Google's October 2023 Spam Update Starting To Target Spam Sites

Oct 9, 2023 • 7:41 am | comments (151) by | Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Google Spam Update

I am hearing reports that the Google October 2023 spam update that touched down on October 4, 2023, at around 12:50 p.m. ET is starting to do its job. This means people see fewer spam sites on Google Search results this morning.

So this update that was announced five days ago is now starting to have a visible impact in the Google search results.

I spotted a couple of comments about this on this site where I asked about the core update impact. Two hours ago, an SEO said, "Right now, I'm starting to see the spam update working well. Most of the hacked pages, redirect spam page, discussion and community group spam pages, and PDF spam, etc have been eradicated from the search results. A search on "autozone near me" gives clean search results now (except 1, which is ranking on the 2nd page, and this page was just published several hours ago)."

Simrin Aysha replied saying, "Yes, you are right. Even the spam links from the screenshot i shared earlier as been removed. No Spam now." Simrin is referencing this screenshot:

click for full size

A new comment at WebmasterWorld says, "Spam update seems to be working quite well. I see more spam in SERPs now. Especially the YouTube Spam. More and more YT videos in SERP."

Glenn Gabe also just posted about this a tad before I published this article:

It does seem like, over the past day or so, some have been complaining about pages being removed from Google search. Many are saying it is not spam so they are not sure why the pages are being removed. This leads back to the confusion around the core update versus the spam update rolling out at the same time.

John Mueller has also been replying to a bunch of complaints about some pages not being indexed. I am not sure which update it is related to but here are some of those complaints:

I am also being told privately about these changes being noticed in the search results. But there are plenty of comments here and in the forums of this spam update having an impact now.

October 2023 Google Spam Update Quick Facts

As a reminder, here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

  • Name: Google October 2023 Spam Update
  • Launched: October 4, 2023 at around 12:50 pm ET
  • Rollout: It will take a few weeks to fully roll out
  • Targets: It goes after cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam more so in Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages.
  • Penalty: It penalizes spam techniques that are against Google's spam policies.
  • Global: This is a global update impacting all regions and languages.
  • Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
  • Recover: If you were hit by this, Google said you should review its spam policies to ensure they are complying with those.
  • Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to the spam update. It can take many months to recover, Google said.

You can learn more about this update over here.

Have you noticed better spam handling in the Google search results as of the past day or so?

Forum discussion at X, Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld.

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