Google has published details about its efforts for spotting and squashing spam on from its search results revealing they took action on nearly 90,000 user reports of search spam last year alone and that more than 80 percent of compromised sites have been detected and removed from the search results.
So what exactly is a search spam? Google continues to explain it said, “search spam is designed to intentionally impact search ranking system with techniques that are against its guidelines.” Some examples, include a webpage or site tries to manipulate ranking systems is referred as “spammy,” or when a spammy page tries to trick users to share their personal or financial details or tricks them to subscribe to a service with unclear terms. In more serious cases, these spammy page are found hosted on sites that were victims of hacking. Because, a hacked site can cause serious threats as it’s controlled by hacker who can turn it into a distribution channel for malware etc.
“We work hard to ensure that search spam doesn’t get in the way of you finding the information you’re looking for,” stated Juan Felipe Rincon of Google’s Global Search Outreach Lead. “When you search with Google, our goal is to provide you with results from relevant and authoritative sources.”
Towards this effort, Google has systems in place that detect and prevent search spam, and they also plans to continue working directly with popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla to fight spammers who compromise forums and comment sections.
“Last year, we focused a great deal of effort on reducing the impact on users from hacked websites, and were able to detect and remove more than 80 percent of compromised sites from search results.”
In addition, Google’s also actively working with site owners for a healthy web and provides them guidelines to produce high-quality content and services. Here are some other notable stats from 2017:
- Google conducted 250+ webmaster meetups and office hours around the world reaching out to over 220,000 website owners.
- Over 45 million alerts were sent to registered website owners about possible issues which could affect their websites ranking in search through Search Console.
- While most spam detection is done automatically, when spam slips through, we take manual action. Last year, we sent
- 6 million manual action messages were sent to webmasters about practices that were against Google’s guidelines, along with information on how to resolve the issue.
- Google detected and removed over 80 percent of hacked sites from search results.
- Google took manual action on nearly 90,000 user reports of search spam in addition to automated systems working to detect and block spam.
In addition to these efforts, Google is also encouraging users to help them protect searchers and site owners from spam by filing reports for spam, phishing, and or malware as they encounter issues with Google search. This task can be done by clicking on the “Send feedback” link located at the bottom of the search results page.
Here is an image of Google Send feedback reporing tool: