wish to show up for in prominent locations on your page – such as the title, subheadings, alt text and link text.
  • Make your links crawlable so Google can jump around your website easily.
  • Actively promote your site.
  • Follow the best practices for Images, Videos, JavaScript and Structured data (We have linked the terms to their respective guides).
  • Don’t forget to enhance the appearance of your site and provide a good user experience.
  • If you don’t want a page to be crawled and indexed, be sure to block it with ‘noindex’.

If you follow all of those guidelines, you shouldn’t worry about your content being flagged as spam. Any adverse change to your rankings may have come as a result of something other than this update so investigate further – it could just be that your competitor has revamped their site.

New to Google updates affecting your rankings?

If your content is of a very high standard and your website has been optimised, Google updates will rarely have a bad effect on your site. On the other hand, if you are being affected by updates like these, it’s a very clear sign that your website is not of a high enough standard. To improve it, you would benefit from a complete SEO audit to figure out what is wrong and where improvements can be made.

If SEO isn’t really your thing or you don’t even know what it entails, head over to the SEO page to check out a wide variety of services that I have on offer. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to ping me a message or give me a call.

If you want to avoid being penalised for spam content, follow the tips in the following articles:

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Tips to improve your SEO content writing

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