The Google October 2023 Spam Update launched on October 4th and it aims to target a number of problematic types of spam.
The update focuses particularly on cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam.
It is also expected to have a significant impact across a range of languages which include Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, and Chinese.
For website owners, this update represents an important shift in the search engine’s algorithm and may result in changes to website rankings or even potential penalties.
In this blog, we will explore what the update will target in more depth, how it will potentially affect website owners’ search rank, and what steps website owners can take to ensure that their websites are not negatively impacted by the update.
What Will the October 2023 Spam Update Target?
As mentioned earlier, the October 2023 Spam Update will target several problematic types of spam, including cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam.
These types of spam have long been a concern for Google, as they can manipulate search rankings and mislead users.
We're releasing an update to our spam detections systems today that will improve our coverage in many languages and spam types: https://t.co/g5yWWqvypR
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) October 4, 2023
Cloaking, in particular, has been a major problem for the search engine.
Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content to users and search engines with the intent to manipulate search rankings.
It is a sneaky tactic that website owners may use to try and rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs) than they deserve to be.
Hacked content is another issue that the update aims to address.
This refers to any content placed on a site without permission due to vulnerabilities in a site’s security.
Hacked content not only delivers subpar search results, but also jeopardizes users by exposing them to potential malware invasion.
Auto-generated content is similar to cloaking, in that it is generated programmatically to try and manipulate search rankings, without producing anything original or adding sufficient value to users.
Scrapped content, on the other hand, is content taken from other sites without permission, often without added value or services provided by the site owner.
How Will the October 2023 Spam Update Affect Website Owners?
The impact of the October 2023 Spam Update on website owners will depend on a number of factors; including the types of spamming techniques they have employed on their site, the language(s) they use, and the niche of their website.
Sites that use any of the aforementioned spamming techniques stand to see a decrease in search rankings, through a reduction in traffic, referrals, and visibility on SERPs.
For websites that rely heavily on organic traffic to draw in visitors, this could have serious implications.
However, it should also be noted that the impact of the October 2023 Spam Update will vary on a case-by-case basis, meaning that some websites may not feel any changes whatsoever.
It is worth noting that Google tracking tools have reported normal volatility in SERPS.
However, this is a three-week rollout, and many tracking tool have not been updated as yet.
What Should Website Owners Do to Make Sure They Won’t Be Affected?
To ensure that their website is not negatively impacted by the October 2023 Spam Update, website owners should take the following steps:
- Familiarize yourself with Google’s spam policies:
- Make sure that you’re up-to-date with Google’s spam policies, and are not engaging in any practices that could be considered spam.
- This includes strategies such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and bad link building practices.
- Focus on creating high-quality, original content:
- The best way to ensure that your website stays ahead of the curve when it comes to the October 2023 Spam Update is to create high-quality, original content that provides value to your users.
- Make sure your content is well-written, accurate, and informative.
- Ensure your website is secure:
- As the October 2023 Spam Update will target hacked and other similar types of spam, it’s important to ensure that your website is secure.
- This means ensuring that all software and plugins are up-to-date, that a secure protocol (HTTPS) is installed, and that your website is protected from potential vulnerabilities.
- Develop a strong backlink strategy:
- Developing a strong backlink strategy is especially important for websites that have traditionally relied on link building tactics.
- Make sure that you’re focusing on building quality links that come from trustworthy sources.
- Follow future updates closely:
- Finally, website owners should follow future Google Updates closely, keeping a close eye on any new developments that might impact their site’s search rank.
The October 2023 Spam Update is an important update for website owners to keep in mind.
By targeting a range of problematic spamming techniques, the update aims to improve the overall quality of online content, and provide a better user experience for all.
By following the steps outlined above, website owners can ensure that their sites are not negatively impacted by the update, and can continue to thrive in the competitive world of online search.