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Google Confirms it Doesn't Investigate All WebBased Bad Serp Reports
Open WebForm not investigated.
Brett_Tabke




msg:3296362
 2:23 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

In an interesting release on their webmaster PR blog [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com], Google claims that they will investigate all bad SERP reports from inside their panel tool. Problem results claims made through the public report form are viewed but not necessarily investigated.

 

jtara




msg:3296371
 2:31 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Problem results claims made through the public report form are viewed but not investigated.

I think this is just a matter of semantics. Here's exactly what Google says in their blog. While they use the word "investigate" regarding reports submitted by registered users, and "reviewed" for reports submitted by unauthenticated users, they specifically say "reviewed as well". I think "review" and "investigate" mean the same thing here.

Currently, we investigate every spam report from a registered user. Spam reports to the unauthenticated form are assessed in terms of impact, and a large fraction of those are reviewed as well.

Google isn't known for being very clear even in their official press releases. I wouldn't expect any less from their blog...

[edited by: jtara at 2:35 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2007]

bwnbwn




msg:3296373
 2:31 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have been thinking this for quite some time as I have reported a site hidding text etc for months and it has risen in the serps and not dropped.

I also feel all this sudden losing key terms is the act of this so called panel and not the algo so now I fear we are at the mercy of rouge panelest who may know nothing about a site structure but just like what the stupid thing looks like.

Seems this a very bad move on Google's part.....

jtara




msg:3296379
 2:40 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

the act of this so called panel and not the algo so now I fear we are at the mercy of rouge panelest

This panel doesn't have panelists...

Brett is referring to the Google "Webmaster Control Panel". This is available to ANY webmaster.

I do think it's odd that Google would give more weight to feedback submitted by webmaster than that submitted for users.

Who is Google for? The users or the webmasters?

Alex70




msg:3296380
 2:41 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

In a wile "big G" will ask you to eat at their new restaurant if you want to join their next product.

TravelSite




msg:3296392
 2:49 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I take it this is about the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the bottom of the results?

If so, I think that many of the "users" submiting feedback will actually be webmasters trying to get their site listed higher or get a competitor banned.

Cue: "I'm trying to find xyz.com but can't for this popular phrase", "after searching though millions of their pages, I've found two invisble links on pararpaph 5 of page 320: please can you ban them forever", etc.

I know people who send several of these per day, all pretending that they're not webmasters!

[edited by: TravelSite at 2:50 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2007]

bouncybunny




msg:3296408
 3:11 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm somewhat intrigued about this bit;

"Google might also choose to give a site a "yellow card" so that the site can not be found in the index for a short time. However, if a webmaster ignores this signal, then a "red card" with a longer-lasting effect might follow."

So, if our site drops out of the serps for a couple of weeks, are we supposed to rack our brains to try and work out what we've done 'wrong'? Why don't they just email and say "we've removed bestspamviagrafree-4-all.com because of..."

[edited by: bouncybunny at 3:15 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2007]

jdMorgan




msg:3296412
 3:13 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

> I have reported a site hidding text etc for months

Google has made it clear for years that they do not intend to (and cannot hire & train enough staff to) hand-edit SERPs, except for the most egregious violations. Any adjustments made for hidden text and other low-tech spammy techniques will be addressed with algorithm tweaks and filters, which may take months to have any effect.

A possible technique to avoid long-term damage to non-commercial and amateur-but-useful sites is similar to the frequency-hopping method used in ELINT: Change the algo or filters long enough to throw intentionally-spammy sites to the bottom of the SERPs, and then back off the change after awhile. This is sufficient to discourage commercial Webmasters from risking their revenue by using those techniques, but does little long-term damage to non-commercial sites which happen to fit the spam profile; They may drop or disappear for awhile, but will return when the adjustments are backed off. I'd expect the major search engines to do this somewhat randomly over a quarterly or even yearly period -- Long enough to discourage the spammers by affecting their revenue, but not so often as to push out good non-commercial sites for too long.

The bottom line is that Webmasters who expect instant results from spam reports, link campaigns, or optimization efforts will be disappointed; SERPs are returned instantly, but everything else takes months.

Back on-topic, I think the phrase "as well" renders the controversy implied by the thread topic moot.

Jim

bwnbwn




msg:3296440
 3:35 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]

[webmasterworld.com...]

[seroundtable.com...]

I feel this will explain what I am referring to as I firmly believe this is the biggest reason top sites have vanished for no apparent reason. Say what you want to there is more to this.

Thursday, November 25, 2004 Google was hiring what they called Quality Raters posted here [google.com...] It has been removed but it was there
so I assume they did trained them up and this is the pannel I am referring too...

Why I say this as there are just to many sites that were established vanishing or losing key search terms for no apparant reason can't be explained, so somthing has to be causing this so called filter mumbo jumbo...

supermassiveblackho




msg:3296475
 4:13 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

"I have been thinking this for quite some time as I have reported a site hidding text etc for months and it has risen in the serps and not dropped."

Was their ranking better or worse than yours?

Then you say yours was dropped?

Personally I think only end users with no interest should be making those reports out.

tedster




msg:3296476
 4:13 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may be onto something there, bwnbwn - the Google patent for using editorial opinion has now been around for quite a while.

Patent supporting editorial opinion in ranking search results [webmasterworld.com]

bwnbwn




msg:3296524
 4:48 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

supermassiveblackho
My site has nothing to do with this. I outrank him but that isn't the issue here it is blantent spam working for long periods of time with no action being taken by Google, this is the issue and legitamte sites getting wacked were there is not reason or explaination as to the cause.

Just read over this 950 penalty or 30 thing it makes no sense, or site disappears after I do sitemap thing people are grasping to find a common ground to all this stuff going on were there isn't one.

I have read, researched, studied, looked, pondered, scratched, as have thousands of others and not one person can give a common ground to what is going on not one....

we are all guessing but as I have said I feel the real reason is being conducted by humans and that would explain the behavior in the serps to me better than anything else I have read...

tedster
I as well read that a while back thanks for bringing it back up

auroinf0




msg:3296536
 5:01 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is interesting indeed.

Well I feel google should give importance to both for webmasters and users. Users are its client and webmasters are suppliers.

It has been a constant effort by google to provide relevent result and that is why it is trying to do so many things.

Verifying SERP is a good idea but I was wondering how practical is it to do it manually. I guess they would build a system for this.

steveb




msg:3296765
 8:51 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Title of thread is 100% wrong since the link says the exact opposite.

A little closer reading next time would seem like a good idea.

night707




msg:3296772
 9:04 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

here it is blantent spam working for long periods of time with no action being taken by Google

Many search terms produce questionable results on top of Google results and theGoogle search team does not do anything after reporting these dubious urls.

Even when the search phrase includes "free"Google features a software seller with nothing but a $30 product as the No1 and No2 suggestion since ages.

Real Free Services rank way behind commercial offers.

mojomike




msg:3297393
 2:06 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google, I would think that they place the most weight ( from a 3rd party ) to registered web masters. Since they are the ones which a monetary concern. if I report XYZ for spamming widget ( and I sell them also ), Google will research me and XYZ, see if we are both spamming and figure out why they did not catch XYZ in the first place.

I have submitted a few people, and sometime I think Google looks and leaves the spammer a lone just to get the entire chain. one day they hit #1 and then the next day the serps look cleaned out from head to toe

Brett_Tabke




msg:3297476
 3:38 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

steveb:

From the Google pr page:

Currently, we investigate every spam report from a registered user. Spam reports to the unauthenticated form are assessed in terms of impact, and a large fraction of those are reviewed as well.

Which is exactly what the title says. They don't investigate all the WebBased problem results reports. That is the real story here. For years webmasters have wondered if their reports went into the ether - it is clear from Googles statements - that many of them do.

jdMorgan




msg:3297537
 4:43 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

To be fair, though:
a large fraction of those are reviewed as well.

I believe the major problem in the cases reported here have to do with two factors: First the effects of spam reports --and probably a large number of correlated spam reports-- usually take months or longer to show up, and second, the filters can never be 100% effective without creating the opposite problem of throwing out too many babies with the bathwater.

It's a balance between allowing some keyword-stuffed MFA pages in the SERPs versus dumping them all, along with millions of innocent pages as well. Over the years, we've seen both ends of this see-saw, and it continues to toggle. Those of us who've been around for awhile have seen it at both ends and in the middle, and we know that it takes a long time to roll out a new algorithm or a new filter. But those with limited experience submit a spam report on a specific violating site often expect that site to disappear immediately. That's just not going to happen with something as large and complicated as Google's ranking method.

They have to identify a workable technique to recognize "problem pages," implement it, test it (to be sure it doesn't dump too many innocent pages), and then roll it out. That takes time, and those of us with innocent sites understandably prefer that these changes are well-vetted before release.

Then there's the fact that G does not specify the criteria used to pick which index-spam reports they do and do not investigate. The quoted statement is equally consistent with several possibilities: They could simply discard overflow reports when they get too busy, they could discard random reports to maintain a constant level in their for-review queue, or perhaps they discard reports from IP addresses and IP address neighborhoods tagged as "habitual competitor reporters" who are known to be index spammers as well. Any of these possibilities --and most probably more-- could be true.

Jim

[edited by: jdMorgan at 4:45 pm (utc) on Mar. 30, 2007]

steveb




msg:3297775
 7:27 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Spam reports to the unauthenticated form are assessed in terms of impact, and a large fraction of those are reviewed as well."

How can it be any plainer.

"Open WebForm not investigated" is hysteria nonsense.

No one would ever suggest they invesigate every form, as many would be silly on their face... jokes even.

What the statement says is every web form is looked at, and a large fraction are investigated further... which should put an end to the idea that the web form is ignored.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3297822
 8:18 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Where ya been steveo - G had repeatidly said that they looked all all bad search results reports.

> hysteria nonsense

What do you think they are doing here?

There is only one reason that blog entry was made, to announce to the web that you can now "nark on your neighbor". Google is shifting quality control responsibility for their product to the public.

skipfactor




msg:3297834
 8:33 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>What do you think they are doing here?

Reads like a membership drive to me.

Currently, we investigate every spam report from a registered user.

steveb




msg:3298017
 1:32 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

"G had repeatidly said that they looked all all bad search results reports"

And they just said it again.

jdMorgan




msg:3298090
 3:33 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

> membership drive

Yeah, the big picture here for me is G inviting all the Webmasters into their den, and attracting them with nice shiny toys: free analytics and reports.

On the one hand, they can study Webmasters' behaviour through a microscope, and as for those Webmasters who constantly push right up to the "quality guidelines" limit, the phrase "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" seems a perfect fit.

And do submit your site map, there's a good lad. Saves us oh so much time in spidering...

Jim

m1t0s1s




msg:3299305
 5:53 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I found the quality raters posts:

[web.archive.org...]

[web.archive.org...]

[web.archive.org...]

They are usually listed as using either quality or evaluation, under the testing category.

AlexK




msg:3300174
 4:04 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

bouncybunny:
"yellow card" so that the site can not be found in the index for a short time ... "red card" with a longer-lasting effect might follow

Google SERPs have proved to be a switch-back ride for many sites (here in January [webmasterworld.com], February [webmasterworld.com], April [webmasterworld.com], lord but it goes on). In early January my own site sank like a stone (~75% loss) overnight, and a week later rose overnight by the same amount. Another 10 days, and the same process repeated. And again, and again. By March it sank and stayed down. Now the last day of March and it rises to the surface again. Sheesh.

So, reading the above whilst my site lay on the Abysmal Plain being nibbled by worms, I went ballistic - "why should my young prodigy be given such unfair penalty by Google?" sort-of-thing.

Thank goodness I sat and thought about it for a couple of days. The blog [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com] refers to Matt Cutts' post [mattcutts.com] on sending 'yellow cards' to Webmasters.

Then, read Matt Cutts more carefully:
Q: Are you writing to every site that receives a spam penalty?
A: No. Right now we’re running this as a test.

Ah jeez. Get paranoid now.

jcmoon




msg:3301057
 2:44 pm on Apr 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Currently, we investigate every spam report from a registered user ... and a large fraction of [public-form reports] are reviewed as well.

I read that as:
We want fewer spam reports, and fewer ones that are nit-picky.

After all, people won't submit as many reports about as many sites when they're no longer anonymous ... especially if the issue isn't a giant, obvious one, or if they feel their own sites might not be 100% above par.

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