Search Engine Optimisation

Google Site Reputation Abuse Update Analysis

The recent Google Site Reputation Abuse update started rolling out on 5th May and is being colloquially dubbed “Clappa Geddon” by affiliate marketers. The update has sent ripples across the SEO landscape, affecting major online publishers, especially those hosting coupon directories and betting sections.

Impact on Major Publishers

The Google Site Reputation Abuse update seems to have targeted sections of websites that lacked manual reviews and editorial oversight, particularly those dealing with coupons and betting. Notable among the affected is the Telegraph, which saw both its coupon and betting sections hit by manual penalties. This move by Google underscores a broader crackdown on what it perceives as ‘parasite SEO’—practices that exploit Google’s algorithms without providing substantial value to users.

Update: 14/05/2024

The trend for some publishers over the last 10 days is nothing short of catastrophic for certain sections or subdomains:

visibility trends for publishers

Malte Landwehr gives an excellent breakdown which shows that while the initial update focused on vouchers and coupons, betting has now been hit just as hard. Interestingly, the changes have affect the UK and US much more than Europe. Read his full thread below:

Long-term SEO Strategy

The dialogue surrounding the update suggests that Google may soon integrate these manual actions into its algorithmic processes, aiming for a more automated approach to penalising sites that fail to meet its quality standards. This move could reshape SEO strategies, pushing for more robust editorial guidelines and quality control measures across all content-rich sections of websites.

There’s a strong link between these penalties and Helpful Content algorithm changes. While it may sound obvious, Google is fixated on the quality of search results right now, and we’ve seen several large shifts in rankings recently.

Some experts suggest that while the update aims to clean up the search results, it does not fully address the underlying issues of quality and relevance that plague Google’s SERPs. As Google tweaks its algorithms, SEO strategies must evolve concurrently, focusing more on user engagement and content quality rather than exploiting algorithmic loopholes.

Moving Forward

For SEO agencies and website owners, the key takeaway from the Google Site Reputation Abuse update is the imperative to ensure that all sections of a website, especially those generating substantial revenue, are underpinned by solid content policies. This includes rigorous manual reviews, transparent editorial processes, and a commitment to providing genuine value to users.

If you’d like to learn more about how these changes might affect SEO strategies or find out about our other marketing services, please get in touch.

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