Madelyn Gardner

On June 20, 2024, Google released an update involving its spam detection processes and software. The update may take up to 1 week to complete, meaning it will wrap up by the beginning of July. 

According to Google, this is just a normal, routine spam update with little further clarification or details. What we do know is that it’s not the algorithmic version of the site reputation abuse policy enforcement or related to link spam. 

How This Update Relates to the Previous Spam Changes

The last spam update was announced on March 5, 2024, and completed within the same month. This massive change was designed to improve the quality of search results for users, reducing low-quality, unoriginal content by 40%, according to Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product, Search at Google. 

To build on to this and make search results even more accurate, Google made notable improvements to its automated system to detect search spam. The new processes target sites violating Google search spam policies so users can receive the best possible search results.

Why This Matters

This is the latest update since March and only the third update this year. While it’s unclear exactly what type of spam this handles, it will most likely change website rankings. This is a global update impacting all regions or languages, so every company must comply with spam policies. 

Websites that don’t follow these requirements may find their rankings dropped or their sites not showing up at all. This is because Google is cracking down on these mandates, so any ranking benefit the spammy links may have previously generated for sites is lost. 

How This Update Impacts Marketers

Because this update will take about a week, site ranking changes will fluctuate until the end of June. If this is the case, you should check in with the spam policies for Google web search. Here are the main ones you need to keep in mind:

  • Cloaking: The practice of presenting different content to users vs. search engines with the intent to manipulate search rankings and mislead users.
  • Doorways: Lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination. For example, having multiple pages with slight variations to the URL and home page to maximize their reach for any specific query. 
  • Expired domain abuse: Where an expired domain name is purchased and repurposed primarily to manipulate search rankings by hosting content that provides little to no value to users.
  • Hacked content: Any content placed on a site without permission due to vulnerabilities in a site’s security. Hacked content gives poor search results to our users and can potentially install malicious content on their machines.

If you’re following these guidelines and steering clear of spammy content, then there isn’t any actionable work you need to do. Just keep your website content people-focused for the best results.

For those of you with content that’s now considered spam, you’ll need to develop a new approach and strategy to website content that doesn’t lean too heavily on any of the outdated practices. 

Want to learn more about past Google updates? Check out our regularly updated blog post.