How we fought spam on Google Search in 2022

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

googlebot and crawly explaining how we fought spam on Google Search in 2022

Every day, we're discovering, indexing, and serving billions of web pages, and a significant portion of pages we discover are spam. In 2022 we launched multiple updates to our systems to thwart these attacks and ensure a spam-free experience for all Search users.

Improvements to SpamBrain

SpamBrain is central to our spam-fighting efforts and we made many improvements in 2022 to improve coverage. SpamBrain detected 5 times more spam sites compared to 2021 and 200 times compared to when it first launched. Thanks to SpamBrain, we were able to make sure that more than 99% of visits from Search are spam-free.

We also improved SpamBrain as a robust and versatile platform, launching multiple solutions to improve our coverage of different abuse types. One such example was link spam. As we shared in December, we trained SpamBrain to detect sites building spammy links, as well as sites created to pass spammy links to other sites. Thanks to SpamBrain's learning capability, we detected 50 times more link spam sites compared to the previous link spam update. Similarly, our efforts to teach SpamBrain more about hacked spam resulted in a 10 times improvement in hacked site detection.

Faster spam handling

SpamBrain was also a big factor in better detecting spam at crawling time. This means we can better identify spam when we first visit a page and not index it at all, allowing our resources to be better used to index helpful pages.

Extending user safety

Beyond spam, we also rolled out new anti-scam solutions to improve user safety on Search. These new solutions improved coverage and extended our scam protections to all languages for the first time. Compared to 2021, we reduced clicks on scam sites by 50%.

Refreshed guidelines for site owners

In addition to fighting spam, we updated our spam policies as part of our Search Essentials. These spa