“Mayday, Mayday, calling out all searchers. Google needs your help.” Search Spam is the filth of the web much like how Mail Spam is. Google and every other search engine, in 2018 is very much advanced, compared to the scenario 5 years ago. Today we also got the automated AI (Artificial Intelligence). But, Google now wants you help them fight Search Spam.
What is Search Spam?
Tim Mayer, Director of Product Management for Yahoo Search defines search spam as “pages created deliberately to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant, or poor-quality search results.” And, Search Engine Watch explains 16 types of Search Spam.
Put simply, consider the SEO scene a few years ago – “the golden age of meta keywords.” More appropriately, “the golden age for search spammers.” Considering how meta keywords were being misused, every search engine today discredit the keyword meta tag.
Now, with AI based advancements, search engines have developed complex mechanisms to rank pages. But, there are still people who abuse the system with loopholes, the so called “Search spammers.” It’s actually quite intelligent how they come up with techniques that can rank your website unethically. These techniques come under the category of Black hat SEO. People spend a lot on these techniques, but when Google updates it’s ranking methods, these websites mostly lose their rankings like “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”
Always remember, these Blackhat SEO techniques are not for long term. Clean Search Engine friendly SEO or Whitehat SEO is the only thing you should concentrate onbecause Google and every other Search Engine love them forever.
How does Google fight Search Spam?
Google has an automated inbred AI that’s good at fighting Search spam. But, there are also greedy humans that have been able to fool the AI to get their sketchy pages ranked. Google said, last year, they found and removed about 80% of these spam pages from their Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). They made a special mention of how user reports have helped them do the cleanup.
They have been conducting meetups with webmasters trying to work techniques to fight Search spam.
Juan Felipe of Google said, they are working with many CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, Drupal and other Forum scipt developers to fight forum based abusive and phishing content. And, they also have been working on the spam posted in comments section. If you have a very big blog (unlike mine :P) or a forum, you know how much spam content you have to filter through on a daily basis.
How can you help Google fight Search Engine Spam?
It’s very simple and Google encourages every Searcher to report spam content. It’s a very simple 3 step process:-
- When you spot Search spam on an SERP, click on Send feedback at the bottom of the page.
- In the popup, click on Click to highlight or hide info. Describe the issue in detail.
- Now, click on the website you want to report. You can click on title, URL or the description, depending on what seems sketchy. Click DONE and then in the form, click SEND.
Well, helping Google fight search engine spam comes with no direct perks for the searcher or, so you think. Most of us wouldn’t take the a minute necessary to help fight Search Engine Spam. But, as a webmaster, I can think of several reasons why everyone should do that. Think of it this way. Let’s say you have a legit blog on “Fishing nets” that you spent a lot of time on optimising. Now, a new spammer in town with low quality content ranks his page on the same topic within a day pushing you down. Makes you want to report his spam page, right?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to spread hate here. I just want you to think from a webmaster’s point of view who is the sufferer. So, next time you see spam in SERPs, take a minute and report it.