Google Reports Less Than 1% Spammy Websites as of 2024

The increasing number of deceptive websites and users who try to manipulate the SERPs have been interfering with Google’s attempt to always provide the most relevant and highest-quality results.

Nevertheless, Google has been continuously putting a huge effort towards ceasing this abusive trend. For many years, less than 1% of the search results were spammy. In 2017, however, this number was reduced by half.

Let’s see that in numbers!

Google’s Annual Webspam Report: Main Takeaways

  • Almost 90,000 users reported search spam last year.
  • More than 80% of hacked websites were detected and removed from search results.
  • Google used Search Console to send 45 million messages to website owners to inform them about known issues with their websites.
  • Over 6 million of these messages were in relation to manual actions.

Now, let’s see the main webspam trends in 2017, as per Google’s annual report.

Google Reports Less Than 1% Spammy Websites as of 2017

#1 Hacking Websites

The number of hacked websites with the intention to spread malware or viruses, or spam the search rankings, stood as a serious threat to users during the past year.

Hackers inserted harmful code or malware, erased content, and even recorded keystrokes to steal personally identifiable information from users.

This was a popular trend over the years, but Google has managed to reduce the hacked sites by 80% during 2017.

Hacking affects website owners, too. In an attempt to protect the webmasters and help them enhance the security of their website, Google has created a hands-on resource which provides everything needed to securely code a website or a web app.

Google also enhanced the help resources to assist website owners in recovering faster from a hacked website.

#2 Spammers

Spammers used some of the most popular CMS’s to manipulate with user-generated content and post spam content in comments or forums. Google worked closely with CMS’s such as Joomla and WordPress to fight them.

#3 Manipulation of Links

Links are a fundamental ranking signal which made them a subject of manipulations – a webspam trend that was still present in 2017. Google put in a lot of effort and finally managed to significantly reduce the number of unnatural links via manual actions and updated algorithms. The result is – spam links reduced by half.

How Google Fights Webspam: Keypoints

  • The beta version of the Search Console was released to help webmasters optimize their websites easily.
  • Google implemented Safe Browsing protections in an attempt to protect more users from web-based threats.
  • Google introduced a wide variety of channels to engage with webmasters directly and provide valuable tips and insights, including support forums, blog and guides now available in 19 languages.
  • Google conducted over 250 hours in meetups around the world, reaching more than 220,000 webmasters.

These improvements are a massive step towards completely abuse-free UX. Cody Kwok, Google’s Principal Engineer, emphasizes that they will continue implementing improvements in order to reach this goal.


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