Every year, Google releases their end-of-year recap summarizing what they have done to fight spam.
In this year’s report, they highlighted their penchant for using AI to fight spam.
They also tout its effectiveness at catching both known and never-before-seen trends in search spam.
One of their statistics says that in 2020 they reduced spam by more than 80% compared to just a couple of years ago.
How Has Google Fought Spam ‘Smarter’?
Google explains their process for fighting spam, providing information about what happens behind-the-scenes:
They also mention that they discover more than 40 billion spammy pages. That’s a ton of spam!
Among the types of spam that Google continuously protects against is hacked spam, or spam from sites that have been compromised by hackers.
One of the most common attacks they observed includes spammers hacking into sites that are vulnerable. By pretending to be the site’s owners, they verify themselves in Google Search Console, and bait the tool into crawling and indexing the spammy pages they made.
It’s not like this is the first time they have been using AI. In fact, they have been using AI for more than several years at least, especially with the introduction
How are Sites Compromised by Hackers?
Google explains that the following are the most common reasons that sites are hacked and compromised:
- stolen and/or compromised passwords;
- the owner does not install the security updates;
- themes and plugins that are not secure;
- social engineering;
- holes in the site’s security policies; and
- leaks of crucial data
This is why they note that:
When it comes to social engineering, it appears it’s not entirely ineffective:
They also note that poor security policies are the main reason why hackers are able to gain access to a website for malicious attacks.
If You See Something, Say Something
If you are aware of or have seen spam in Google’s search results, you may want to file a spam report.
Taking note of the precise query you’re using, along with any other identifying information about the spam you witness in the SERPs will be helpful.
You can find their spam report form here.