Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update Targeting Malicious Sites Attempting To Rank in Search Results

author image Written by: Julia Cashion           Categories - Digital Marketing, In The News, SEO

Have you heard the new news? Here comes Google’s October 2022 spam update, the most recent update in almost a year!

Here’s what Search Central Announced:

Read More: Google’s Link Spam Update Begins Rolling Out

Google’s automated methods for identifying search spam are always in operation, although they periodically make enhancements. When Google decided improvements are needed they carryout a spam update. This week Google said the update would course through its systems geared towards squashing spam.

What Will The Spam Update Do?

Spam updates also target malicious websites that attempt to rank in search results by pretending to be highly relevant pages, such as phishing scams and bad actors online.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

SEO expert Barry Schwartz reports on the update’s progress saying “so far, the rankings as a whole did not move so much. Of course, this may be a very targeted spam hit, so it might only impact a very small percentage of sites on the web.”

Second Spam Update Of The Year

The last time Google decided to run a spam update was in November 2021 and before that was July 2021. However, spam updates aren’t the only method Google is using to improve search quality.

Google has released multiple updates this year to serve consumers better. The most significant of these updates emphasizes providing content that benefits the user and strives to search intent.

One of them we’re referring to is the August 2022 helpful content update. Additionally, the core algorithm update from September 2022, and the Google product reviews from September 2022.

Read More: Google’s Core & Product Reviews Update Rolled Out

If the website makes the necessary adjustments to comply with Google’s spam regulations, Google says it could take months for the website to fully recover from the negative effects of an upgrade that affected spam.

Here are some recommendations from Google is your site is hit.

“Sites that see a change after a spam update should review our spam policies to ensure they are complying with those. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all. Making changes may help a site improve if our automated systems learn over a period of months that the site complies with our spam policies,” said a statement from Google Search Central.

Like they said, avoid using any shortcuts or manipulative techniques. We have yet to hear more from Google on the specifics of the October 2022 spam update but results will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Julia Cashion

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out


Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam During Podcast


Less than a week after rolling out part two of its “Spam Update,” Google has provided some insight into how the search engine tackles spam.

 In a recent podcast, Google’s John Mueller, Gary Illyes, Martin Splitt, and Duy Nguyen from the Google search quality team, discussed Google’s methods for ranking search results and preventing and dealing with spam content.

READ MORE: Google Confirms New “Spam” Algorithm Update

An interesting piece of information provided by Nguyen was that Google uses machine learning models to deal with “obvious” spam.

He explained that Google uses a “very effective and comprehensive machine-learning model that basically took care of most of the obvious spam.” This machine learning model enables the Google search quality team to focus on “more important work,” such as hacked spam, online scams, and other issues that machine learning models may not pick up on.

Google’s machine learning models are also constantly working on improving their spam prevention methods when it comes to search by analyzing years’ worth of data.

Insights into How Google Ranks Search Results

Mueller, Illyes, Splitt, and Nguyen also discussed how search rankings work, diving into Google’s methodology.

Here is a summary of what was discussed:

Google’s first step is to compile a shortlist of around 1,000 results for any given query. Google generates this list based on how topical and relevant the query and the content on a particular page is.

From this list, Google will apply ranking signals and factors to come up with an even shorter list. According to Illyes, this part is where “the magic” happens.

Google then “assigns a number and we calculate that number using the signals that we collected during indexing plus the other signals. And then essentially, what you see in the results is a reverse order based on those numbers that we assigned,” said Illyes.

Algorithms that are most commonly used are RankBrain and the HTTPS boost, however, Illyes explained that HTTPS doesn’t have the capability to rearrange search results.

So, there you have it. Are you at all surprised by these insights or have you always had a feeling that this is how Google does things?

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