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Spam reports at Google
Does Google really cares about them?
barbeta




msg:3015930
 3:27 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

A few months ago a filled up the spam report at Google with data about a site that is placing hidden links in all their affiliates network (a BIG network)

I sent ALL the specs, details and places to find evidence of that... and guess what?

- Nobody answered my report (though i included my email address)
- The site is still placing hidden links

Maybe the report "lost" in the middle of all the reports they receive.. i really donīt know

Anyone else experienced something like this?
 

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:3015932
 3:29 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

see back through the history of this forum for about a hundred posts just like it.

Jump to the bottom line:
a) what you think is spam and google considers spam are different things.
b) google generally will not act on "spam" reports.
c) google generally uses spam reports for brain storm sessions on algo tweaks and nothing more.
d) they don't care as it doesn't impact their service at all. they have bigger fish to fry.


There is nothing you can do except:

- go back to building and promoting your site to the degree - google doesn't matter. Worry about your site and let google take care of it's own.

soapystar




msg:3016124
 4:31 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

They say:
We thoroughly investigate every report of deceptive practices and take appropriate action when we uncover genuine abuse.

LOL!
:o

Quadrille




msg:3016146
 4:43 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google is a complicated beast, and they respond to spam on different levels.

1. They file spam reports - no, not a piece of paper at the back of a large green metal box, but a database that throws up patterns of spam and habits of spammers.

This enables Google to do those tweaks that spammers love so much - or did you think they are random?

2. In some cases, they act 'manually'

Why two different approaches? Who knows - but probably something really simple. Like manual management is really resource-heavy, and would be impossible to do all the time. Plus dealing with bacteria one at a time is hardly productive.

Next time there's a Florida or a Jagger, remember all those spam reports and check the spammers - many more will bite the dust.

Spam reports are vital to Google, but no need for good folk to stay up all night - 96.372% of all spam reports come from rival spammers*.

*And 97% of statistics are fiction ;)

colin_h




msg:3016192
 5:06 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

"go back to building and promoting your site to the degree - google doesn't matter. Worry about your site and let google take care of it's own ...". --- A little naive and dismissive I think. It would be very hard to breathe in this world if someone suddenly removed 90% of the air.

I've never seen Google act directly on any of my (really blatant and obvious) spam reports. In fact there are plenty of my own sites, from a few years back, that hit number 1 for 100mil + keyphrases and they are just full of packed keywords and very little content. I am always returning to those clients, trying to get them to take the cheats out and they just say they will carry on until Google catches them. So, as far as they are concerned, they supply a good service ... they just need a little extra help to get on top of the other cheats.

All the best

Col :-)

JeffOstroff




msg:3016195
 5:12 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you are going to waste your time with Google by filing spam reports, do it from inside the Sitemaps interface if you are signed up at Sitemaps.

THe Sitempas team seems to act on individual cases, whereas Google's general spam form, which might get thousands every day probably takes no action at all.

JeffOstroff




msg:3016208
 5:18 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I forgot to mention, this was also covered in another very exhaustive and insitghtful thread that I participated in weeks ago and gave some useful tips on how you can remove CERTAIN FORMS of spam sites to get them out of the Google index.

Someitimes these tactics are your only hope to get them removed. Hopefully you can benefit by these tips as well. Read the thread here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

sem4u




msg:3016905
 8:02 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have seen some sites removed as a result of spam reports for things like hidden text and links.

However, much of the data is looked at in a wider sense and is used to try and improve the algo.

JoaoJose




msg:3016916
 8:23 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Been there done that. Nothing happened.

soapystar




msg:3016924
 8:35 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

i have found that since BD things have changed. In the old days if i reported sites cheating (cloaking, hidden text, links purchased by the multiple 1000 load) then nothing ever happened. These days i find they continue to IMPROVE up the serps.

JoaoJose




msg:3017050
 10:46 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm on non-english country so I guess they may not look into it as on an english speaking country. But it's pretty sad to see spammy pages (reported several times) on top results for very competitive terms. As I think I said before, I also believe in automation BUT having people to review sites manually doesn't mean you must stop improving your algorithm's quality, what it means is that you accelerate the quality growth of SERPS.

What's the point on having spammy pages on the top spots for months before any update happens? None.

Adam_Lasnik




msg:3019060
 8:57 am on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ah, Webspam fighting... near and dear to my heart ;)

I definitely understand and respect the frustration folks feel when submitting spam reports and not seeing the immediate results they're hoping for.

With that said, though, we *DO* take spam reports seriously. It's especially cool if you send the info via Sitemaps, but *ALL* spam reports assist us in our long-term fight against spam.

As folks have noted in this thread, we prefer to avoid hand-to-hand combat, instead favoring the more scalable practice of using reports to help us "feed" our algorithms AND quantatively measure the success of recent and upcoming/potential tweaks.

* * *

And while we're on the topic of Webspam... a couple of notes:

"I searched for [fuzzy blue widgets from indomargolistanislavia] and I see results that shouldn't be there!"

It's certainly possible. Few people, however, are searching for that phrase. We're certainly not ignoring the long tail queries, but our goal is to ensure that our updated algorithms substantially improve the overall quality of our index. It isn't possible to optimize our index for 100% of queries.

"Okay, but I also searched for the more common [blinky widgets] and the number six result is there clearly because of such-and-such spam technique!"

Ah, causality. It is perhaps surprisingly likely that that site ranks well despite, not because of such violations of our Webmaster Guidelines.

* * *

P.S. -- Col, feel free to log into your Sitemaps console and submit the URLs of your spammy clients' sites. 'tis good karma in the end :D

simonmc




msg:3019106
 10:11 am on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)


'tis good karma in the end :D

You're all take, take, take :-)

I'm just waiting for google to get back some of that Karma it has coming to it.

Just remember folks..in the end...you are DEAD!

Quadrille




msg:3019116
 10:35 am on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm just waiting for google to get back some of that Karma it has coming to it.

But I'd never have thought you were a Google fan ;)

whitenight




msg:3019145
 12:29 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is perhaps surprisingly likely that that site ranks well despite, not because of such violations of our Webmaster Guidelines

Come on Adam. Are we supposed to take this seriously?

I recently commented on (and reported) a site that was using a particularly efficient cloak/redirect.. the landing page was nothing more than 3 sentences of keyword loaded useless info, but wait...there was adsense at top.

These particular subdomains were dominating thousands of two and three-word "money" keywords (not only "blue widgets in anytownville", but terms like "buy blue widgets" "cheap blue widgets", etc).

Went bye bye, and now is back - ranking...but instead of it redirecting to MFA (guess you closed their account), it redirects to a dating site, for ALL the keyword terms.

Are you telling us this site ranks "in spite" of being useless?!

trinorthlighting




msg:3019164
 1:23 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

We as webmasters hear that word "spam" a lot from guys like Matt and Adam. I myself have looked for an "official" google definition of spam but can not really seem to find one.

If you go look at your dictionary for the official definition of spam you would find:

spam- noun :

1. Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.

2. A trademark used for a canned meat product consisting primarily of chopped pork pressed into a loaf.

It would be very nice if google stepped up to the plate and created what defines spam and what does not. It would clear up a lot of confusion that people have.

After all, if google can not officially tell us what they consider spam, how do they ever expect us to properly report it?

soapystar




msg:3019259
 4:00 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

what Adam appears to be saying..and I have seen plex guys say this before..is that Cheating the system may not penalise you enough to diminish your rankings. This is something i have continually pointed out. The algo allows relative cheating and spamming. That is to say the better the credentials of a website in the algos eyes (example authorative) the more you can getaway with before it hurts you. It seems to me currently it goes beyond turning a blind eye to actually allowing the boost methods. At first some larger brands appeared on the horizon after BD and to my eyes it appeared that BD has sifted them from the rest and was doing its job. Having had time to look at these big risers however i now see that they are all artificially boosting their rankings. The only difference between them and the ones filtered to extinction is that they have sufficent score to allow this to work. Its not a case of the boosting being ignored and its not acase of the other scoring overcoming a penalty, it appears to me that the scoring is allowing the cheating part of their score to be included as factor in the scoring. Either way its out in the open that ceratin tactics will not ban or badly penalise your site if you already have a high score. This bascially gives open season to major sites.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3019409
 8:21 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

> We thoroughly investigate every report of
> deceptive practices and take appropriate
> action when we uncover genuine abuse.

First, it is not humanly possible. Considering there are people who have hired teams of employees to do nothing but spam the google spam report address with bogus reports. Two, there are several spammer tools running around that also spam the address with pregenerated complaint letters and automagically fill in a random search.

What G does like to do - as MC has said numerous times over the years - is to handle it in the algo on the next push if they can. eg: they don't want to make a specific fix by booting one site - they want to fix the problem so that *all* the sites doing it get taken care of.

> THe Sitempas team seems to act on individual cases

Ya, there are three teams that I know of doing hit-n-runs via sitemaps reports. So you might want to do some pre-emptive striking yourself. (think about it)

However, what they think is spam and what you think is spam is two completely different things.

q: Is this spam?
webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster WEBMASTER webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster WEBMASTER webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster webmaster

Here is a hint from Adam:
It is perhaps surprisingly likely that that site ranks well despite, not because of such violations of our Webmaster Guidelines

Answer - no it is not. eg: 99% of the obvious spam that gets reported has already been dealt with in the algo.

> A little naive and dismissive I think.

Nah - just sick of webmasters betting their entire fortunes on the actions of others and then whinning up a storm when those fortunes turn to dust.

Lets face it - the whole idea here is to quit belly aching, crying, moaning, and pitching a fit about the quality - or lack thereof - of Googles index and get back to producing your site. Quite worrying about stuff out of your control and get back to taking care of your own site.

The biggest risk to your website is not Google index quality, but rather the fact that yout site has one source of traffic/income. If that is the case - its over dude - game over - go home. If it is true and you think you can do something about it, then start focusing on new streams of traffic and revenue. Google takes care of its site - are you taking care of yours?

cabbie




msg:3019484
 9:23 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Quite worrying about stuff out of your control and get back to taking care of your own site.>>

Brett,
this is a webmaster's forum and if webmasters can't bitch and complain here, where can we?
I'd like to bitch about how sites are still gaming google with expired domains. It has been happening for a year now and these sites use js redirects and then dl trojans so as to hijack affiliates codes.I can get a list of these domains before they are let loose, why can't google?

soapystar




msg:3019512
 10:07 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

hey Brett was just letting off steam.....see....everyone does it!

:)

steveb




msg:3019604
 11:48 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

"The biggest risk to your website is not Google index quality, but rather the fact that yout site has one source of traffic/income."

Non-sequitor. A site with ten income streams needs to care about them all, and its plain silly not too. Besides, "biggest risk" is hardly important, as site has many risks to worry about, even if they aren't all the biggest.

"Quite worrying about stuff out of your control and get back to taking care of your own site."

Horrible advice. I worry about my visitor's habits. That is out of my control, but in taking care of my own site, I consider things not under my control, and it should be obvious that Google, or any other thing that leads to me getting traffic/money, is another thing that I need to do what I can to influence.

Naive, simplistic ideas of what taking care of your site are really are a bigger enemy than anything else. Effective business is complex, not isolationist.

JoaoJose




msg:3019658
 12:56 am on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google organic results are actually only about 10% of my traffic but I think that's enough to worry. Spam is and will always be a problem and search engines will always be a step behind spammers.

- Have you implemented ways of getting rid of a lot of the spam?
Yes.
- But are you using all the tools at your disposal?
No.

soapystar




msg:3019855
 8:05 am on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

may i suggest that complaining about spam in google is not always connected with your own site? Can it be that its just plain annoying to find blatant spam when doing personal searches?

DoingItWell




msg:3019887
 9:20 am on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

soapystar, amen to that. Most of the spam reports I've actually done were about things I've come across while looking for something privately.

I'd like to hear more from Adam and MC about when spammy sites not in English will be dealt with? It seems that the algos dealing with spam sites are heavily language oriented, because you see the most blatant sites in non-English that get away with anything. A google search is a google search, regardless of language.

lfgoal




msg:3020077
 2:19 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

"2. A trademark used for a canned meat product consisting primarily of chopped pork pressed into a loaf."

This is probably closest to google's definition of spam as far as we can tell.

trinorthlighting




msg:3020162
 3:21 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Brett,

That is not spam according to the definition. Its not an email nor is it a meat......

I would love to see if matt could give us an official google definition.

DoingItWell




msg:3020298
 5:10 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Please, spam changes in nature as the technology and abilities change, it is pretty hard to make a static definition.

My personal one is unsolicited internet-carried communication that costs productive time in dealing with it.

trinorthlighting




msg:3020420
 6:55 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its not hard to presently make a definition, as time and technology advances they can always make changes to the definition.

As it stands right now, the word spam is not really defined...

reseller




msg:3020694
 10:28 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google takes care of its site - are you taking care of yours?

Good evening Folks!

Above is the essence of Brett's message to our community, IMO.

How many of us have asked themselves that simple question , especially during the last 6 months?

Some of us, including the old reseller, have been busy reporting spam to Google assuming that it was a help-selfhelp operation. Not so, unfortunately, and that what I have experienced.

What I have exerienced recently is that Google emplyees not even bother to post simple weather reports to help us understand why some of our sites are on-off the index, why some of our sites suddenly lost ranking when there hasn't been any officially announced update (algo change), why...why.. etc..

Lets face it. Google and its employees don't care of what happened or will happen to your site(s) or business. And you should stop worry about Google. Because....

Google takes care of its site - are you taking care of yours?

Thanks Brett for the reminder.

steveb




msg:3020738
 11:07 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Trying to deceive (spam) our web crawler..."

Google's definition is a simple definition, despite the endless FUD people like to say about it. Spamming Google is trying to deceive them. It's easy to understand, clear as a bell, and right in front of everyone's nose.

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