Google announces changes to lower search rankings of ``low-quality pages created not for humans but to rank high in Google search''

Many people have had the experience of looking up something on Google, only to find that the top search results are filled with low-quality pages that are clearly focused on

SEO . In March 2024, Google will strengthen its search ranking system algorithm and update its spam policy to prevent ``low-quality pages created for Google searches rather than humans'' from being displayed at the top. Announced.

Google Search: New updates to address spam and low-quality results

What web creators should know about our March 2024 core update and new spam policies | Google Search Central Blog | Google for Developers

Google takes aim at SEO-optimized junk pages and spam with new search update | TechCrunch

It has long been considered a problem that Google search results are filled with low-quality pages and advertisements focused on SEO. In 2023, The Verge, a major IT news site, published an article claiming that ``SEO has significantly worsened the usefulness of search,'' and a German research team also analyzed search results for 7,392 product review terms. A year-long study also found that search results are indeed contaminated by SEO-optimized pages.

Research reveals that SEO spam contamination of Google search is actually getting worse, not just an impression - GIGAZINE

Meanwhile, Google has announced that it will strengthen its search ranking system algorithm and update its spam policy in order to eliminate low-quality spam pages from search results.

◆Strengthening search ranking system algorithm
Facebook began adjusting its ranking system in 2022, successfully reducing the amount of useless, low-quality, and unoriginal content that appears at the top. Google plans to incorporate what it learned from the Facebook case into a core update in March 2024.

Search ranking system algorithms will be improved to better understand when a particular web page is useless, has a poor user experience, or is geared towards SEO rather than people. Websites whose rankings will be lowered due to this improvement include those created by targeting ``certain very specific search queries.''

Google says, 'We believe these updates will reduce the amount of low-quality content you see in search results and drive more traffic to useful, high-quality sites. Based on our evaluations, we believe these updates 'By combining these efforts, we expect a total of 40% less low-quality, unoriginal content to appear in search results.' Please note that this update is complex and will take up to a month to deploy, and as multiple systems strengthen each other, ranking fluctuations may be greater than normal updates.

◆Deployment of new spam policy
Google has been fighting spam for decades, and its efforts continue at the time of writing. Today, Google announced a policy to combat three tactics that have become increasingly popular in recent years: ``abuse of content generated at scale,'' ``abuse of site reputation,'' and ``abuse of expired domains.'' did.

1: Misuse of mass-generated content
Google has long worked to downrank low-quality or unoriginal content that is produced in large quantities using automated systems to manipulate search rankings. However, in recent years, mass content generation methods have become more sophisticated, making it difficult to determine whether content is purely automatically generated.

Therefore, Google has made a policy change to focus on the act of ``generating large amounts of content to manipulate search rankings'', regardless of how the web page was created. Google says this will help it combat more content, including 'webpages that appear to answer popular search queries but provide no useful information to their actual users.'

Google spokesperson Jennifer Katz told Tech Crunch: 'The ranking changes will directly impact low-quality, AI-generated content that is designed to attract clicks but has little actual value. This update also addresses other types of content, such as content that may have been created by humans but doesn't add much value to the user. 'It's about reducing the presence of pages that lack original content.'

2: Abuse of site reputation
Even websites that already have a good reputation may host low-quality content created by third parties for profit. Google cites ``the publication of consumer finance reviews on trusted educational websites'' as an example. This way, if your content is hosted by a trusted website, it will appear higher in search results even if the content itself is of low quality, which can confuse or mislead users.

Therefore, Google has decided to consider low-value third-party content that is primarily created for the purpose of ranking high in search rankings and is not closely monitored by website owners as spam. This policy requires a response period from website owners, so it will come into effect from May 5, 2024, two months after the announcement.

3: Unauthorized use of expired domains
Expired domains are sometimes purchased by third parties and reused to boost search rankings for low-quality or unoriginal content. In this case, some users may mistakenly think that the newly published low-quality content is the same as the old website. Google has implemented a policy change that considers expired domains that are purchased and reused to boost search rankings for low-quality or unoriginal content as spam.

Google says, ``Search supports billions of questions every day, but there are always areas where we can improve.'' We will continue to strive to display as much information as possible.'

◆Forum now open
A forum related to this article has been set up on the GIGAZINE official Discord server . Anyone can write freely, so please feel free to comment! If you do not have a Discord account, please create one by referring to the article explaining how to create an account!

• Discord | 'Have you ever suffered any real harm from Google's search algorithm update?' | GIGAZINE

in Web Service, Posted by log1h_ik