Google Spam Update Sparks Relentless Discontent

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The search marketing community previously embraced Google’s spam updates. However, today’s announcement reflects a stark contrast in mood among search marketers and publishers, who have been grappling with six months of disruptive updates and the controversial rollout of AI Overviews, seen as a feature that diverts traffic. It’s safe to say that the reaction to Google’s latest spam update has been overwhelmingly negative.

Not The Update Publishers Are Waiting For

In March 2024, Google’s Core Update, spanning approximately 45 days, significantly impacted the rankings of numerous site owners. Despite the discontinuation of Google’s Helpful Content system (HCU), previously known as HCU, many site owners and SEO professionals affected by last year’s HCU are still anticipating a new update that might address what they perceive as issues stemming from that update.

One Twitter user addressed this directly to @JohnMu and @searchliaison:

“@JohnMu @searchliaison can this update remove the sitewide classifier still applied to sites since last September HCU? Or do we need to wait for a larger core update?”

Another user, amidst evident frustration, humorously tweeted a screenshot displaying a drastic drop in their web traffic to just six organic visitors:

“Google is coming after my last 6 organic visitors🤣Bring it on! Let’s see if we get to 0.”

These reactions highlight the ongoing challenges and uncertainties faced by webmasters and SEOs following Google’s recent algorithm updates.

Another individual expressed deep dismay over losing 95% of their traffic due to recent updates:

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter what update you have under your sleeve. I’m uninstalling Google Site Kit from my site. Seeing constant, declining charts and figures every time I log into WordPress is demoralizing. They remind me that I’ve lost 95% of my traffic for no reason at all.”

Reflecting a sentiment shared widely, another tweet criticized Google’s perceived impact on the internet:

“Your harmful monopoly is ruining the internet. Every one of your updates kills more independent websites while boosting spam.”

Additionally, someone lamented the transformation of once-helpful websites:

“Google has turned many helpful websites into lost places.”

These comments underscore the prevailing belief that Google’s recent updates may have missed their intended mark. Many affected individuals speculate that changes in how Google assesses site quality or relevance could be behind their struggles. Amidst this uncertainty, there is a collective hope among impacted parties for Google to reconsider its approach.

Backlash Against Pinterest In SERPs

Some feedback expressed dissatisfaction with Google’s website ranking system. One individual tweeted their hope that Google’s spam update would address the issue of Pinterest pins often being prioritized over their own website in “brand searches”:

“Will this update mean Google starts displaying my website instead of my Pinterest pins when users search for my brand?”

Backlash About Reddit in SERPs

Another individual provided feedback on the widespread perception that Google tends to rank Reddit too frequently for various queries:

“Reddit dominates the SERPs with spam right now.”

This sentiment regarding Reddit’s prevalence in search results was echoed by others:

“It’s notable that Google is rolling out a spam update! I’m curious to see its impact on Reddit’s ranking in search results. Personally, I haven’t found much genuinely helpful content there; Reddit seems to be flooding the search results with spam.”

What About The Site Reputation Update?

Google SearchLiaison responded to a query about whether the recent spam update addressed site reputation abuse, a tactic where marketers exploit third-party websites’ reputations to boost their own rankings without creating new sites. SearchLiaison clarified that this update did not include algorithmic measures targeting site reputation abuse:

“For the third time, let me reiterate: when we take action on site reputation abuse algorithmically, we’ll announce it. That’s not the case now. I won’t be addressing this question weekly; perhaps ask again in a month. It’s not helpful for me to repeatedly discuss progress on this issue.”

SearchLiaison added:

“I assume most who are curious about this would recognize it as a routine spam update, since there’s no accompanying blog post or ‘FYI things to know.’ It’s simply a regular update posted on our dashboard.

Having said that, I’m aware that people are still asking Barry about it, despite my previous explanations on this matter. If I need to reiterate for the third time, I’ll attempt once more to clarify why this isn’t something to inquire about every week.”

No Description Of Spam Update

Google rarely announces changes to its rankings unless it expects noticeable effects on search results. This makes the current update particularly noteworthy and significant, especially since it will be rolled out over an entire week.

While Google occasionally posts about spam updates on its blog, there is no accompanying article specifying the target of this particular spam update. This lack of detail may contribute to the anxiety expressed in some of the responses to Google’s announcement.

Google Has A Sentiment Problem

The combination of AI Overviews, the Helpful Content Update from late 2023, and subsequent updates up to March has significantly contributed to a negative sentiment within the digital marketing community. The recent “leak” further intensified this sentiment. Despite the leaked data revealing no new information, some individuals are using it to justify long-held suspicions and are accusing Google of dishonesty. This skepticism extends beyond the search marketing community to independent web publishers and major news organizations, who have also become disillusioned with Google.

The accumulation of so much negative sentiment over the past year means that even a typically welcomed spam update is now met with skepticism and complaints instead of applause.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal