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Google’s Says 40% of Spam Will Be Removed in May Core Update

Search engine behemoth Google has declared that they will be removing at least 40% of spam in their current rollout of their May algorithm update.

The core update which is taking two months to process will come to completion on 5th May, leaving many website owners and search engine professionals on the edge of their seats.

In a recent blog post on the official Google website, the company addressed their need to address spam queries, driven by AI-scaled content, third party content and expired domains.

Updates of the core update can be found on the official Google Status Dashboard, however, the trembling and effects of this update are likely to be seen anywhere from now up until the official 5th May date.

What is a Google Algorithm Update and Why Do They Do Them?

Google regularly updates its algorithm to improve the quality of search results and listings. A lot of the search results you see reward good, honest and hard work by websites and their owners, but there is also a huge side which is manipulated through dark techniques known as black hat SEO.

For Google, they release updates every couple of months (around 5 to 6 months) although there was a spell in Q4 last year where there was an update almost every month.

In the past, there have been particularly updates that target different parts of SEO and ranking factors including:

Previous Updates Include

  • Mobile first indexing
  • Penguin - links
  • Panda - thin content
  • E-E-A-T - trustworthy content
  • March core update 2024 - spam

The idea is that through algorithm updates, Google essentially cleans up its listings and whilst there are changes everyday of 1% or 2% in rankings, this is where you see the biggest changes in your site’s rankings where you either jump up enormously or fall down dramatically.

In short, an algorithm update can make or break you overnight.

What Can I Do For This Core Update?

Google has said that nothing can be done during the middle of this core update to improve your rankings and that it is likely that your website has already been assessed. However, with two weeks remaining for the algorithm update to complete, it would certainly be wise to look at your site and make any improvements that might be more in line with this core update.

In addition, a good reason for making changes might be because some sources at Google say that they will manually look through websites to assess its strength. So there is an argument here that if your website looks good and fresh and catches the eye of someone at Google at the right time, you could get rewarded for this. It is a shot in the dark!

Add authority to your website - There are some quick and simple ways to add more trust and authority to your website including:

  • Adding more legals on the footer (accessibility, cookie policy, GDPR, data protection)
  • Adding a big disclaimer on the footer
  • Adding your address, opening hours and contact number on the footer
  • Adding an author to all blog posts and guides, with a real name
  • Adding last updated, reading time and references to your blog posts
  • Adding trust pages like careers, meet the team, partnerships, newsroom, press and more

A tactic used by many SEO practitioners in the past has been the use of expired domains, whereby you buy old domains that have a lot of Google value, probably because they were old legitimate companies for 20+ years and have built up some age on the internet and even have some quality links pointing to them from governments, universities or similar.

Some SEO people just redirect these straight to their target site (usually something like casinos or adult content) or they create a new website using this old domain, fill it with content and put their links on the homepage.

In theory, this looks strong and natural and some SEO people have scaled this up with tens of thousands of websites, certainly in the casino and adult space. But Google is said to be cracking down on this, so you might want to reconsider just how many sites and domains you have done this with.

Be Cautious of Third Party Content

So many SEO professionals have been able to secure top positions by placing lots of keyword-filled content and third party sites with high DAs. The has probably been the most successful website with a high DA and SEO people have flocked to place long content for all kinds of products, such as CBD, weight loss and even online loans, which Google has acknowledged in their recent blog post.

These third party ‘parasite content’ sites as they are known have dominated the search results for the last year and Google is now looking to clamp down on this. So if this is your main route to getting traffic, it is something to be cautious about.

Remove AI Generated Content

So many website owners and content creators have been excited about the use of AI and ChatGPT to create content, saving them huge sums on in-house and outsourced content writers.

Using ChatGPT or Jasper.AI has helped some website owners build new sites in just days or hours, compared to the months or years it might usually take. But alas, Google’s update is looking to clamp down on this scalable AI generated content, which has almost rewarded some sites too quickly and easily and has created a massive amount of content for Google to try place a value on.

Certainly knocking down on AI scaled content and looking for more personally-written and unique content is something that is more likely to be awarded in this core update.