Google Spamdexing in 2022 : 4 Case Studies & Insights

Google Spam Update November 2021 finished rolling out 2 months ago, but of the 25 websites that I was tracking for different spam techniques, only 2 have been hit. One of the two websites that was hit went from 15 million visitors per month to 3 million, five times less traffic than before but still ...

Google Spam Update November 2021 finished rolling out 2 months ago, but of the 25 websites that I was tracking for different spam techniques, only 2 have been hit.

One of the two websites that was hit went from 15 million visitors per month to 3 million, five times less traffic than before but still cashing in on ad revenue.

In this blog post, we will take a look at 4 different spam “techniques” still used in 2022 :

1 – The “People Also Ask Scraper and Cluster” technique

SimilarWeb traffic graph for the “Board Games” websites

The biggest website in my list is using this technique, with an expired domain about board games. He is averaging 14.5 million visitors each month and growing (SimilarWeb).

The traffic source is for the most part from search engines (92.8%).

Using the “site:” command in Google for the domain, there are about 1,790,000 pages indexed. Definitely not hand written content …

The technique is pretty simple :

  • Get a big list of keywords.
  • Scrape all the “People Also Ask” questions and answers.
  • Paraphrase the questions and answers so it’s not duplicate content.
  • Group all the questions from the keyword that are close together (clustering) in one article.
  • Post the article and rank for the questions, Google snippets, and more.

After searching for footprints, the guy running this website has a huge network of sites using this technique, all ranging from 100K to 8 million in traffic every month.

I will let you calculate the revenue by yourself, but his sites are displaying ads.

The funny thing is that I have found other people just translating thousands of these posts in other languages and getting 50 000 to 200 000 traffic, so translated content rank too (even if it’s not good content to begin with).

2 – The Q&A with redirect technique

One of the Q&A sites in my list, still growing after the Google Spam Update of November (SimilarWeb)

These Q&A websites are very weird, so they of course scrape some legit domain and summarize it.

But after that, in the content they have a button that redirects the user to the source article they scrapped :

They use redirect in order to not give a backlink, and to hide the link from Google.

Stopping here, the content would be too short and thin, so they add some AI generated content with the same question as a prompt, leading to very weird articles with the question answered twice.

The biggest website on my list for this technique has 2.5 millions visitor (see traffic graph) and 432,000 indexed pages.

3 – The login page kind of search engine

SimilarWeb estimates the monthly traffic of the biggest site using this technique at around 2.33 million total visits per month, 90% coming off Google Search

This third technique is pretty “dumb”, but drives traffic and earn them quite a bit of money from ads.

They are more or less “search engines for login pages”. For example, they have millions of pages targeting the keywords : “company name” login (Example : Amazon login)

When I talk about search engines, it’s just a single page with a very basic WordPress blog theme, but the post is formatted to look like results of a search engine.

The technique is simple :

  • Scrape Google top 10 results with the keywords Amazon login etc
  • Scrape the meta-title and meta-description of the Top 10
  • Make an article out of the meta title and description
  • Rank for the keyword Amazon login

4 – StackOverflow Cluster

4 Millions total visits, 92% from Google Search (SimilarWeb)

With 1.4 million pages indexed, the last type of “Spamdexing” for today just scrape stackoverflow and other developer Q&A websites.

One of them (I have 4 in my list) links back to the user that answered the post on stackoverflow. The other three don’t bother doing it and just concatenate answers from different sources for the same question to make a lenghy article that Google will like.

What do these techniques all have in common :

  • They use WordPress with a very basic free theme
  • Expired domain, some repurposed from very different categories
  • Enormous growth (Most of them were launched at the end of 2020 and have risen in just 6 months to million of monthly visitors)
  • Not optimized for SEO (No FAQ Schema, no meta title and description, no images)
  • Use Ads for monetization, from one of 2 networks (Adsense and a competitor)

Closing words

Maybe the Google November spam update did a lot of work for other types of spam and websites I was not tracking, but for these 4 techniques above I’ve seen more growth than a decrease in traffic.

Time will tell if Google issues penalties.

admin

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