Google Begins Enforcing Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Google began enforcing its new site reputation abuse policy (06/05/2024). The policy aims to target sites involved in what some refer to as “Parasite SEO.”

Major sites like CNN, USA Today, LA Times, Fortune, and more were affected by this update. Google used manual actions to notify these sites through Google Search Console. On March 5th, Google released new spam policies and updates regarding scaled content and expired domain abuse, while the site reputation abuse policy was to be enforced after May 5th. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, confirmed on X that enforcement began yesterday and clarified that “we’re only doing manual actions right now.”

Sites like CNN, USA Today, and the LA Times saw their coupon directories no longer ranking in Google Search. Some sites like Forbes preemptively removed questionable sections. One affected site owner posted in the Google Webmaster Help forum, noting that despite using the nofollow attribute, they received a manual action notice.

Brodie Clark shared a screenshot of a manual action, and Glenn noted, “Google has already released the Kraken.”

Chris Nelson from the Google Search Quality team emphasized that site reputation abuse refers to publishing third-party pages with little oversight to manipulate search rankings. This typically involves sponsored, advertising, or partner content.

Those affected should follow the instructions in Google Search Console and refer to further documentation. Forum discussions continue on X.


Scott Shorter in an Australian SEO specialist with 20 years of experience. A recognized industry expert, he has been a guest speaker for the Advertising Council of Australia, Engineering Institute of Technology, WA Leaders association as an industry expert and Edith Cowan University, from which he graduated with a B.Comms – BSc (M) Multimedia & Internet Computing.

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