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This 193 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 193 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 > >     
Google Not Acting on Problem Results Reports

 6:09 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I keep seeing spam stealing the top positions so I report it to Google time and again and nothing happens, so what do I do?
If you cant beat them join them.
This is my living we're talking about after all. The bread on my table.
Not cloaking yet but it may become necessary if Google don't start taking the spam reports more seriously.
Why do they ask for them and then take no action?
How about some serious answers.



 10:06 pm on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, for what it's worth, I reread my question in msg#53, and oops, but my that was a dumb question:

What I am wondering is, for you to find our messages, should we include our nick in the subject too?

As if you're gonna go a searchin' for each individual nick. Whoo boy, time to get some actual sleep...

I am excited about the quality of data that we're getting for testing the next generation of algorithms, though.

Lookin' forward to it! How long until the next generation comes out to play? (what scale of time are we talking about?)


 12:17 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


Any chance Google could give more detail / help on it's report spam page?

I mean like a guide as to what you want if someone sees / reports duplicate content. Something like "Please give less then 3 and no more then 5 page instances where duplicate content sites have exactly the same content".

Something that will help people to report properly so it cuts your colleagues work load down, and gives the person reporting more chance of having their complaint resolved.

Also, an email back from Google saying "Yes, we agree this needs addressing, expect some outcome within xx weeks". Or "No, sorry, we do not agree this constitutes abuse." You could even write a little algo (please name it after me or a decent beer) to watch out for certain email addresses (the ones that give you good material, get senior staff, the ones that report their brothers for stuffing a keyword into an alt attribute, get the cleaner).

I think this will stop extra Spam. As it seems clear that many people are thinking of joining the Spam for every meal club, rather then building web sites for people (when their reports seem to go into the Google black hole).


 5:17 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey guys

GrinninGordon said "Also, an email back from Google saying.." and C1bernaught said "send an automated email reply confirming that the spam report was recieved"

Spam reports are anonomous, from an online form - there is no email address for Google to contact/ acknowledge the report?

The google spam report form I have been using is an online form at:


(hope its ok to put the Google spam report URL in a post)

There is no specific requirement for entering an email address - or a subject line - on this specific spam reporting form - so automating a response would be quite hard?

Or are you guys using an email based method to report spam?

My understanding is that GoogleGuy has asked us to submit this anonomous online form - but to add our Webmaster World Nic and mark it attention to Webmaster World Forum GoogleGuy - so it gets pulled out off the pile and delivered to him to action? Or am I the one who is confused?GoogleGuy - maybe you could clarify once again what you would like us to do? email or online form?




 5:59 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


I know it is anonymous via the form, but perhaps it shouldn't be. Perhaps if Google / we realize that practically only webmasters submit spam reports. And if Google required a real (not hotmail) email address. Then maybe a large % of reports (the frivalous ones) would stop. That would give Google more time to read the real ones. Everyone (except the Spammers and frivalous whiners) would win.

Also, I am grateful. But is it right and fair this community has GoogleGuy to rely on. To an extent, I think yes. But not to the extent I believe exists. I reported one bunch of Spammers for months on the form, then GG said "send me the report". I did, and (thank you, thank you) something happened. But I would prefer to see the form get better results for all. And for Google to guide people more on the form / let them know afterwards.


 6:05 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good advice, all. We could certainly look at putting up a destination page with more info.


 6:09 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I know it is anonymous via the form, but perhaps it shouldn't be. Perhaps if Google / we realize that practically only webmasters submit spam reports. And if Google required a real (not hotmail) email address. Then maybe a large % of reports (the frivalous ones) would stop. That would give Google more time to read the real ones. Everyone (except the Spammers and frivalous whiners) would win.

This isn't true. There may be many people out there who get a SERP where basically all the top 10 are spam from the same company, and point it out. They may not want to give out there e-mail. Also, there are people like me. Nobody is gonna spam the SERPs I care about. However, I do send in reports whenever I see something egregiously bad. And, even invoke the name of Googleguy when it seems something so obvious that their filters are out of whack, such as missing a huge block of black text on black background on the bottom of a page. In my case I don't care to be anonymous. However, there may be some out with Googlenoia. Remember, the very name of Google strikes fear and dread in even honest webmasters. ;) Not everyone making spam reports is finking out the competition.


 6:30 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

--Not everyone making spam reports is finking out the competition.--

Very true!

While I do fink on my competition, I have been known to submit reports on sites that I've found in my day to day searching that are not competition but were so blatantly bad, they warranted a report.


 6:42 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello GG,

I see that you have addressed my issue with the hidden text link from the Uni. I thank you! I can not believe how fast you responded on the problem! That was great.

I had no idea that you need my Nick in the spam report to track it, I will remember that.

I do have one question, and maybe this is too soon to ask, but by looking at the back-links, I must assume that the site in question will drop in PR, which will reflect acordingly in the serp's. Will that happen more sooner or later?

Do I and the other webmasters in our field wait until the next update?


 6:48 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


Why not make a form to fill out for the spam report, with the site URL and checkboxes on what spammy techniques are being used. And then email webmaster@URL.com and tell them a spam report was submitted by a user for all the spammy techniques used and it is in queue for being investigated?

I know people are going to say webmaster@URL.com doesn't always exist, but it does in 50% of websites I'm sure, and it would do a ton to get webmasters to clean up their sites if they knew they were guilty.

Be proactive and automate! :)


 6:49 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anon27, that will take an update for the complete effect to kick in.


 6:58 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


I understand, and again I thank you.

Now, when exactly will that next update take place? LOL


 7:14 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I know people are going to say webmaster@URL.com doesn't always exist, but it does in 50% of websites I'm sure, and it would do a ton to get webmasters to clean up their sites if they knew they were guilty.

Because people don't want the competition warned. Instead, they are trying to get them squished like a bug. ;) Also, read the bloody RFCs. webmaster@domain.com is not required to be a valid e-mail. The only e-mail that MUST be valid is postmaster@domain.com. And, for anyone reading that has a website where postmaster@domain.com bounces, get a clue and fix that.


 7:16 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I complained about a site in December and they were banned -a very bad case of suffed keywords into pages that redirected.

Here's the thread -

Now they are back in again - only 3 and a half months - if that's all it takes to get back in no wonder people ignore the rules - I was impressed with Google at the time - no so much now.
It's certainly worth the risk if you only get "banned' for a few months.


 7:17 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


Quite a few people complain about one domain hogging positions 1,2,3, 6 etc

Try a search for usa flight tickets, positions 10 to 20 22-40 are dominated by one domain.

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but shouldn't it be relatively easy to implement a serp that delivers only one instance (2 max perhaps) of a particular domain?


 7:42 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey GoogleGuy Please check out my spam report with my WebmasterWorld nick, :)




 7:45 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


Wow! That looks like something you would find on Alta-Vista or Excite. I have never seen that on Google. Is that a new find? Perhaps an over-sight by Google?

I must think so.


 7:57 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Try a search for <snipped>, positions 10 to 20 22-40 are dominated by one domain.

Saw that before the mods killed it. Although, this doesn't look like spamming, but instead Google was seriously broken. Dunno how Google blew it this bad? Although, as computer programmers like to say, there is always one more bug. ;)


 7:59 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


A question. A spam report has been sent in, the site shortly threafter disappears from the serps, but returns now and again after freshbot visits, and since the last dance is solidly back in the serps. Is this normal behavior as a site is phased out? Should I re-send something to indicate that there is still a problem?

It would be nice to know, and I am sure not just for me, if it is the norm that the site fluctuates in and out of the serps before it's eventual demise from google.

(If we had some idea of what to expect, we could calm the panic filled posters - myself included - the same we we say 'don't worry, it's just everflux')

I suppose this wouldn't be an issue if we knew 'the loop would be closed' as has been discussed earlier in this thread. But as we have no idea what is happening...


 8:36 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Onionrep - I looked at your example - typical affiliate stuff - my pet hate. There is an affiliate number in that code - I sent Googleguy a similar couple of examples yesterday - but they scripted the frame code to hide the affiliate number. This is a classic example of why the 'beneficial recipient' of the traffic should get penalised - he has the affiliate programme - he has the power to control his affiliates.

Maybe the approach should be to email the 'benefical recipient' of the traffic - and give them 48 hours to can the affiliate? Hell - he has an affiliate number - he has a commercial relationship with them - and they know who he is and where he lives - cause they send him cheques! And if they don't cut him off and give him up - Google should can them as well.

In the real world, if you go to Avis or Hertz - and you rent a car, and get a parking ticket or a camera infringement - the Police send their penalty to Avis/ Hertz whoever - and then the rental car company comes after you. The cost of chasing down the offender is borne by the rental car company.

The search engine spam model is wrong - the affiliates are often encouraged to spam by the 'beneficial recipient' - the affiliates get caught and cut from the index - and the beneficary of the traffic gets off scott free.

If Avis or Hertz just wanted to pay the fines - and not pursue the renters - they could do that. They don't - they pursue them for the police - cause otherwise they'd have to pay.

If an affiliate spams - then the main site should get cut - and the onus should be on the sites that use affiliates to monitor their affiliates behaviour. Then lets see who tolerates this type of gung ho behaviour from affiliates.

GriningGordon - thanks for clarifying the form/ email thing - I thought I was using the wrong method - I just got confused by what you guys were saying.!




 9:16 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I really liked the above posts regarding more automated, fuller responses to the spam forms.

You are wrogn to think that the point is to "squash" a site. The point is, and is ONLY, to provide relevenat serps. furthermore since manual attention is mostly impractical, Google has to do algo adjustments. The don't need the site for that.

I say: GIVE te webmaster a heads up. How manytimes have I been wondering myself if my site is really as clean as I think it is. I'd LOVE the idea of knowing Google will inform me if something isn't right so I can fix it.
Besides, if teh site gets fixed, then the mission is accomplished after all. And it might be not nice to destroy somebodies livelyhood if they perhaps were not aware of certain "rules" without warning.

Google still has the cache images (or could grab a fresh one before the warning email) to use for its algo updates.

I thik everybody would win. I don't see spammers as inherently evil people. Just a bit misguided, and guiding them might be jsut the thing to do.

Just think of all the posts here were web designers lost customers to those taht advocate spammy techniques. Imagine if they got a heads-up warning email from Google themselves. That'll strike the holy fear into the customer and quickly drive them back to the honest web firms.

I think this is really something to seriously think about.

After all it would be easy to implement and fully automatic.

In fact there could be a whole "spam resolution" process a-la internac where webmaster can reply or even enquire about the status of their report.

For your kind consideration...



 10:08 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Killroy - I agree that cleaning up the serps is the goal - not penalties - my point is that the Google penalties/ warnings or whatever need to more closely mirror the 'laws' of the real world.

In the real world - if I ask you to commit a crime - and you commit the crime and you get caught - we both get punished. There is, therefore - a major deterrent to asking others to commit crimes on your behalf. Basically - the guy who orders the hit gets the same penalty as the guy who pulls the trigger.

In the google world - only the domain actually commiting the spam crime gets punished - the other guy - who 'paid' him to do it (hired him as an affiliate partner) gets off free!.

As long as there is an ability to use a 3rd party (which can range from a web dev agency to your own fake registered domain to an affiliate) to commit the crime (on your behalf) without fear of any penalty - then people will continue to fill the serps with crap results, accomplished by spammy methods.

Anon27 - regarding that travel example - technically, each result is from a different server name (ie the names before the first dot are different) - so thats why they all appear in the serps. There is no compulsion to make a server name www infront of your domain name - ie you can call your server any name you like - and have lots of them eg.

blue widgets.com
- you don't have to call it www.widgets.com

ie www.widgets.com/blue and www.widgets.com/red are both on the same server/in the same domain - and therefore Google generally only lists 2 pages in the serps. But it would, under the same 'rule' list 2 pages from red.widgets.com and 2 from pink.widgets.com and so on......

Hope this helps



 12:21 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


since all your spam-reports seem to be in the "english"-spam - I would also like to report some "german"-spam-pages (Yes, google is international!)

I've just sent the spam-reports to google.

2 Examples (without violating the rules and privacy)

1. some are using cloaking to hint googlebot
(googlebot sees content, user is redirected on an affiliate link)
-> seems to be user-agent cloaking
(I tested it and a fage-user-agent presented the cloaked content for me)

2. some are using javascript redirection scripts in order to redirect the user - and not googlebot :

function RW_go() {
for (var i=0; i< (RW_go.arguments.length - 1); i+=2)
document.RW_back= false;

and inside the body-tag:

onLoad="RW_go('parent','http://www.widgets.de');return document.RW_back"

And many are using extensive cross-linking in the cloaked or javascript pages to gain pagerank


Lutz Warnke


 3:51 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chris_D: Unfortunately Google isn't the real world. It doesn't have the resources of a government, nor the luxury of unrefutable physical evidence. FOURTUNATELY for us though, it lives in the world of technology, and it is possible to prevent crime, absolutely, before it happens. therefore, a spam technique that is caught by the algorythm can simply not be used. EVER, not even with temporary domains and so on, because there are not "eventually caught" but never lsited in the first place.

So I guess there is still hope :) Now if we could just make Googles algo smarter then real people... *sigh*



 4:23 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's an amazing find. I'd outlined my own spam problems in another thread [webmasterworld.com], but they seem nothing compared to that.

I tend to agree with Stratocaster (msg#8). Since the major changes in Google's SERPs which started last October I've seen a lot more evidence of old-style spam techniques slipping through the filter. Personally I believe in Brett's 26 steps (or at least 24 of them) and have tried to stick to them. I still think/hope that they are what will serve you best next October.

It's been said time and time again that if you're on top of the serps it's good SEO, if you competitor ranks higher then it's spam.

Agreed. It has been said. I've suffered in Google since October, so take that into account in reading the above paragraph. On the other hand I've looked at the SERPs PatrickDeese refers to. I compete against the same company for a different phrase and area, and am two pages higher than them, so have no axe to grind. It's still spam, in his case and mine.


 4:28 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice sites(s) by the way, Patrick, and good examples of strong SEO being applied with integrity.


 5:04 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you guys spent as much time coming up with new ideas and working as you do reporting spam... you'd be millionaires!


 5:07 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Reporting spam takes seconds, beating it is the hard part!


 11:40 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


"Reporting spam takes seconds, beating it is the hard part!"

1) If you do a good reporting job, it takes a *lot* more then seconds.

2) Who wants to beat Spam?! I would rather see Spam gone and beat other real sites.


 11:51 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Spacewar, sadly, when competing for decent SERPs, you often have to fight with people who just don't play fair. Over time, some of them get banned. Others just seem to hang around like a bad smell, misdirecting surfers, pissing off potential clients, and generally lowering the value of the google results pages.

Google has done some good things to get rid of spam. Right now, it appears that circa 1997 excite spam / keyword jamming is VERY effective in getting good listings. Using .biz or .info domains seems to be a VERY powerful way to get high rankings. None of these things has anything to do with Brett's 26 rules - they are bending the system to squeeze the most hits out of the engines, regardless of the approriateness of the results.

I have a domain I have operated since 1997, a link oriented site, broken down by section, simple layout, every page links back to the index page, no hidden text, no BS, and this month it went to PR0. I see tons of sites in the same area I am looking for using hidden text, stuffed keywords, and other less than honest techniques (like jamming hundreds of cross links between STYLE tags) getting high PR ratings, but an honest site gets a 0. It is enough to make anyone want to just throw in the towel and join the "other side".

Thankfully, I have a large selection of domains to work from, and I will just be closing out that domain and moving on to another similar domain that has a reasonable starting PR. Hopefully I won't get squashed again.



 12:18 am on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<this month it went to PR0>> sorry but what is "PRO"


 12:34 am on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

My thoughts exactly, the way it is and will remain so.
Spam never goes off, because it is not 100% real meat.

They will return, but it is impossible to completely control, though I will hang my head in shame and agree google strives to combat more than any other, and would suggest they do a far better job than any other.

I do now know google treats spam reports seriously.
Many, myself included doubted this, and maybe took google for granted.
But sit back and realy analyse the situation, it cannot be easy to unscramble the flak.
I now realise it is unrealistic for spammers or whatever you want to call them to be booted overnight on a say-so.

So they eventually do get lost in the serps, but next month another comes to the forefront.

Perhaps like trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean with an egg cup.

The problems are really for SEO's to explain to clients, with questions "Hey this guy did this, did that blah" ' but you said don't do it" etc etc.... which can be difficult to explain.

This 193 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 193 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 > >
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