Google Started Enforcing The Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Google said it began to enforce its new site reputation abuse policy last night. The policy went into effect on Sunday, May 5th, but Google did not announce it would take action until last night. As a reminder, this should target sites doing what some call “Parasite SEO.”

It seems some large “reputable” sites were hit by this update, including CNN, USA Today, LA Times, Fortune, Daily Mail, Outlook India, TimesUnion, PostandCourier, SFGATE and many more. Google specifically targeted these sites using manual actions, where Google manually took action on these sites and notified them of these actions with a message in Google Search Console. These are not algorithmic actions.

As a reminder, on March 5th, Google released new spam policies and a spam update including scaled content and expired domain abuse. But said the site reputation abuse policy would go live only after May 5th. That date has come and Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said on X yesterday:

It’ll be starting later today. While the policy began yesterday, the enforcement is really kicking off today.

Sullivan later told me on X, “we’re only doing manual actions right now.” “The algorithmic component will indeed come, as we’ve said, but that’s not live yet,” he added.

And it seems Google has already started to drop these sites from showing this type of content. CNN, USA Today, LA Times and others all left those coupon directories open for Google as of last night and then all saw those pages no longer rank in Google Search last night.

I am not seeing a lot of people share screenshots of manual actions but I did spot one site owner say they received this manual action. They posted in the Google Webmaster Help forum saying:

We have a section on the website for brands to promote.

Nofollow attribute is already implemented on these articles which falls under brand category.

Still we got manual action: Site Reputation Abuse for this category.

How to fix that?

Brodie Clark also secured a screenshot of this manual action, here is that screenshot:

Here are examples of sites hit by this site reputation abuse enforcement from last night:

You’re right. I’m seeing the same thing. USA Today, CNN, and LA Times are gone for “subway coupons” and other queries. Sure seems like the update is underway. 🙂 First screenshot is now and second is as of yesterday.

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 6, 2024

Here’s another example. The query “uber promos codes” yielded CNN as #2 yesterday and Fortune at #4. Both are now gone. I can’t even find them. Wow.

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 6, 2024

As Glenn wrote, “Google has already released the Kraken.”

Has ‘Vouchergeddon’ begun? I can no longer see the Daily Mail discount code website ranking in the UK for brand and non-branded queries that the Daily Mail was previously ranking for? cc @rustybrick

— Carl Hendy (@carlhendy) May 7, 2024

Seeing the “parasite” directories from Outlook India, TimesUnion, PostandCourier, and SFGATE completely deindexed from Google right now, to name a few. Note: Post and Courier added a NoIndex tag on all of its pages nested in their parasite directory: @glenngabe @rustybrick

— Vlad Rappoport (@vladrpt) May 7, 2024

This is what the rankings looked like for “Walmart coupon code” during the first half of the day today.

The SERPs are COMPELTELY different now, hours later.

It’s still early, but it seems like Google is NOT messing around with site reputation abuse.

— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) May 7, 2024

Google has already started taking action for the new site reputation abuse policy 👀👇 See the before/after for many of the most popular “promo code(s)” queries:

* carhartt promo code
* postmates promo code
* samsung promo code
* godaddy promo code

Sites that were ranking…

— Aleyda Solis 🕊️ (@aleyda) May 7, 2024

Site abuse: Google has confirmed it has taken manual actions.

I took 2,500 of the most popular search queries for discount and voucher codes from the UK and Australian markets. The data was sourced from @semrush. Using these queries, I created a ‘Share of Search’ report for each…

— Carl Hendy (@carlhendy) May 7, 2024

Good Morning Google Land! Well, we had a pretty exciting end to yesterday as Google released the Kraken with the “Site reputation abuse” update — starting with a flurry of manual actions on some of the most authoritative sites on the web. The manual actions were pattern-based,…

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 7, 2024

Google said it will take action on this policy abuse both algorithmically and through manual actions. Many sites, not all, already removed sections of their sites that would get hit by this penalty prior to Google enforcing it. This includes sites like Forbes coupons, but many many more big brands removed these types of sections on their websites.

As a reminder, site reputation abuse “is when third-party pages are published with little or no first-party oversight or involvement, where the purpose is to manipulate Search rankings by taking advantage of the first-party site’s ranking signals,” Chris Nelson from the Google Search Quality team wrote. This includes sponsored, advertising, partner, or other third-party pages that are typically independent of a host site’s main purpose or produced without close oversight or involvement of the host site, and provide little to no value to users, he explained.

I am not posting the aggregate Google tracking tools because I posted them in my previous story and this is a targeted hit that only impacts sites with that rent out sections of their domain. So this would not hit a huge number of web sites like big algorithmic updates…

If you got hit by this, follow the instructions in the manual action notice you received in Google Search Console. There is also more documentation on this penalty over here.

I am not sure if Google will notify us of when algorithmic action will take place on this policy…

Forum discussion at X.

Source link

Stay up to date
Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons

Shopping cart