Google’s new ranking systems are designed to prevent spam, SEO and other manipulative tactics.

Google is making some new changes to its ranking system in search, designed to help rank good content in your results and hide some of the worst and craziest stuff on the web. The company says it’s doing a better job of downgrading content that’s only there to summarize other content — which can sometimes be general SEO content but also for generative AI tools. Working faster – and to counter some of the tricks people use for tricks. its classification system.

There are always people who try to manipulate their way to the top of Google results. It’s just a fact of the web and a fact of life for Google’s search teams. Google is also always making changes to its ranking algorithm in an effort to improve search results. We never hear about most of these changes. “You only see the ones that got out of control, as it were,” says Pandu Naik, VP of search at Google. “Unfortunately, these are not things you can just wave a magic wand and get rid of.”

For Google to announce the changes it signals two things. First, these are big changes that can meaningfully change your search experience — Nike says Google’s measurements show a 40 percent reduction in “unhelpful content.” And secondly, Google is sending a message to the web: Your spammy, sketchy behavior is coming to an end.

Google is sending a message to the web: Your spammy, sketchy behavior is coming to an end.

Nike provided three examples of what Google now considers spammy behavior and plans to downgrade. The first is content at scale: sites that use low-paid contractors or AI generators to create thousands of low-quality articles per day, and target that content to search results. Nike pointed to the spam of death – which the edgeOf Miya Sato recently wrote about this – here as an example of the problem being solved.

The second is spammy behavior, which Nike calls “misusing the site’s reputation.” This is when a reputable website rents out part of its site to spammy nonsense. I won’t name names or embarrass anyone here, but you’ve surely come across sites that make you wonder why they have coupons or why there’s an entire section of the site that’s irrelevant. And developed with AI. The third is “expired domain abuse,” which occurs when someone buys an abandoned but high-ranking domain and fills it with poor content that then rises to the top of the search results. Current status of Hair pan An example of how this can happen is, Jo Wired Well covered in recent weeks.

For those caught abusing a site’s reputation, Nike says Google is giving sites 60 days before making a ranking change. The rest are now in effect. Google has a spam problem, it knows it, and it’s trying to stop it. “A healthy, high-quality ecosystem is exactly what suffers when spammers and low-quality information gain control of the rankings,” says Naik.

The work is not done at all. Calculating AI-generated content — what it means, who wants it, how it should be ranked — is just the beginning, and it’s going to cause Google a lot of internal headaches as it pushes both AI to everyone. tries to deliver and tries to protect the web from happening. under its influence. (Even Google’s own search engine is increasingly an AI machine.) And there will always be new, sneakier ways to get to the top of search results. This is a headache of Google’s own making: Most of the chatter on the web exists entirely to game Google, and so Google will always be one step behind.

But for Google to keep being Google, it has to be good at finding good stuff on the web. The company has been signaling for some time that it intends to care about and prioritize humans over real content over machines and clickbait, and it’s starting to make strides in that direction. But there is a long road ahead.

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