Have you noticed a change in Google Search rankings over the last couple of days? If you have, it is more than likely down to a new spam update released by Google on Wednesday of this week. It was announced on the 23rd that there would be an update that day which would end on the same day. Google have said that they will be running a second update next week and will make an announcement when the update has started and when it is expected to end. The updates are not core updates therefore do not run over many days and are typically concluded within 24hrs.
“As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems,” Google said. “This spam update will conclude today. A second one will follow next week. We’ll add to this tweet thread when that happens,” Google added.
Google didn’t comment on which type of spam the update was targeting but posted links to its general spam prevention notices, advising that websites should stick to their guidelines regarding spam:
“We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search”, said Google.
It is not likely that any websites who follow Webmaster guidelines will have anything to be concerned about following this update. Generally, the definition of what Google considers to be spam are mainly (but not limited to) sites designed to trick users into parting with personal information or installing malware. Spam updates are also released in order to target phishing scams and other sites who gain ranking by posing as relevant pages.
It is important to note, that even websites that follow all the guidelines can be vulnerable to hacked spam and may be unwittingly serving spam to their users. If you notice a drop in your rankings since Wednesday it is worth checking your site security and ensuring that your site has not been attacked and is not vulnerable to any future hacks.