Understanding Google’s Latest Policy Update: Combatting Search Reputation Abuse

May 6, 2024 Understanding Google’s Latest Policy Update: Combatting Search Reputation Abuse By Pradeep Chauhan

Have you ever thought about how Google ensures the relevance and quality of search results? The search engine giant controls nearly 92% of the search engine market share globally. This requires it to be more vigilant to eliminate spam and manipulation.

In its constant battle against spammy and manipulative websites, Google announced a major update to its search spam policy, effective from this week to combat search reputation abuse. This massive update aims to eliminate black hat SEO practices that reduce the quality of search results, eventually impacting websites’ ranking and online visibility. In this blog post, we will dig into the details of Google’s latest move and how it will reshape the world of online search.

On April 30th, Google shared this post on X:


In Google March 2024 Core Update, several measures were introduced to improve search result quality.

It announced multiple new and updated spam policies to come into effect with manual actions and automated algorithms. SEOs have stated this new search spam policy and reputation abuse as ‘parasite SEO.” It will be applicable from this upcoming May 5th, Sunday.

We all were aware of these upcoming updates as mentioned in Google’s March 2024 Core Update which discusses enhancements in spam policies to improve search experience. Moving forward, let’s now take a deeper dig into new spam policies and site reputation abuse.

What are New Spam Policies?

The search engine giant inserted two new sections to its spam policies:

  • Expired domain abuse
  • Site reputation abuse

Expired Domain Abuse

As the name suggests, it is the practice of purchasing expired domains with the aim of improving the ranking of low-quality and irrelevant content on search engines. This practice is now considered “spam.” It is used to mislead users into believing new content on a domain is an old site’s part, when in reality it may not be.

This updated policy communicates a clear message to content creators that it’s high time that they stop purchasing expired domains to trick users by leveraging the old site’s reputation. This can lead to serious repercussions for Google as it’s all set to fight against it with manual actions and algorithm updates.

Site Reputation Abuse or Parasite SEO

Site reputation abuse or parasite SEO involves hosting low-quality content on third-party sites to rank higher on search engines. Google has explained that a third party might publish payday loan reviews on a reliable educational site to climb ranking positions in the search engine page results. Such pieces of content can also mislead or confuse website visitors with different expectations. This update states that such content that is generated and published with the purpose of attracting more users for SEO will now be reported as “spam.” However, remember that doesn’t mean that all third-party content will be marked as spam. The updated policy reads “only that which is hosted without close oversight and which is intended to manipulate search rankings.”

The search engine giant gave an example to explain this “Many publications host advertising content that is intended for their regular readers, rather than to primarily manipulate Search rankings. Sometimes called ‘native advertising’ or ‘advertorial,’ this kind of content typically wouldn’t confuse regular readers of the publication when they find it on the publisher’s site directly or when arriving at it from Google’s search results.” Google mentioned in its March Core Update that they are giving two months of advance time to let content creators make informed decisions.

Besides, the new spam policies also revised “spammy auto-generated content,” into “scaled content abuse.” Now, let’s understand what spammy auto-generated content and scaled content abuse are.

What is Spammy Auto-Generated Content?

Google had shared the definition of “spammy auto-generated content,” in its January 2024 version of the new spam policy. It reads “Content that’s been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value; instead, it’s been generated for the purpose of manipulating search rankings and not helping users.”

What is Scaled Content Abuse?

Google defines it as “When many pages are generated for the primary purpose of manipulating search rankings and not helping users. This abusive practice is typically focused on creating large amounts of unoriginal content that provides little to no value to users, no matter how it’s created.” The old definition targets programmatic content particularly. However, the new definition claims it doesn’t matter how the content is created.

What actually matters is the originality and quality of the content. It must be created keeping users in mind. It encourages generating helpful and informative content that adds value for the website visitors, no matter whether the content is AI-generated, human-generated, or a combination of both. Hence, keeping content relevant is key to coping with the new spam policies. Furthermore, the old definition has 6 examples all of which begin with “text.” This clarifies they are focusing on words on the page. But there are no content formats mentioned at all in the new definition.

Google shared 5 examples of “Scaled Content Abuse.” Let’s have a look at them below:

  • Creating many pages with the help of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Bing, etc without making efforts to optimize them for users.
  • Harvesting feeds, competitor’s websites, or other search results to create many pages that don’t provide much help to the website visitors. This also includes generating pages with automated transformations like translating, paraphrasing, synonymizing, or other such methods.
  • Combining content from different websites without making it unique for your target audience.
  • Developing several websites to hide the content’s scaled nature.
  • Generating several pages without focusing on whether the content is helpful for users but it is stuffed with targeted keywords to rank higher.

Did you know Google deindexed hundreds of websites that had published only AI-generated content without adding any value for users? A similar situation had also arisen when the March 2024 Core update was announced. The most appreciable part of the new spam policies is that it has considered real-world examples to introduce necessary modifications. Let’s first discuss two newly introduced sections below.

Why Should SEO Experts Care About the New Spam Policies

When Google March Core Updated rolled out, there were many case studies claiming that Google search is getting worse and several websites’ ranking positions are affected on search engines. However, it further clarified that the affected rankings had nothing to do with that update as it will come into effect from May 5.

This update in spam policies will definitely require SEO to pay extra attention to the type of content they are publishing. Make sure that it remains relevant for the search queries and enhances user experience.


Many SEO service providers are considering these new spam policies unfair and harmful to websites. With this new policy coming into effect on May 5, ranking higher on Google will not be easy for websites following such malpractices. However, partnering with an expert company like Autus Digital Agency can help you ensure that your website climbs higher in search results. Check our website for more details.


Pradeep Chauhan

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