Google’s 2022 Web Spam Report

Google has released their 2022 Web Spam Report, talking about the different improvements they have made in order to combat spam and make search better
Marie Aquino
April 13, 2023

Google has released their 2022 Web Spam Report and in it, they talked about the different improvements they have made for the year, in order to combat spam and make search better.

According to the report, SpamBrain, their AI-based spam prevention system, detected 5 times more spam sites compared to 2021, and 200 times compared to when it first launched in 2018. Due to this, they were able to make sure that more than 99% of visits from Search are spam-free.  

SpamBrain was also improved in order to detect different types of abuse, such as link spam. In the December 2022 Link Spam Update, SpamBrain was used to detect sites building spammy links, as well as sites created to pass spammy links to other sites. Due to this capability, 50 times more link spam sites were detected compared to the previous link spam update.

SpamBrain was also trained more on detecting hacked spam and from this effort, there was an improvement of 10 times in hacked site detection. It can also detect spam at crawling time, which means that it can better identify spam when first visiting a page and not index it.

Aside from the different moves that Google has made to combat spam in search, they have also updated their spam policies in Search Essentials to cover the most common types of spam and abusive behaviors that could lead to a site dropping in rank or not appearing in Search. The update included more relevant and precise language and additional examples to provide guidance to owners on what Google determines as spam.

With the onslaught of AI generated content, a guidance on AI generated content has also been published by Google in order to explain how AI and automation can be used to create helpful content, and which ones they determine as spammy and against their guidelines.

Last year, there are has been a lot of talks on how Search has not been helpful to users and how there has been a lot of spam in the search results, prompting users to express their dissatisfaction in Twitter, among others.

At the end of the year and until now, various updates have been launched in order to improve the quality of Search. Is Google’s fight against web spam getting better and are all these updates providing significant improvements to Search or do you still end up seeing spammy sites and content in the top results? Let us know what you think in our SEOIntel Discord group.