Google has finished rolling out the Google October 2023 Spam Update that started 15 days and 12 hours ago. That update began on October 4th at 12:52 pm ET and is now completed this morning, October 20, 2023, at 1:15 am ET.
This update overlapped with the Google October 2023 core update that also completed just yesterday, several hours before this update finished and started several hours before that update began – so there is significant overlap between those two updates.
Google wrote “The rollout was complete as of October 20, 2023.” Google also posted this on X:
The rollout was complete as of October 20, 2023.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) October 20, 2023
October 2023 Google Spam Update Quick Facts
Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:
- Name: Google October 2023 Spam Update
- Launched: October 4, 2023 at around 12:50 pm ET
- Rollout: October 20, 2023 at around 1:15 am ET
- Targets: It goes after cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam more so in Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages.
- Penalty: It penalizes spam techniques that are against Google’s spam policies.
- Global: This is a global update impacting all regions and languages.
- Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
- Recover: If you were hit by this, Google said you should review its spam policies to ensure they are complying with those.
- Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to the spam update. It can take many months to recover, Google said.
Spam Update Targets:
Google said this October 2023 spam update “applies globally and improves our coverage in many languages, including Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages.”
This went after these types of spam:
- Cloaking: Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content to users and search engines with the intent to manipulate search rankings and mislead users.
- Hacked content: Hacked content is any content placed on a site without permission, due to vulnerabilities in a site’s security. Hacked content gives poor search results to our users and can potentially install malicious content on their machines.
- Auto-generated content: Spammy automatically generated (or “auto-generated”) content is content that’s been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value; instead, it’s been generated for the primary purpose of manipulating search rankings and not helping users.
- Scraped content spam: Some site owners base their sites around content taken (“scraped”) from other, often more reputable sites. Scraped content, even from high quality sources, without additional useful services or content provided by your site may not provide added value to users. It may also constitute copyright infringement. A site may also be demoted if a significant number of valid legal removal requests have been received.
When we asked why Google overlapped two updates, Google’s Search Liaison said on X, “Normally, we do try to keep updates like these apart, but it’s not always possible. But anyone trying to understand changes, it’s pretty straight-forward. If you don’t spam, and see changes, then it might be the core update. If you do spam and see changes, it’s probably the spam update. In particular, We released a spam update yesterday. Sites that don’t spam shouldn’t see changes because of this. We released a core update. That’s different from a spam update. It’s a general improvement in how we rank. Many sites will see no changes because of this, and it has nothing to do with spam.”
Tracking Tools On Spam 2023 Core Update
Here is what the automated tracking tools show for this October 2023 Spam update over the two-week or so period.