Google Says Search Quality Improved With New Spam Detection

SpamMatt Cutts, a Google engineer working on search quality, wrote at the Google Blog that Google has recently released a new spam detection classifier to help prevent “spammy on-page content” from ranking highly in the Google search index. None of this comes as a surprise, Matt told us Google would be stepping up their search quality efforts in 2011.

The new classifier was introduced based on Google seeing a “slight uptick of spam in recent months,” said Cutts. Matt Cutts did say that spam compared to five-years ago is at rates “less than half” as of now, but in the recent months, there has been a slight increase in spam impacting Google’s results.

The redesigned document-level classifier will specifically make it harder for on-page spam to impact Google’s search index. Matt Cutts explained, “the new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.” In addition, Google also has “radically improved” their methods of detecting hacked sites and they are “evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content,” said Cutts.

In addition, Matt said Google will pay even more attention to “content farms,” which are sites that have low-quality content. Google introduced, what SEOs named, May Day update, which was Google’s first stab at low-quality content sites. So be prepared, if you are a site that aggregates content and repurposes it, you might be hit by whatever Google releases in 2011. Matt Cutts and Google vows to take “even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content.”

For more information, see the Google Blog and related stories on Techmeme.

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Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Google: Webmaster Central | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Magnus Bråth

    Wasn’t MayDay mostly a stab at “low quality sites” such as

  • Barry Schwartz


    Yes, I wrote that above. But Google promised to get stricter on that.

  • merlinox

    Hi @barry and everyone. I’m italian and I’ve some vertical search engine (Google CSE) with the post aggregator. My sites (expecially has been hardly hit by MayDay.

    Now I’ve a little question: all site that press releases must to tremble with this SERP revolution? They have 80-90% of duplicate content. Right?


  • Jen Whaley

    What I want to know are the conversion rates for the businesses who participate in “spammy on-page content.” If they are participating in the above tactics then they aren’t truly being beneficial to their audience at all. What I stress to my clients is that of course keywords are important for SEO, but offering real, educational information, and timely and relevant solutions are ultimately what will increase profit and create happy and loyal customers.

  • zzsimonb

    I cannot offer an informed comment over the research, human nature though would lead me to think that there may well be a slight skewing. Certainly not to the extent that I would do if I had a search engine. If it were mine, of course I would favor my own material. Quite honestly it matters nothing to me if the results are skewed. There are much bigger problems to be wrestled to the ground.

    Empty content ‘know it all’ web sites seem to rank high in every search. Music being the the one that I come across most often. As a reviewer I am looking for information, not a template that has a bands name, a CD tittle, and a button telling me that I can be the first to write a review! Why do the empty sites rank so highly?

    Even worse, sites that do nothing but scrape content, then rank higher than the original site. To add insult to injury, the sites are packed with Google Adsense ads. This is a double whammy! To some, myself included, it seems like Google is playing both ends against the middle!

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