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Google Problem Search Results Reports
Dr Greenthumb

 5:00 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck filling out spam reports. For the past 2 months I have filled out plenty of forms all with blatant spam (redirects, hidden text, different cache pages, duplicate sites)and have seen nothing done by google. I understand they probably get a ton of these but I really feel like I am wasting my time.


creative craig

 5:01 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I sent one off recently and havent seen a change either, I fear you can only sit and hope :)



 5:03 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I really feel like I am wasting my time

don't bother with it. it's done on a freely basis, like submitting links, so i think it will be only taken for an upcoming index they'll use for ranking calculations. but for this they'll need a lot of spam urls.

our maybe a new beta: spam.google.com - the whole world of spam sites :) .

jeremy goodrich

 5:06 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey - if the other guys spam seems to be working, why not give it a go?

After all - if they don't remove the other 'spam' from their index, what's to say they'll remove yours even after people complain about you?

Stick around here for a while, read up on some stuff, and then give it a shot :) Perhaps, though - you'd be better off buying a new domain to start with, and registering it to your dog or cat.

Then, get some software that will auto generate a few thousand pages around your core keyword set, and look for that 1 in bound link that will get it ranked.

After that, you won't be complaining about spam you'll be singing Google's praises. :) Wouldn't that be a much more comfortable position to be in?

creative craig

 5:08 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

How do spammers sleep at night? :)

Dont answer I know already... very well ;)



 5:08 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

ROFLMAO! ;););)



 5:11 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>but I really feel like I am wasting my time

You probably are, Dr Greenthumb.
But first of all: welcome to the board!

Of the four things you mention three are often quite legitimate, some of the largest sites apply those techniques. Mind you, even Google cloakes!

Apart from that: building your optimization on spam reporting is not a winning strategy. Fighting other sites by reporting them is in case you're up against large sites a loss of time.
To make your own site better is by far the better strategy. That way it doesn't matter much what the competition does: you are ahead of the game!

Dr Greenthumb

 5:11 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

you know your probably right. google does seem pretty easy to trick. even 100% identical text as long as the page is slightly different works. ill register a new domain and send 2 or 3 9 links to it and let you know how it goes.

also heini thanks for the welcome :) and my optimization strategy doesnt simply rely on the spam reports. its just frustrating when im ranked #8 and 5 of the 7 ahead of me are exactly the same page wit ha different logo


 5:20 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

so how you guys report spam? help@google.com or search-quality@google.com?


 5:24 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its all in the forums charter :


creative craig

 5:24 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I use the spam report page :)



 5:29 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

if google would remove any page people are requesting, their index would be very small....


 6:04 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I actually find it reassuring that Google does not instantly ban a site on receiving a spam report. I am not saying that the people posting here would submit inaccurate reports, but certainly the potential exists of both mistaken and malicious reports, so any signs of a thorough investigation are good news.
Related to this, I ran across a technique that seems to be on the rise for asp or any other scripted page creation sites. A site in one of my categories uses asp to create automated duplicate pages. They have, lets say, a comfortable single page of maybe 20 links to specific pages on their site, but they use asp to create 5 essentially duplicate pages - only differing in the order of the links and perhaps the ommission of 1 link per page - thereby scoring 5 of the top 10 positions on a search.
I don't know how long this particular site has been doing this, but at least in this update they have managed to avoid being identified as using mirror pages.


 6:22 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome Dr_Greenthumb,
I'm surprised by one response to your query, but can't believe it is anything more than tongue in cheek.
Bobmark seems to hit the point on the nose. I'd go with his advice...... :)
Keep it clean, ROme (even Virtual Rome) wasn't built in a day. Good will overcome (I hope).


 6:50 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have to admit I had mixed feelings about GoogleGuy's New Year's post about spam penalties being lifted for many sites.
I am not a big law and order guy but my first thought was: "How do we know these convicted spammers are rehabilitated and won't spam again?"
Does Google have a parole system for spammers released from penalty, where they check up on their behaviour for the first year?


 6:56 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any hardcore spammer has already replaced every banned domain with aleast 10 more. What they learnt from getting banned in the first place is fueling something 10 times worse and almost impossible to stop.


 7:04 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome Dr Greenthumb,

When I'm feeling really bored, I fill in a genuine spam report to Google. Then I laugh like a drain to myself.
Well, you have to do something really silly now and again don't you?


 8:57 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I reported a site that was using hidden links, and it took a couple updates for them to disappear, but they are GONE. Three down, three to go.

[edited by: heini at 10:32 am (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]


 9:52 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I reported a site three times before Google removed it; however, the third time I included more details.

Here are some tips:

Mention that you are from WebmasterWorld and that GoogleGuy said to mention it when you reported a site.

Tell exactly how the site is spamming. For example, if the site is using CSS to hide text, include a description and a snippet of the HTML tag that begins the hidden text, and include the relevant CSS snippet.


 9:54 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dang! That gives a whole new meaning to "#1 position."

[edited by: heini at 10:33 am (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]


 10:39 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)


I did exactly what you said, but nothing happened.
How long does it take for Google to take action? if they do.


 2:12 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

The Google spam report works great. Spammers hate it and cry about it and hope do not use it.

More to the point, it takes like two minutes. Big deal. Submit it.


 3:00 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

3 reports in 3 updates and still spam in no.1 slots. makes it worth doing to my mind if these guys get 3 months at the top for a commericially competitive area.

Fast were good though and actioned pretty much immediately


 6:21 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Night Hawk - It was more than a week, maybe two.


 7:18 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm. Try again, Dr_Greenthumb? Mention webmasterworld, and only do one site per complaint. Keep it short, and try to point out specific sites that violate our quality guidelines (like hidden text). It also helps if you provide a query that demonstrates the spam. If you just say "badguy.com has this bad thing on his pages" then we don't always know how badly it affects actual quality as seen by users. But if you can give a simple query that looks bad, that's more likely to attract attention.

Hope this helps,


 10:28 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some time ago I reported a blatant and very obvious piece of spamming that broke all Google terms of service. I followed the Google guideline instructions fully and put a lot of time and effort into making the report as clear and precise as possible. I also politely mentioned webmasterworld and you! Sometime later and the offending site still dominates all searches for their market place.

This leads me to believe that I completely wasted my time and effort, which I cannot afford to do again. Also, My client is now insisting that I replicate the spamming methods used by his competitor to compete fairly in their market place! How can I argue with him given the facts? As it happens I won't get involved in spamming for personal reasons but I canít blame him for going to another SEO who is more than willing to do whatever is necessary to rate highly in Google.

I note that you KEEP telling people to report spam as you take it seriously. However, if you were to investigate the problem fully I think you might find that the problem isnít being dealt with in the way that you would wish?

Tony Perry


 10:44 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think you are wasting your time reporting spam, it is just a way of life for search engine promotion.


 11:59 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

"it is just a way of life"

So is shoplifting. "do nothing" is a bad business model for both.

Dr Greenthumb

 2:32 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

thanks google guy I have a specific query and will fil out another report now.


 2:35 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Having spent a lot of my early working life in large organizations, my guess is that what GoogleGuy says is 100% correct BUT the spam method has to fit the Google spamming guidelines unequivocally. Otherwise, the individual Google empolyee who investigates may tend to take no action, refer it to a superior, put it on a watch list, whatever as his/her authority would extend only to removing sites that clearly break the guidelines.
To take a couple of examples:
If hidden text is in the guidelines, I assume any substantial use of same colour/background text will get you a penalty. However, since Google says they do not index alt image tags (which are often used as a sort of hidden text with hundreds of keywords stuffed into them) presumably the abuse of them may not get you banned.
Or - to use the example I gave earlier - using a dynamic indexing system designed to produce virtually identical pages may not be a clear violation of the guidelines in that they are not quite exactly mirror pages - in the sense that duplicate static pages are - and may be given the benefit of the doubt.
This is not a criticism of Google. A large organization needs to have clearly defined guidelines and insist employees apply them fairly. You don't want a situation where individual Google employees have the lattitde to ban sites that fall into a grey area on a whim or their own personal biases (can you say dmoz?).

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