Google Algorithm Change May Impact 5 Percent of Search

Search giant Google has rolled out new algorithms that target “hacked spam” in its search results.

Whilst hacked spam may sound like a tasty culinary adventure, Google believes that sites appearing in the search that has been largely abandoned and then compromised by hackers are a growing source of scams, malware and other off-putting activity that negatively impacts on the consumer.

Google engineer Ning Song suggests that in the short term around 5% of search queries could be affected by this change. Users will likely see a sharp drop in the number of results on the most affected search terms.

Google spokesperson Gary Illyes confirmed that the update should only affect the results returned for queries that the algorithm has decided are typical of spam. However, it does raise the possibility that some correctly functioning sites could be caught up in the changes due to poor copy, keyword stuffing or other techniques that make their pages look like spam. These false positives could also be present on usually trustworthy sites that contain a number of spam pages within their directory as a result of previous hacks.


Hacked sites to be removed from SERP’s

On a positive note, it is possible that the decrease in hacked spammy sites may result in an upturn in traffic on those sites that are relevant and properly managed to replace the poor quality results.

Search engine fluctuation website service Algoroo noticed a change in search behaviour around 1st October recoding a ‘roo score’ of 2.24 on that day, suggesting that there was a significant spike in behaviour around this time, but this quickly returned to normal levels. Little is known about the update, but if it is not an incremental fix, it is possible that this may occur again.

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