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Obituary for Obit Spam Sites

The announcement of the death of obit spam sites came as a shock to many, as Google shares that the sites were no longer viable after algorithm changes.
Google Says R.I.P. to Obituary Spam Sites
Google Says R.I.P. to Obituary Spam Sites

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Obit Spam Sites, Shameless Clickbait Curators Preying on People’s Sadness and Misfortune, Dies Not a Moment to Soon

Google called the obit spam sites “unoriginal, low-quality content showing up on Search”, making special note of their “abusive practices” that were used in life. 

Those who have ever had the displeasure of interacting with an obit spam site likely remembers the experience. You were probably left with a sense of ickiness just knowing of their existence and how they were impacting the world. 

Obit spam sites were among the most offensive of spam sites during their time, capitalizing on the death of others to get clicks. Most recently, not long before their demise, obit spam sites began leveraging AI technology to write up fake obituaries using real people’s information, some of which were in fact not dead. It was an egregious act that no one could ignore, nor will they soon forget.

This is the lasting legacy of obit spam sites. They greatly contributed nothing to society or the community. However, without their existence we wouldn’t have ever known how low spam sites would go to generate low-quality content to game the search engine system. Because they existed, Google’s algorithms are better at detecting spam sites, fake obituaries and low-quality AI-generated content. 

Of its interaction with obit spam sites Google stated, “For decades, we’ve relied on advanced spam-fighting systems and spam policies to prevent the lowest-quality content from appearing in search results — and that work continues.” And it is sure to continue for many years after most obit spam sites have been removed. 

The obit spamming sites passed on March 5, 2024 from acute asphyxiation after Google pulled them off of life assisting algorithms. The new Google algorithms were simply too much for the struggling sites and they succumbed quickly. After accumulating an alarming number of AI-generated obituaries that attempted to capitalize on death and plagued the personal lives of individuals, the obit spam websites could no longer sustain viability online. 

The obit spamming websites are survived by black hat SEO professionals with no expertise or creativity and website owners that don’t know any better but are looking for a quick fix. 

The community is invited to pay their last respects and share their memories about how they won’t miss the amoral obit spam sites in the least. Google is asking that in lieu of sending flowers you take a moment to let others know that they will no longer have to suffer through reading an AI-generated offensive, often inaccurate writeup about their loved one’s life and death.

All Joking Aside, Google Did Just Effectively Ban Obit Spam Sites

The satirical obituary above is based in reality. Google just announced changes to their algorithm to improve search results, and they specifically cited obit spam sites as one of the key offenders that are now being rooted out of the search results. 

This is long overdue. For the last few years, backhanded website owners have used tools to scrape other sites for information, and obituaries were prime targets. The basic information about the death is usually public record, meaning the spammers can access it. The obit spam sites then began using AI technology to cobble together fake obituaries that were clearly written by robots scraping data to create unoriginal, inaccurate content. 

It got to the point where these AI-powered obit spam sites were scraping data and pumping out low-quality content 24/7. After all, there are 5.53 deaths per minute in the U.S. The constant supply of fresh data and high searchability of people’s names made death and obituaries an unexpected target for spamming.

Google took the matter seriously because this is an incidence of spam sites having widespread consequences that were genuinely troubling for people in the real world. There are numerous reports of these spam obit sites stating that both people in a couple have passed, when in actuality only one person in the couple had died. Not only did acquaintances that came across the double death obituary have a very troubling experience thinking two friends had died, the surviving partner had to relive the suffering each time someone checked in to see what happened. Often people were contacted by friends on social media who were confused hearing about the death.

No matter how technology advances, there are many things in life where the human element needs to be maintained, and obituary writing is one of them. Obituaries are meant to be a last observation of a person’s life and the legacy they leave behind. Most of the time obituaries are written by a loved one or a professional writer that interviews loved ones to capture the true essence of a person that others can connect with on a meaningful level. 

As much as Google leverages technology, including AI tools, they at least recognized the gravity of the situation with obit spam sites and took the appropriate action. Some things in life really are too sacred for spamming, and death is one of them. 

At Cremation.Green we approach each situation with the utmost respect. We practice big-hearted care because that’s what people need when they come to us for help. It’s what they deserve. We’re here to provide assistance when you need it most, and make the entire disposition process as easy as possible. 

Our team can be contacted by phone, text or email any hour of the day.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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