Google’s Search Generative Experience Brings Up Spam Results

Since its initial rollout in May last year, Google has been exploring artificial intelligence across its different avenues by introducing features such as the Search Labs.

Search Labs is one of Google’s ways to test out their new and upcoming features, so that they can gather feedback from users.


The SGE Feature


Search Generative Experience, abbreviated as SGE, is one of the additions to Labs. This is the feature that incorporates the power of AI into a Google Search. With already existing features such as Lens, where you can search via image, Google now allows generative AI to enhance the experience further.

It allows you to search for something, and expand the basis of what you have asked the engine. This allows an improved experience for users to find what they’re looking for online.

“With generative AI in Search, we can help you understand the full picture when you’re shopping, making even the most considered and complex purchase decisions faster and much easier,” writes Elizabeth Reid, Vice President and GM of Search at Google.


Malware Reports And Spam


While this is an exciting venture and feature, recent reports suggest that users have been experiencing spammy activity and malware. It has been reported that the SGE results lead users to multiple different sites that contain malware.

Sometimes, the searches themselves contain the spam pages as results. This has caused widespread frustration among users.



How Is Google Addressing Spam Results?


Earlier this month, Google released a statement on how they’ll be addressing spammy results in their search engine. Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product Management at Google, outlined the company’s commitment: “We’re enhancing Search so you see more useful information, and fewer results that feel made for search engines.” Google’s initiative focuses on improving the relevance and utility of search results while continuing its battle against spam.

Key changes, as identified by Tucker, include “making algorithmic enhancements to our core ranking systems” and updating spam policies to better keep low-quality content off the search results.

Specifically, Google aims to reduce unoriginal content and promote information that genuinely helps users. They are updating their approach to handling content that abuses site reputation and targets expired domains.


The initiatives are as follows:


Improved quality ranking: “We’re making algorithmic enhancements to our core ranking systems,” says Tucker, aiming to prioritise helpful information online and decrease redundant content visibility.

New and improved spam policies: Google is reinforcing its fight against substandard content, including “expired websites repurposed as spam repositories,” as per Tucker’s statement.


Google’s strategy goes beyond algorithmic updates as they’re placing a focus on also improving how web pages are understood and evaluated.

Tucker elaborates, “This update involves refining some of our core ranking systems to help us better understand if webpages are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people.”


The Measures To Address


The measures include addressing:


Scaled content abuse: Google is cracking down on mass-produced content aimed at manipulating search rankings, regardless of whether it’s automated or manual.

Site reputation abuse: Google will now treat low-value third-party content on reputable sites as spam, thus preserving the integrity of search results.

Expired domain abuse: Repurposing expired domains to promote low-quality content is now officially considered spam.
Tucker spoke on the expected impact: “We believe these updates will reduce the amount of low-quality content on Search.”

Hopefully, Google’s efforts will assist at making sure that the search engine remains a reliable resource for billions of users, in striving to connect them with high-quality, pertinent websites and keeping the spam at a minimum.