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Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms an algorithm update targeted at fighting spam is rolling out to search results.
The rollout of the update will conclude today, June 23, 2023. A second spam update will follow next week.
Exact details were not provided about this specific update. Though Google regularly rolls out spam updates to maintain the quality of its search results.
It’s unlikely a legitimate website following Google’s webmaster guidelines have anything to worry about with respect to these spam updates.
Google has a strict definition of what it considers spam, and it primarily includes low quality sites that trick users into providing personal information or installing malware.
Spam updates also target phishing scams, and other bad actors on the web that try to rank in search results by posing as highly relevant pages.
With that said, even sites that follow Google’s guidelines are vulnerable to hacked spam. If a site is not adequately secured it could be serving spam to users without knowing it.
Google’s annual spam fighting report indicates that hacked spam is rampant. If your site suddenly drops in rankings following today’s update or the one next week, it would be wise to examine your site’s security and look for signs of a possible attack.
When a site is hit by a spam update its content is either demoted in search results or removed from Google’s index.
The company estimates that its automated systems keep more than 99% of visits from search results spam-free.
In announcing this update, Sullivan links to a blog post from April which details the results of Google’s recent spam fighting efforts.
Last year Google’s automated systems blocked 25 billion spammy pages from being indexed in search results every day.
We’ll likely learn more about the impact of the June 2023 spam updates when Google publishes its annual spam fighting report next year.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 23, 2023
For more information on how Google fights spam, Sullivan links to the video below:
You're reading Google Rolls Out New Spam Algorithm Update
Google Targets Low Quality Sites Again
Source : Google Inside Search Blog
Importance : [rating=4]Our Commentary
Google has started the rollout of a small algorithm update targeting poor quality websites. It’s been dubbed Penguin by SearchEngineLand.
The techniques Google are targeting as part of this update are not new and Google has been combating them for years already.
In their blog post announcing the change Google explain they are targeting both anchor text of links and quality of content on a page as primary focus. When looking at the examples used to explain the the type of spam they are targeting – you can see it is very keyword heavy copy or irrelevant links as part of the content as this image shows. It’s from an example of a site Google calls out which it is targeting:
We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites
So, good news for businesses that want to create a brand, quality products and experiences. A blow for highly competitive niches where it is typically difficult to be creative and web spammers are active. Compared to the Panda changes, this update will only affect around 3% of English web queries so quite a small change in reality, though I believe combined with all recent updates a lot of poor quality sites will cease to exist in any meaningful way.
Surprisingly from reading on sites such as SearchEngineLand many people in the SEO industry are fed up with these changes. Astounding really, the fact is Google is a dominating force, its actions feel sensible and it is challenging businesses to step up, be remarkable and put effort in. The days of automated content scraping and link building are no more and lets face it, it has taken Google long enough to catch up with these lazy techniques. I don’t think SEO has died or is dying, it has just changed, as everything does.Our Recommendations
It is easy to get confused with the messages from Google, the lines between white & black hat SEO are in a state of flux depending on who you speak to and what day of the week it is… What we do however know, is creating highly engaging websites which require quality design and high quality content that is updated regularly is what is liked. That does require that your content is well organised and you have researched your keywords effectively, so very much still a place for On-page optimisation.4 tips for ensuring you stay in Google’s Good Books
Check your backlinks for signs of low quality or spammy links (utilise MajesticSEO or OpenSiteExplorer to help analyse)
Ensure you only have high quality content on your site (check any external news finds or copy writer work), put another way, only create amazing content for your brand and audience
Complete quarterly SEO audits and run training with internal teams every 6 months
Ask your agencies about the types of links they will generate for you as part of an initial pitching process and ongoing reviews
Over the past 12 hours, we’ve had confirmation from Google that they’ve rolled out two web spam updates; Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0. Panda 4.0 was confirmed by Matt Cutts on Twitter, whilst Payday Loan 2.0 was initially announced via Search Engine Land and later tweeted by Matt.
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 21, 2014
Of course, as with all major algorithm updates, there’s been a wealth of speculation over the weekend, as SEOs and marketers from across the globe started reporting movement on the SERP’s for their and their clients’ sites. There was first rumors of an update early last week, however Google initially denied any update last Tuesday, May 13th.Panda 4.0
Panda 4.0 looks to be the ‘softer update‘ which was first discussed back in March and it has been stated that this update affects different languages to different extents, however in English, the affect is ~7.5% of queries.
Utilizing Google’s usual algorithm numbering system, it’s almost certainly the case that this is a new update to the algorithm, as opposed to a data refresh, especially given that Google now refresh Panda monthly as part of the main algorithm. There’s already been accounts of sites previously hit by Panda seeing significant recoveries and, as such, it looks that the update has indeed been a little softer and more generous to sites, especially those previously affected.Payday Loan 2.0
Google first launched their Payday Loan Algorithm last June and it’s been expected that a second update would follow for some time. This update is intended to specifically target ‘very spammy queries’ which typically get associated with excessive web spam, primarily payday loans, insurance, accident claims and the like. You’ll almost certainly be familiar with low quality sites appearing for these type of queries and it’s Google’s intention to prevent this from happening.
A Google Spokesperson stated on the update:
“Over the weekend we began rolling out a new algorithmic update. The update was neither Panda nor Penguin — it was the next generation of an algorithm that originally rolled out last summer for very spammy queries.”
Again, this looks to be an international rollout, which affects different languages to different extents, with English queries being affected by 0.2% to a noticeable degree.Were You Affected?
Was your site or any of your client’s sites affected by either of these updates? Either positively or negatively? As with all updates, there’s winners and losers, however sharing your experience with the industry allows everyone to pull together and analyse the true extent of how they’re affecting sites.
Featured image via Shutterstock
Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 14942 for PCs enrolled in the Fast ring. This particular release includes a number of small features and improvements that users will be getting as part of the Windows 10 Redstone 2 update in early 2023.
According to the company in build 14942 there are a new few features, including an option to hide the app list on the Start menu, you can now extend Active Hours longer than 12 hours, the precision touch experience has improved, and there are new changes under-the-hood. This is in addition to various other fixes and improvements.Start menu
Now on Windows 10, you can hide the app list on the Start menu. The new feature works similar to the Start screen on tablet mode, which means that under the hamburger button, you’ll see a button to see only tiles or the list of apps.Touchpad experience Settings
In the Settings app, Windows 10 build 14942 now includes some minor tweaks to increase the default Active Hours range from 12 to 18 hours, but it’s only for Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, Education, and Windows 10 Mobile — Windows 10 Home will retain the default 12-hours range.
Additionally, there is a new Windows Update icon that matches the iconography of Windows 10. After installing new updates, you’ll now see the icon on Action Center.Internal changes
Service hosts are now split into separate processes on devices with 3.5GB or more RAM. While you’ll see an increased number of processes in the Task Manager, there is nothing to worry about.
Increase reliability: Currently, if one service host fails, all the services grouped in one process will fail. The change removes the case of single point of failure.
Increase transparency: Now it’ll finally be possible to view what’s really happening on each process. You can now see how much processor, memory, disk & network individual services are consuming.
Reduce servicing costs: This small improvement will allow technicians to quickly pinpoint issues and get them resolve quickly.
Increase security: Process isolation and individual permission sets for services will increase the security of the operating system.Narrator
Starting with Windows 10 build 14942, Narrator introduces field navigation. Form Fields have been added to Narrator’s Search and Select feature to allow you to list items such as buttons, links, headings and other elements available in an app, webpage or document.Windows 10 build 14942 fixes and improvements
Improved frame rates when Game Bar is enabled for full screen games.
Custom printer names will be preserved across upgrades after updating to this build. In addition, the company is fixing a number of issues, including sfc /scannow command failing at 20 percent. Settings app crashing when navigating certain pages.
Fixed an issue resulting in Windows Defender Antimalware Service Executable sometimes using an unexpectedly large amount of CPU.
Fixed an issue resulting in a small set of users seeing the NTFS partition of their external hard drive incorrectly showing up as RAW format.Windows 10 build 14942 known issues
In build 14942 there is a problem with IIS World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3Svc), prevents the service to start successfully.
Microsoft is listing the complete set of the features, fixes, and known issues for build 14942 at the Windows Blog.
Alongside, the features and changes, Microsoft also is shipping an updated version of the Photos app adding a much improved user interface.
The new changes include a horizontal navigation bar, new light view mode, new animations for full screen mode, and you can see photos more quickly with your mouse.
Sir Richard Branson and designer Burt Rutan walk aside the Virgin Mothership “Eve” (VMS EVE) in Mojave, CA. on the eve of its official rollout on July 28, 2008.
Virgin Group head Sir Richard Branson unveiled the latest addition to his air- and spaceline fleet at the Mojave Airport in California today, accompanied by the craft’s chief designer, Burt Rutan.
The White Knight 2 is a four-engine jet that will carry an 8-seat spaceship called SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 48,000 feet so that the spaceship can drop off and fire its rocket engine for a brief run to suborbital space. Branson’s Virgin Galactic hopes to begin regularly scheduled passenger service to space in 2010.
White Knight 2, Branson, and Rutan
Virgin Galactic owner Richard Branson (left) and air- and spacecraft designer Burt Rutan wave from the cockpit of the White Knight 2.
Rutan’s company Scaled Composites made history in 2004 with the world’s first privately funded manned spaceflights by its three-seat SpaceShipOne, which was carried aloft by the original White Knight. The White Knight 2 features two fuselages, each with its own cabin, connected by a single continuous wing arching between them, where the spaceship will ride. With the wing span of a B-29 bomber, it is the largest all-carbon-fiber aircraft yet built.
On hand to christen the White Knight Two outside a Scaled hangar was Branson’s mother, Eve. Not coincidentally, Eve is also the name of the mother ship. “If you’re going to name a mother ship,” Branson quipped to a gathering of perhaps two hundred reporters and dignitaries, including Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, “you might as well name it after your own mother.”
White Knight 2, Eve, and Richard Branson
Eve Branson takes cover as her son Sir Richard christens the White Knight 2.
Eve Branson stood with her son beside the White Knight 2 as Sir Richard shook a bottle of Champagne and then hosed down a gaggle of reporters photographing the event as he opened it. When asked how she felt having an exotic new aircraft named after her, Eve replied, “I don’t know what to say. But am I allowed to drink this?”
Kidding aside, Branson has serious aspirations for the White Knight 2. Besides carrying paying passengers to space, 270 of whom have ponied up $200,000 each for tickets or put down substantial deposits, Branson envisions White Knight 2 ferrying government, industrial, and academic researchers and their experiments into the realm of weightless flight on a regular basis. Future craft using the White Knight 2/SpaceShipTwo technology could also enable superfast travel from one point on the Earth to another.
The White Knight 2 will begin ground testing tomorrow, with flight testing expected to begin in the fall. SpaceShipTwo is still under construction, with flight testing pending the conclusion of an investigation into the causes of a test stand explosion that claimed the lives of three Scaled employees last summer.
Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn said today that the spaceship would not fly passengers until it was absolutely safe to do so. “Safety is our north star,” he said. “Safety is crucial to us because Virgin is invested in four airlines, including Virgin America, in four continents…. Our name has become a byword for safety and innovative and efficient transportation solutions.” That’s a hard-won reputation the hugely profitable group of companies won’t willingly squander.
Google updates its search algorithm thousands of times a year.
Some of Google’s algorithms are quite well known – some have almost taken on legendary status (e.g., Florida, Panda, Penguin, RankBrain) and have had a major impact on the history of SEO and the rankings (and revenue) of websites.
But most changes are much smaller. Some updates even go completely unnoticed.
In just the past two years, we’ve seen roughly a dozen significant updates – many of which were “quality updates,” as well as:
Some of these recent updates have been confirmed or announced by Google.
However, other periods of volatility in the SERPs (believed to be due to an algorithm update) have been observed and reported by algorithm watchers and tracking tools, but Google has never officially confirmed an update.Why You Should Track Google Updates
You’re in the profession of optimizing websites and content for search engines.
So it makes sense to keep track of big and important changes that could impact your SEO strategy and tactics.
An algorithm change or update can either help or hurt your:
Search ranking and visibility.
Organic search traffic.
Return on investment (ROI).
Most people tend to think of an algorithm as a way Google punishes websites.
But really, algorithms are a way to reward websites for providing a good user experience and relevant content.
Search is a zero-sum game. For every winner, there must be a loser.
Google wants to provide the best possible answer for the user’s search query.
All that said, it would be kind of insane (and impossible) to try to keep track of every little Google search update.
Think about it like this:
If Google is updating it’s search algorithm thousands of times per year, that means Google is changing its algorithm around three times per day, on average.
To paraphrase Roger Montti: If you pick any day of the week and declare a Google update happened, you’d probably be correct!
So track those big updates. Just don’t obsess over them or you’ll make yourself crazy.
So how do you track Google algorithm updates?Places to Track Google Algorithm Updates
There are many great SEO blogs that cover all types of search updates.
But here are a few resources you can use to specifically to keep track of Google algorithm updates.Search Engine Journal: History of Google Algorithm Updates
Want to know the names, dates, and impact of any major algorithm changes or updates?
Search Engine Journal has you covered – from 2003 to today.
We have an entire page dedicated to Google algorithm updates that includes the following information:
The rollout date(s).
A brief overview of the impact.
Whether it is confirmed or unconfirmed.
Links to official announcements (blog posts and tweets), as well as news stories and analysis (from SEJ and other credible external sources) so you can deeper dive and understand the changes.Google Webmaster Central Blog
Though not so much recently, the Google Webmaster Central Blog used to be the place to find out about major algorithm changes as they happened, whether it was the rollout of Panda, Penguin, or the Page Layout algorithm.
Definitely keep an eye on this resource to stay up on the latest changes, straight from Google.Twitter
A few years ago, Matt Cutts was the best person at Google to follow as he regularly kept the SEO community informed about changes to search.
Nobody has completely filled this role, which means Google is no longer very good about confirming algorithm updates.
However, there are a couple of Googlers who might announce or confirm updates, and possibly even share a few salient details:Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) is always on the lookout for news about algorithm changes. He regularly reports on Google updates at Search Engine Roundtable; however, there is a fair bit of rampant speculation based on industry chatter that sometimes doesn’t amount to anything significant (seen in headlines ending with a question mark).Marie Haynes
Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) is another avid algorithm watcher. In addition to sharing info and insights about algorithm updates via Twitter, she also has published interesting blog posts and case studies on her blog.Glenn Gabe
Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) regularly shares data when he sees disturbances in the algorithm, both on Twitter and on the GSQi blog.8 Tools to Track Google Algorithm Updates
Google isn’t particularly fond of any third-party tools that monitor changes to Google’s algorithms.
Officially, some Google spokespeople have warned SEO professionals that such tools are inaccurate most of the time.
This is true – some of these tools pick up on “changes” to Google’s search results that aren’t really algorithm updates at all.
Fluctuation? Sure. But volatility in the SERP results isn’t always due to a Google algorithm change.
All that said, these tools can provide an early warning that an update might be brewing and you should check your analytics.
Here are a few tools you can use to track Google algorithm updates.
MozCast, in the style of a weather report, provides a “temperature” that represents how turbulent Google’s algorithm has been every 24 hours over the past 30 days. Hotter and stormier means Google’s rankings are very much in flux.
SEMrush Sensor is one of the more impressive algorithm tracking tools. You can see ranking changes (desktop and mobile) broken down into more than 20 categories, as well as by device, SERP feature, and location. Plus you can check out overall SERP volatility (and domain winners and losers) for the last 30 days.
RankRanger monitors more than 10,000 domains and keywords daily to identify ranking patterns and track volatility in Google’s desktop and mobile search results.
Is Google Chilled, Grumpy, or Furious? Find out Google’s “mood” with Accuranker’s ‘Grump’ Rating, which highlights fluctuations in Google’s algorithm. You can also track by country and device and sign up for alerts via email.
This Google algorithm tracking tool monitors fluctuations for about 17,000 keywords (desktop and mobile) using a flux metric called a “roo”. A higher roo value means high volatility, while a low roo value indicates it’s a fairly ordinary day. Algoroo also highlights weekly winners and losers.
AWR’s Google Algorithm Changes tool monitors 11,000 keywords and 500,000 URLs across various industries to highlight fluctuations and show changes in position.
This free SEO tool will help you figure out whether a Google algorithm update has impacted your organic sessions. Panguin uses various filters to overlay known algorithm updates on top of your Google Analytics data to make analysis a breeze.
This tool monitors more than 100,000 keywords daily to track ranking fluctuations in desktop, mobile, and local search results. You can sign up to be notified when Google is particularly volatile.What to Do After an Algorithm Update
There are five things you should always remember after an algorithm update (whether confirmed or unconfirmed):
Make sure you were actually impacted by the algorithm change and not something else (e.g., a website change, technical SEO issue, or manual action).
Don’t rush to react – be patient and collect data.
Read credible sources (like Search Engine Journal) to gain insights and see what the SEO experts are saying.
Make adjustments to your SEO strategy and tactics as necessary.
It’s also important to remember that Google’s algorithms are constantly changing.
What impacts your rankings today could change in a few days, a week, or in a month.
Chasing Google’s algorithm can be dangerous, as shown in this classic illustration:
If you come through a big Google change unscathed, celebrate!
If, on the other hand, your traffic and rankings plummet, look at it as a blessing in disguise. Google has detected some flaw in your website. So get working to fix it.
You can minimize your chances of avoiding a huge impact by always focusing on the SEO fundamentals. Avoid any shortcuts or spammy tactics that may have short-term gains but could create disaster in the long term.
You’re far better off understanding your audience and creating content that builds your authority, relevance, and trust.Summary
You can use many tools to monitor Google’s constantly changing search algorithm. Most of these tools make it fairly easy to understand the relationship between the update and your organic traffic.
While it isn’t necessary to monitor every update that Google launches (especially since there are thousands of changes every year), it is important to understand the big changes and adjust your strategy accordingly as they happen.
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