There are several reports across multiple forums about a large update at Google. It appears people are noticing large search results shifts at Google Web Search. Some are obviously happy with the changes, such as one user at Search Engine Watch Forums and an other user at DigitalPoint Forums and some are not.
A WebmasterWorld thread has been tracking this update in more detail. The WebmasterWorld thread picks up speed as of last night, as did the other threads.
It appears many people are complaining about Chinese Spam sites coming into the Google web search results. One member described what he saw:
This isn't even news but I noticed something I didn't see before. A good majority of these domains were listed as follows:
fake title whatever blahblah ... description with some of our keyphrases plus a lot of other scraped stuff all mixed up yet showing for this query... xr.aghdweo. cn/whatever.html
In addition, George posted a question at Matt Cutts's blog, a Google engineer, asking:
Why are the chinese spam sites still in the index? I thought you were wroking on it and was testing, but the only thing I have seen, and other have reported in WMW, is that sites have disappeared from your listings but the chinese spam sites are still there. How is this possible after over a week?
Matt Cutts replied to that explaining that he is aware of the chinese spam site issue, and they are working on addressing it with an infrastructure change. He said:
On your second point, there’s at least one infrastructure change we wanted to make in order to handle these better. Infrastructure changes take more time than just killing specific spam sites.
So there does seem to be some type of update going on and it appears that there is a Chinese spam issue in Google. It doesn't appear to be specifically Chinese sites, some people are reporting. Unfortunately, I have no examples to share with you at this time. If you know of keyword searches that bring up samples of this problem, feel free to share via comments.
Update: Donna at SEO Scoop sent me an example query that returned these Chinese spam results. Now, I am not sharing the keyword search for this, because Donna warns that if you click on the results, "you'll get infected with a virus." So I decided to show you what they look like via a safe screen capture:
Notice the space between the domain and the .cn extension? The first example is c7b.2kisa．cn/. The period is not really a period, it is a weird character. Compare a normal dot, to this dot cn result:
Not sure if you can see the slight difference. Here it a picture of the two blown up:
It seems as if this is a generated unicode hex character of EFBC8E but it doesn't make much sense to me. The link in Google drops the space code off but the display code keeps it there.