How Google’s SPAM Filters Are Making the Internet Better for Your Customers


Jess Pieprzak, SEO Associate at Ontario SEO
Jess Pieprzak
May 16, 2022
How Google's SPAM filters are making the internet better for your customers - Ontario SEO

The battle against spam continues to increase every year. Google is continuously looking for ways to combat spam as it tries to keep its search results useful for customers with high-quality websites. Its 2021 Webspam and Ads Safety Report shows Google’s latest efforts to remove spam and publicly shares, for the first time, the name of its AI-based spam prevention system, SpamBrain.

What is SpamBrain?

While the use of AI to fight against spam isn’t new, the SpamBrain definitely is. Google’s 2021 Webspam report showcased the name for the first time even though the system was launched in 2018. The AI-based system is responsible for detecting and neutralizing existing and new types of spam. They also shared that SpamBrain is built to evolve with new types of spam that will appear in the future.  

Improvements Made by SpamBrain

Here’s how Google’s SpamBrain helped to improve the search experience

  • 70% reduction in hacked spam sites  
  • 75% reduction in gibberish spam on hosting platforms  
  • Kept more than 99% of searches spam-free  

Google Takes on ‘Bad Actors’ in Advertising 

In its latest Ads Safety Report, Google highlights how they are continuing to work on removing ‘bad actors’ from the paid space. Overall, Google blocked or removed 3.4 billion ads in 2021. They also tripled the number of account-level suspensions last year for advertisers.  

The company has seen an increase in sophistication from bad advertisers by them using a variety of tactics to minimize detection. A specific challenge they are facing is when thousands of accounts are created by one advertiser, simultaneously, and are using cloaking and text manipulation to show ad content that is different from what a user sees compared to Google reviewers.

Highlights of 2021 Ads Safety Report

Here are the policies that Google enforced the most in 2021 that resulted in ads blocked or removed:

  • Abusing the Ad Network – 652.1 million  
  • Adult Content – 286.8 million  
  • Trademarks – 136.9 million  
  • Inappropriate Content – 125.6 million  
  • Gambling and Games – 75.1 million  
  • Healthcare and Medicines – 60 million  
  • Financial Services – 58.9 million  
  • Copyrights – 44.2 million  

When it came to enforcement of pages from publishers, Google Ads blocked or restricted 1.7 billion publisher pages. The top three categories for removal were sexual content, dangerous or derogatory, and weapons promotion and sales.  

Why We Care

Google is continuing to fight against spam and ‘bad actors’ so that their search results are high-quality. The numbers are huge but when compared to just how many websites, links, and ads are served on the internet daily, Google has made just a dent. With AI-based spam prevention, it will become harder to bypass Google’s detection meaning a better internet experience for your customers.  

The same thing can be said for running Google Ads. There are ‘bad actors’ that can impact the competition in the Auction. The report highlights the efforts that Google is going to remove or block advertisers that do not comply with their advertising policies which can make advertising for specific industries, like medical or financial services, difficult to navigate. 

When you’re considering long-term success on Google’s platforms like Search and Google Ads, a priority should be creating a spam-free site and experience for users. Don’t get hit by future spam and quality updates. Work with a marketing agency that will put your customers first and knows the ins and outs of creating spam-free websites and policy-approved digital advertising. Like Us!