Google’s spam fighting and what it means for non-spammers


Google just released their annual webspam report and, as expected, the results are that their webspam-figthing algorithm, terribly named SpamBrain, has been busier than ever fighting an ever increasing amount of spam on the web. There was a 5-fold increase in the number of spam websites detected in 2022, compared to 2021, and a 50-fold increase in detecting link spam.

What’s not clear is if the increase is attributed to there being a higher level of spam websites and links than the previous year, or that Google is just getting better and better at detecting it. I assume it’s a combination of the two.

Webspam has always been an issue, ever since the web was created, and although Google doesn’t always manage to detect it, it does a pretty of job of keeping the worst of it out of the search results. We do see spam websites appear in the results from time to time, but generally it is quite rare that Google will lead you to a website that is pure spam or likely to ruin your day by installing some malicious software on your computer.

The huge amounts of spam content and links means that there is a lot of noise on the web and it’s still challenging for search engines to detect it all. As legitimate content creators, we have to possibly do more to stand out and be heard. Google doesn’t index all content it discovers, so the focus on quality and authority is a major consideration for website owners and businesses today. It’s only getting noisier out there, we just need to always do more (good things) to be heard and be rewarded for it.

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