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Google October 2023 Spam Update

Google successfully completed the rollout of its October 2023 Spam Update on October 20, 2023. This update targets thin, copied, misleading, and overly promotional content to enhance the quality of search results. It was initiated based on user feedback reporting an increase in spammy results, especially in non-English languages.

Key Points

  • Initiation: The spam update was announced on October 4, 2023, and aimed to combat spam across multiple languages, improving search quality and user experience.
  • Content Targets: The update focuses on identifying and demoting content that includes hidden text/links, automatically generated content with little value, large-scale article scraping, pages with excessive ads, thin affiliate content, and misleading commercial tactics.
  • Compliance: Websites impacted by this update are advised to review their content and SEO strategies. Google emphasises the importance of providing a transparent, honest user experience and staying up-to-date with their guidelines.
  • Detection and Enforcement: Google uses automated systems, including AI and machine learning (notably SpamBrain), along with human reviewers, to identify and demote spammy content. This approach helps Google keep pace with evolving spam tactics.

Implications for Publishers

Publishers should conduct regular website audits and ensure their content is practical, engaging, and original to avoid negative impacts from this and future spam updates. Focusing on value and transparency over shortcuts or tricks is crucial for maintaining a good standing in Google’s search results.


The October 2023 Spam Update reflects Google’s ongoing effort to refine its search results by penalising low-quality content while promoting a better user experience. Publishers are encouraged to align their strategies with Google’s guidelines to ensure their content remains effective and visible in search results.

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