What Does Google’s Spam Algorithm Update Do (June 2024)

A main focus of Google’s algorithm changes in 2024 has been “spam”. Google has been looking for ways to target websites that violate their policies on content writing, link building, and other core SEO Strategies. As of June 2024, Google has completed its spam update rollout.

As with any rollout, this has caused websites to drop in impressions and clicks. In this article, we will discuss how the update works. what types of websites are getting penalized, and what to do if your impressions have dropped. If you need help getting your website ranked on Google or keeping your website rankings, contact our team at Boston Web Marketing for a free SEO audit.

What Is The Google Spam Update?

One of Google’s goals as a search engine is to provide an optimal user experience. When users search for answers to their questions, it is in Google’s best interest that the links on their search engine results pages go to websites that provide quality content that answers those questions. Google has provided an acronym; E.E.A.T. to describe content that helps improve user experience. Content should provide a good experience (website loads fast, the text is easy to read), be written effectively (answers relevant questions), be authoritative (should provide clear answers from an experienced professional), and should be trustworthy (cites other sources and answers questions accurately). 

In the pursuit of ranking high on websites, some SEO agencies look for tricks or loopholes that can help their clients’ websites rank higher while not providing high-quality content. These strategies are referred to as black hat strategies and are designed to manipulate the algorithm. Websites that have low quality content are likely to see dips and drops in search rankings and website traffic. 

What Types Of Content Are Low Quality According to Google?

Google’s new algorithm update is aimed at targeting websites that have the following SEO Strategies. 

  • Automatically Generated Content: With AI tools on the market, it is easy to get thousands of words written in minutes. But that content does not follow EEAT. The content is not trustworthy as it is often an amalgamation of existing content on the internet. The content is not authoritative because it does not come from someone with experience in the relevant industry/field. And a lot of AI-generated content is ineffective because it is often written in vague terms and avoids providing direct answers to questions. 
  • Purchased or Sold Links: One way Google understands that a website is popular is by seeing how many other sites provide links to it. For example, if many dental websites all link to the American Dental Associates website, Google could use that data to understand the importance of that website for providing relevant information. Because of this, there is a black hat strategy of buying or selling backlinks. While there are approved ways of building backlinks (i.e. building social media profiles, listing site profiles, or making sure your website is linked in online articles about your business), it is important to never buy links. 
  • Thin or Duplicate Content: Another bad strategy designed to manipulate the algorithm is duplicating content or creating thin content. For example, a business might create one landing page for a service, duplicate the page, and simply change out a handful of words in order to attempt to rank for different searches. This has little value to the end-user and is therefore against Google’s policies. 
  • Hidden Redirects: Another strategy that goes against Google’s policy is any manipulative techniques regarding how your website redirects. Some redirects are necessary. If you get rid of an old page you might redirect the URL to the homepage. But if a website has deceptive URLs that do not match the content, Google will penalize them. In the past Google’s Doorway Algorithm was created around the concept that when a person opens a door they should have a decent expectation of what’s on the other side. This metaphor was applied to websites trying to rank on Google. Links on the search engine results pages should not deceive users in regards to where they are going. 

Why Did My Organic Website Traffic Drop in 2024?

There are many reasons that your website traffic might suddenly drop. A competitor could have made changes that caused you to drop in the rankings, a new algorithm update could identify your website for breaking Google’s policies, or there could be a situation where there just isn’t the same search volume for a keyword that there was in the past. We’ve written an article on the most common reasons your impressions might drop. The key to success on Google is understanding how dynamic the search engine is. SEO cannot just be set up and forgotten. Your website needs to be worked on routinely. For SEO Services for small businesses, Boston Web Marketing provides a robust digital strategy to help improve rankings, maintain rankings, and convert organic traffic into business. For a free website audit, please contact our team. 

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