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Google Uses AI Tools To Block Spam

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Many Google SEO specialists will agree that spam can be harmful to website rankings. However, there are still plenty of spammy websites out there that use black hat SEO techniques to obtain higher rankings than sites that are compliant with Google’s guidelines. To better fight against these underhanded methods, the search engine giant announced to SEO specialists that they are using new artificial intelligence (AI) tools capable of blocking 99 per cent of spam.

According to Google, they have created an artificial intelligence specifically designed to catch spam in different phases as they interact with web pages. They added that they believe their new AI tools have the potential to revolutionise their ways of detecting spam in the future.

Google said that they combined their deep knowledge of spam with AI and created a spam-fighting tool that’s efficient at detecting both old and new spam trends. They added that they reduced websites with scraped and auto-generated content by more than 80 per cent compared to before.

Hacked Site Spam

Spammers can hack a website and add new pages embedded with hyperlinks that    redirect to other sites. Google warned SEO specialists about one of the most common site hacks today: the Japanese keyword hack. Here, hackers would add Japanese language pages to the website and take over one’s Google search console account.

With the new AI tool, Google claimed to detect “most” spam caused by site hacking by over 50 per cent.

Three Areas Where Google Fights Spam

According to Google, there are three stages where their AI tools encounter spam, diagnose it, and then reject it. These three stages include blocking crawled spam, indexed spam, and spam caught by manual action.

Crawled Spam

The first stage where Google blocks spam is when they crawl web pages. Googlebot is their crawler software that crawls the Internet, finding web pages to feature in the search results pages. As Googlebot crawls, the AI tools also detect and catch spam, preventing it from reaching the search index. Spam added through the Search Console Request Indexing Tool is also caught and rejected, so it does not reach the index.

Indexed Spam

Unfortunately, not all spam can be detected and caught in the first stage, so some spam makes it to the search index. Because of this, Google constantly scans its search index for spam websites and blocks them before they are ranked. Before the search engine company answers a user’s query, they will filter their index to see if there are any spammy sites before presenting the ranked web pages in the search results.

Google uses the spammy web pages discovered in this stage to create more effective spam-fighting algorithms at the web-crawling level.

Spam Caught By Manual Action

Google said that their AI algorithm systems could prevent more than 99 per cent of spam from reaching their users. However, there is 1 per cent of spam left; this is where manual actions come in. The search engine company said that their teams take manual action for that tiny percentage of spam left and continuously apply what they have learned to improve their automated systems.

Review Site Spam

Google has also started analysing low-quality review and shopping websites using their AI tools to reward content that contains the most useful information, written with in-depth research.

Google Spam Fight Enhanced By AI

The AI tools were launched sometime in 2020, and it is not clearly stated by Google how the tools may have affected search results. Still, some Google SEO specialists were pleased with the new method of detecting spam after finding out that their rankings significantly improved due to the reduction of spammy sites that were previously ranking better.

A Quick History Of Spam

The earliest type of spam is email spam, be it advertisements, newsletters, or suspicious emails from strangers claiming to be long-lost relatives. All of these became increasingly popular since the 1980s.

However, as time went on, these types of spam became less of a threat. Gmail and other email apps have improved their systems by including a spam filter to remove unwanted emails from inboxes.

After email spam came pop-up ads. It was another popular type of spam that continued to be a major issue until 2016. However, these invasive ads can now be kept under control by ad blockers and antivirus programs, which work just like email spam filters.

When search engines dominated the SEO market – with Google taking the lead – users realised that they could take advantage of spam to manipulate their search results rankings. Thus, keyword- and link-related spam tactics, known as black hat SEO, came into the picture.

Google and other search engines took notice and began to plan different solutions and update their algorithms to fight against spam tactics. Many websites that use black hat SEO tactics were de-ranked, and this helped other lower-ranking sites to climb the ladder.

Although Google and other search engines have become much smarter when dealing with spam, so have the spammers. With the way things are going, it seems as though the battle could go on forever.

Google admits that their current AI system is not perfect, as it can only block 99 per cent of spam for now. Nevertheless, they are still continuously improving their methods to perfection. Therefore, businesses and webmasters shouldn’t be surprised to find one or two spam websites that have gotten away with ranking on the search results pages.

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