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Spam results reported to Google but no action taken
#1 site cheating happily in Goolge, why?
silverbytes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 3:27 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw this site hidding text with background color. As you know google spam report has an specific item that covers that issue:

[google.com...]

However no action was taken and site is happily #1 still.

Why Google doesn't hear spam reports?
What can you do in that case?

 

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 5:07 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it wasn't there. Html error, pages intended for another browser, a page intented for a content spider, page intented for a partner site or another se program, or you were simply using the wrong browser - all of the above are not a problem to Google...

I've said it for years: 95% of the stuff we hear as "spam" is NOT spam to search engines.

SPAM: Sites Positioned Above Me...

metrostang

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:17 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Kind of a short answer to what appeared to me to be a legitimate question. If Google publishes do's and don't to be included in the searches, then there should be a way to determine who does and who doesn't.

The spam report appears to be one of those ways. The way I've learned to spot dirty tricks is by looking at the code of sites above me in the searches. Most of what I've seen wasn't unintentional.

I've seen Google appear to take action on a report, although it took several weeks. The site vanished and came back later with the same page minus the dirty tricks.

guddu

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:33 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dear Brett,

What would you call a site with network of sites just made to provide links to the main site. All are interlinked and some of them only contain links to different pages of the network sites.

Links and links and only links.

This website is ranking TOP 10 for every keyphrase targeted and their SEOs boast of their knowledge.

One of their sites is copied template of another site known in same business.

Though reported, still no action taken by google.

Regards

Crush

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:40 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Why Google doesn't hear spam reports?
What can you do in that case? "

Ha! Get another site and beat them. You think google give a toss about 1 site with hidden text when they have got major league spammers, 302 hijacks and all sorts of other issues to deal with?

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:50 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Imagine a google that started to respond swiftly to spam reports.
The word would spread and every webmaster would scrutenize and report every possibly dodgy site above them.
And then the ones that got knocked out would file retaliatory reports out of spite.
G would hire about 2k new employees and eventually be back where they started from. lol

Matt Probert

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:54 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've said it for years: 95% of the stuff we hear as "spam" is NOT spam to search engines.

SPAM: sites positioned above me...

I quite agree. What are people like? They sound like spoiled children crying "mummy mummy that site cheated!"

Google is a search engine, it collects a list of web pages and presents them as a searchable directory, it's not awarding public money to finance them!

Matt

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 7:59 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

i dont think theyve made any secret that for the most part they prefer to use a filter to remove spam rather than do it by hand....they say they use the spam reports to get a picture of what technique is being used and trying to automate a filter for it....it would be pretty rare for small time spam to be removed by hand i would think....hiding text in a background thats nearly but not quite the same colour...can that really be filtered?...perhaps they counter this with other factors..one being higher pr allowing more onsite content to carry greater weight so its harder for smaller sites to spam this way...the idea being that higher authority sites can be trusted that little bit more...

;)

2by4

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 8:34 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

So there you have it. Add to this that currently I don't believe google has the capacity to correctly process CSS library files. What does that leave you?

feel free to <b>spam</b>, use spammy disposable sites, feel free to hide spammy keywords. Just make sure the spam domain is disposable, and that it's more than a year old. Remember, <h2>spam can equal money</h2>. <h3>Spam is good</h3>. There's lots of reasons to spam, I mean, I can think of a hundred reasons to make this text pale on white, it's not spam, spam is a good thing, it helps the user, and spiders... but most of all it helps my on page optimization for keywords such as spam. So spam away, spam happily, this stuff works. LSI, don't make me laugh... google can't even catch pale on pale CSS...

Maybe you can think of a legitimate reason to hide text like the above block, I can't. silverbytes, all you can do is keep trying, contact msn and yahoo, you might have more luck with at least one of them.

eyezshine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 9:13 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still think if it wasn't for SEO, search engines wouldn't have as good of results as they have now.

Search engines should work with webmasters more so we can all have a happy medium on how to create sites for the engines so they can have better results.

It's stupid of them to keep us all guessing at their vague guidelines and innocent sites getting banned for one little mistake they made in their code that triggered a penalty on their site.

There are so many things that can cause a ban that I can think of right now I could type all night. It's ridiculous!

grandpa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 9:47 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

However no action was taken and site is happily #1 still.

Maybe, maybe not. No action was taken that you can see. Rather than quote I'll refer back to msg #8.

Bad analogy alert:
As a programmer, I have an option of coding dozens of standalone applications, or incorporating them all into a decent enough finished project. I prefer the latter, even though it may give the appearance that I'm not doing anything.
End alert

Why Google doesn't hear spam reports?

They don't? Yes, they do. See above. And, if the report is serious enough, it will get the immediate attention it deserves. Hidden text and SERP's placement are valid concerns, but I doubt too many of those reports warrant immediate action.

What can you do in that case?

Punt! Go back to the basics. Are you generating new content? Are your pages validating? Are you developing links? What it takes to get to #1 is what it takes to stay there. Anyone can spam the system for a while, but it's all temporary. Why, because people like me tend to report them, which helps build a better algo, which encourages me to build a better site, which keeps me at the top of the heap.

It's all one vicious cycle :)

<edit>Opps - realized I posted in Google News. I'll shut up again</edit>

[edited by: grandpa at 10:17 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2005]

lammert

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 9:49 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Search engines should work with webmasters more (...)

Search engines are a medium for the webusers, not the webmasters. A spam report mentioned in the first post is just one vote against a page. Google will look at it eventually, but the action to be taken is their decision, not ours. They will look at many factors, including but not limited to spam reports and the vote buttons in the toolbar.

As Brett already mentioned the definition of spam varies with search engine rank.

If a #1 position is held by a 100% spammy site, not only you as a webmaster will recognize it but also the average Joe Surfer. He will just ignore that entry and select the first interesting page in the SERPs instead.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 10:27 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

silverbytes,

Don't worry, you did what you felt needed to be done ... now its Google's turn. You submitted the report and they will eventually get around to looking at the page or pages reported.

If they really are doing something outside of Google's webmaster guidelines, it will likely be taken care of ... sometime, but as others have mentioned, Google has lots of other, slightly more important problems on their plate.

The problem is that every time Google has a major algo/filter change, some of these same pages/sites reappear in the SERPS. Its frustrating I know, but people will figure out the "real" content sites and reward them by visiting in spite of the inability of the search engines to filter out the crap.

Chris_D

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 10:57 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

2by4

LOL

Point taken.

:)

piskie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 11:07 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett is exceptionaly perceptive to be able to make such a dismissive reply given no specific information (as reqired by TOS).

2by4

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 12:56 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett gave you a hint here, although he didn't read the question correctly, which clearly stated that hidden text was being used. However, I've found that brett has a pretty good idea of what the limits of SEO are, he's pretty good at this stuff in terms of keeping just back from those limits. xrkr is a great product. buy xrkr. xrkr is invaluable. xrkr in white and green
So when he says that 95% of what we consider spam will work, I'd pay attention to that. Just be careful. In two days, maybe three, we can see if it works.

luckychucky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 2:33 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

i dont think theyve made any secret that for the most part they prefer to use a filter to remove spam rather than do it by hand....they say they use the spam reports to get a picture of what technique is being used and trying to automate a filter for it
I think soapystar got it right: Chances are probably slim that Google will actually go in and do a customized nuke of the offending site (unless it's a DMCA issue where they're risking legal liability for complicity in violation of copyrights), but if you've brought the site to their attention, they might analyze it to see how it was able to rank so well, and that use that feedback in their algo tweakings.
birdstuff

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 4:52 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still think if it wasn't for SEO, search engines wouldn't have as good of results as they have now.

Search engines should work with webmasters more so we can all have a happy medium on how to create sites for the engines so they can have better results.

It's stupid of them to keep us all guessing at their vague guidelines and innocent sites getting banned for one little mistake they made in their code that triggered a penalty on their site.

I agree completely. I have always held the opinion that the search engines would be much better off over all if they posted explicit guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not. It would be much easier to spot true spam and eliminate it because it would be no secret whatsoever what actually constitutes spam.

Webmasters would know where the line was and if they edged too close to it and stepped over it they could be dealt with harshly.

Of course the old stand-by come-back will pop up within the next couple of posts that telling spammers where the line is will simply help them find a way over it. I don't buy it. Never have and never will.

The spammers will ALWAYS try to take shortcuts, get caught, then move on with another domain. Clear guidelines wouldn't change that for the better OR for the worse.

Clear guidelines would however give most honest webmasters (the other 95%) an incentive to err slightly on the side of caution which would actually reduce the level of spam overall. Clear guidelines would also make it a lot easier to detect the spammers faster so they can be dealt with BEFORE they have time to rack up boatloads of revenue before getting axed.

Just Guessing

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 9:24 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

If hidden text is the only reason a site is outranking you, then all you have to do to beat it is add some good text to your own page and get one inbound link. Your time is better spent doing that than filling in spam reports.

decaff

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 9:44 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

From Google's perspective...it is one big feedback loop...they are collecting tons of data on usability and relavence factors for tweaking the algo (and potentially their revenue)...the "report spam" link is just another channel for them to analyze and integrate for future updates...very unlikely someone is sitting at a workstation in Mountain View..."oh...there's another spam report...let's take a look"...

automation is the name of the game..

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 11:44 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Forget about CSS and the use of other shady techniques to hide text. The Google algo cannot yet cope with plain old HTMl and same foreground/background settings. I have come across a few of these in the past and reported them to no avail.

grail

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 1:36 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps google has already automatically applied a penalty to the page. It could be that even with a hidden text penalty that page is still better than the others for that query for googles value system. :-)

Google might not remove a page completely for this but does take it into account? or not.

gerd

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 1:44 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I've said it for years: 95% of the stuff we hear as "spam" is NOT spam to search engines"
!spot on!
spam the net boys if you want to make money!They are all of them such a stuped banch of victims (Google Yahoo MSN) and easy to manipulate like taking the candy from a child.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 2:13 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps google has already automatically applied a penalty to the page. It could be that even with a hidden text penalty that page is still better than the others for that query for googles value system. :-) ]

I don' think so. This is an amateurish photography related site that is number one for a particular search. My client's (clean) site is below this.

The guy is using techniques that should be dead easy to spot. There is a large space at the bottom of his home page that contains nothing but a massive great list of keywords the same colour as the background and written in plain HTML.

If I employed a real person to do this and they couldn't find something as obvious as this I would sack them! The algo is clearly incapable of capturing some of the most simple spamming techniques.

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 2:42 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, this is the same argument heard over and over and over again.

People think they understand "se spam" based on confusing, conflicting, and intentionally obtuse documentation by search engines. Or, they hear someone that has studied se's for an hour - put up a shingle with "Search Engine Expert" under it who has no clue how to optimize.

Again, so called "hidden text" is not a huge issue to a search engine. 95% of it is innocent, but 95% of those who scream "hidden" text...are not.

<added>
fixed typo on is to isn't.
</added>

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 8:33 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2005]

ciml

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ciml us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 2:50 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chris_R, some time ago on WebmasterWorld:
If you are getting beat by hidden.text and doorway pages - you really suck at optimization.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 3:16 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hear hear!

Smug comments like ...
If you are getting beat by hidden.text and doorway pages - you really suck at optimization

don't help anyone.

The fact is that Google tells everyone what is not allowed, they seek people to submit reports when they see spammers, then they go on allowing it. That is the real issue.

What I was referring too was blatant spam. We are not talking about mentioning a few locations in your text to pick up some traffic. We are talking about blatant spam and I know it when I see it.

Hidden text was one of the earliest and most basic ways of spamming the search engines. Google still cannot deal with it, even when it is reported to them. Why ask people to waste their time submitting spam reports when they can do nothing about them?

luckychucky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 3:43 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, keep in mind there's this Allegra crrrap going on. Everything is topsy turvy; I'm seeing wretched garbage floating to the top for my serps. If what you're reporting is a recent phenomenon, maybe it's only slipping through via the chaos of this latest algo shift, and will disappear shortly when everything normalizes again?

walrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 3:44 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

<Again, so called "hidden text" isn't really an issue to a search engine>

Do i have this right?
We can't see the text but the spiders will so its just like being visible anyways. So if the text is repetitive and against a spiders TOS then it risks getting dropped eventually and thats why it should become a non issue to webmasters who come across them?

luckychucky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28211 posted 3:53 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

You know, I was thinking-
Google could simply acknowledge receipt of the complaint (by autoresponder) and the action or inaction they took (by human interface via a quick checklist&send menu). People would know they're being heard, and that Google cares. Imagine the public discovering that the contents of a suggestion box are dumped in the trash daily, unread. Google lets complainants know zilch, zero, bupkus. For all we know, their action on complaints amounts to the same.

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