In 2021, Google Search worked to keep spam and malicious content away from its search results. This was done in part through the use of SpamBrain, an AI-based spam-prevention system launched in 2018.
SpamBrain was designed to be a robust and evolving platform to address all types of abuse. In 2021, it identified nearly six times more spam sites than in 2020, resulting in a major reduction in hacked spam (70%) and gibberish spam (75%).
SpamBrain has made significant progress in fighting link spam, scams, and online harassment. In 2021, they launched a link spam update to broadly identify unnatural links and prevent them from affecting search quality. They also expanded on their work in 2020 with several algorithm updates that resulted in a 40% reduction of scammy results. This improvement in coverage allowed them to protect people against many more scam types beyond the customer support queries that they’ve been fighting for the past few years.
Google is constantly working to improve the quality of search results and protect users from spam and low-quality content. Recently, they announced two updates to how product reviews are evaluated, in an effort to reduce the prevalence of poorly written or fake reviews.
The first update involves looking at the overall quality of a review site, rather than just individual reviews. This change helps to identify and promote sites that generally have well-written, helpful reviews.
The second update is focused on the content of individual reviews. Reviewers must now provide more detailed information about their experience with a product, rather than just rewriting product descriptions. This change should result in fewer fake or biased reviews, and more informative ones.
If you see manipulative behaviors in search results, you can send us feedback right on the search results page, says Cody Kwok, Principal Engineer at Google.
This is part of Google's commitment to making sure that people can find the most useful content through Search. So if you see something that doesn't seem right, be sure to let them know.