Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam During Podcast Google Uses Machine Learning to Tackle Spam

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News, SEO

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?

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

You Guessed It! Another Google Algorithm Update


Here it is again! Most of you don’t have to guess, you already know. This past weekend another Google algorithm was noticed. It certainly isn’t the first to occur over the weekend and it likely won’t be the last.

Notes On The Algorithm Update

Every time a weekend rolls around, Google seems to take that opportunity to run some algorithm updates. This time the modifications seem to be pretty in line with the last algorithm update. Some notable differences involve changes in “ranking, visibility and traffic changes via Google Search. Plus, most of the tools are showing spikes and volatility from Google Search over the weekend,” Search Engine Roundtable reports.

Read More: Google’s Ranking Algorithm Had Another Update!

As always, whenever there is a ranking or search algorithm updates, SEOs are all over Twitter and WebmasterWorld. User @ichthyous made a comment about the impacts they’ve seen occurring based off the update.

“A huge drop in direct traffic starting yesterday at 10am sharp and lasting the entire rest of the day. This morning my search traffic is down 62% and direct is down 43%. USA, UK, CA, AU, DE and AE traffic all affected heavily. Anyone else seeing a big drop starting yesterday?”, says @ichthyous on WebmasterWorld.

You can also see the impact he’s taking about when taking a look at sites like SEMrush.

Here’s a snippet of the hits that SEO Roundtable captured.

H2: Past Google Algorithm Updates

Its’ funny that every time Google seems to run an update on algorithms, it is over the weekend. And more often than not its typically one we weren’t made aware of which meaning finding out by tracking. The last unconfirmed update rolled out over the weekend of November 11th and 12th.

Read More: Will Google Run Another Search Ranking Update?

Before that, by multiple accounts, every weekend its something. Take October for example, the October 2022 Spam Update received an unconfirmed update on October 21st. Everyone is just going to have to keep their eyes peeled every weekend.

You never know, maybe Google will make it a regular thing if it isn’t already!

read more

Google’s Ranking Algorithm Had Another Update!


Google’s always innovating and part of that is making sure their algorithms are doing the best job to prioritize search for users. Over the weekend, the search ranking algorithm is speculated to have had another update.

Read More: Will Google Run Another Search Ranking Update?

As always, Google doesn’t always let us know when something is happening so many are saying its an unconfirmed update.

Unconfirmed Updated On The 11th & 12th

Many noticed changes to volatility signals leading into the weekend. “I see more volatility signals on the weekends with Google Search than I do during the weekdays,” Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable reports.

It seems like the unconfirmed updates seem to be happening around the weekends. Think about it! Barry Schwartz might be picking up on Google’s algorithm update schedule as he suspects the same.

Thinking back to October, we saw lots of updates happening. Spam updates were unconfirmed over the weekend of October 21st & 22nd and there reports updates earlier this November over the weekend.

SEOs Tweetering

Although Twitter is turning into somewhat of a dumpster fire these days, SEO are still keeping on top of Google ranking updates.

Here’s a tweet from Taylor Kurtz mentioning the SERPs:

Typically, when these updates occur and volatility is soaring come the weekend, SEO experts across the board tend to keep an eye on rankings.

Read More: New Study On Google Search Zero-Clicks

Past Updates

In the past few months we’ve seen quite a few updates rolling out from Google. In September we saw the Google Product Reviews update and the Helpful Content Update rolling out for users. Once the month moved along, the October 2022 Spam Update was more less front and center.

As for the Google Ranking Updates, keeping an eye on volatility and rankings is a great way to make sure no surprise updates are snuck in without you knowing.

read more