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Google rolled out the site reputation abuse update on May 6, 2024. Google said the update kicked off a day earlier on May 5, 2024, though it only started issuing manual actions to affected sites on May 6, 2024.

Google’s Official Announcement

Google announced the update in response to a post by Katie Berry on X (formerly Twitter).

Notably, Google did not publish a dedicated post on X to announce the start of this update. Google did not announce the update on its search status dashboard either. But they did issue a reminder on April 30, 2024.

What is the Site Reputation Abuse Update?

The site reputation abuse is a new addition to Google spam policies. It specifically targets sites hosting third-party content intended to manipulate search rankings. 

The site hosting the content is typically uninvolved in the content creation process and typically only publishes the content in exchange for financial compensation. 

The content is usually unhelpful, optimized for SEO, and intended to ride on the site’s reputation to rank and attract visitors from search results pages. 

Google originally announced the update when it released the March 2024 Spam Update on March 5, 2024. However, Google mentioned the update would go live on May 5, 2024 (two months later) to give site owners enough time to comply. 

What Are People Saying?

Barry Schwartz announced the search reputation abuse update on X and shared the Google Search Console dashboard of an affected site.

In another post, Barry mentioned that several major news agencies had been affected by the update, with entire sections of their sites deindexed from search results pages. 

In response, Google Search Liaison clarified that the update is a manual action and not an algorithm update. However, Google Search Liaison revealed that an algorithm update would be released sometime down the road. 

Glenn Gabe also shared some insights on X and confirmed that Google had deindexed entire subdomains and subdirectories of highly authoritative news sites. 

In another post, Glenn mentioned that sites affected by the update had suffered a drop in traffic since the fall of 2023 (between September and December 2023). He added that some of the sites were also partly affected during the initial March 2023 update. 

What’s Next – Dealing With This Update

Affected sites have received manual action notifications in their Google Search Console. So, you should monitor your Google Search Console dashboard in case such notification pops up.

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