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'spam' has as much right to the top positions as any of your sites.
Google obviously doesn't share your viewpoint. And that's what counts, isn't it?
I felt very much the same as yourself on this topic.
That being said here is what mey experience has taught me.
1. Google may not be ignoring your spam reports. They may not consider what you reported as spam.
2. The machine grinds slowly. It may be that Google does think that what you have reported is spam and are just now adding the code they need, to the algo, to stop it.
A tip: Turn in as detailed a record of the "spam" as possible. Fill in the report completely. Include the tactic or code in question. reference your nickname, WW and Googleguy as well.
I have to agree about how to build a number one site. I believe I could do it easily now and in a relatively short time. The trouble is, for me, that would be not practising what I preach. And I am worried about wanting more, and what that does to karma (don't laugh - karma pays you back). So I am waiting and hoping that Google is the tooth fairy after all.
I know that reporting Spam to Google is frustrating. Although I am personally grateful to GoogleGuy and his help in getting some Spam dropped (please GG, drop those other 15 sites they have and that I found - can you believe that, 20 sites total for one area). I *really* wish Google had an effective Spam reporting mechanism, and actually repied "Yes, this is Spam" or "Sorry, we do not agree". Nothing more. No explanation needed. Perhaps where they insist upon a report by email from your real domain (relative to that industry). It is up to the Spam reporter to get their report right. If they mess up or are just trying it on, then tough.
c1bernaught, I'm seeing that your spam report went through late last week too..
I hope you guys are scaling some algorithms to deal with guestbooks as a site is managing to rank #1 for a very competitive phrase basically just from guestbooks (as their doorway pages seem to have been squished). I don't suggest penalizing, I suggest completely ignoring "vizbook.htm" type pages, if you can scale that mountain.
How do you know it wasn't one of this site's competitors that signed those guestbooks? A guestbook spamming service is even advertising using Google Adwords to have their bots sign thousands of guestbooks for a low fee. Just whip out your credit card, and voila. This service even will spam message boards of sites for a fee. Amazing that Google wants them as an advertiser.
How do you know it wasn't one of this site's competitors that signed those guestbooks?
That happened to me. I don't know if it was a competitor or just an idiot with an axe to grind.
I just reported hundreds of identical domains containing a single set of links. The only difference between the sites was colors of the pages, and order of links. The funny thing is these sites have a gray PR bar but show up #1 in searches.
Also googleguy could you make a new thread about what you consider blatent spam that should be reported? This would be a great reference thread for new people coming to the site...
As to europeforvisitors, the fact there are people out there advertising to spam thousands of guestbooks for a low fee explains it. The fees are so low it doesn't have to be a competitor. Someone who just doesn't like you can do it with minimal cash outlay. My guess is the days of guestbook signing paying off with Google are over, or near an end. These should be easy enough to spot with an algo. Since most guestbooks are standard scripts with obvious identifying features, the only guestbooks Google should have trouble spotting are those that run custom scripts the webmaster wrote himself.
As I see it, both parties are benefiting here by allowing GG to refine their techniques by working with real world examples and the Webmasters benefit..... Need I say more.
Thanks GoogleGuy for taking on some of the issues and being so proactive (I'm sure this could be a full time job itself)
How do I know a turtle from a yak?
The site I'm talking about only has internal links, a standard dmoz link all its competitors has, and some doorways not showing up as backlinks. Yet it somehow manages to be #1 for a primo key phrase. Keyword signed guestbooks vault it to the top.
Then, how can you know it wasn't some idiot who he keeps flaming on Usenet that did this to ruin his online business? Spite, malice and revenge are good enough reasons to do things like this for many.
googleguy, I have sent in reports as per the outline here in webmasterworld, with my nick in the message, yours in the subject line, but it seems to no avail. They had disappeared for awhile, but they are back, and their 'hidden' link scam managed to get a new completely unrelated site of theirs some good PR. I have recently sent in some new turkey's in to you. This is all blatent spam I'm talking about.
What I am wondering is, for you to find our messages, should we include our nick in the subject too?
(btw, they aren't present in the www-sj serps, which may be of interest to you)
Yes I did notice that the spam was gone after this most recent index.
I think everyone in that market appreciates the removal.
However, There are a couple things could be done that would alleviate much of the frustration you hear here. For one, you could send an automated email reply confirming that the spam report was recieved and is in que to be reviewed.
Secondly, an email that says that the spam report had been reviewed and is either accepted or denied. You wouldn't have to give a reason.
These two things would "close the loop" on spam reporting. I can't imagine that this would be difficult to automate.
This would be a benefit to all Google users.
From my experience I can say that my frustration came from not knowing what was going on. It seemed as if Google just didn't care that the serps were being dominated by what I considered to be spam. I know differently now. However, having a different, more interactive spam reporting process, would have made this a much better experience.
Thank you for writing to Google.
We read all of the email we receive and try to send personal responses to each message.
This note is just to let you know that we've received your letter, and you'll hear from us soon. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.
statement. Though it has only been about six weeks...
My suggestion would be to have an automated response to e-mails, and a page that pops up after filing the spam report, that tells people that the spam reports are generally used as data for improving the algo. And that manual intervention is only used in extreme cases. Don't promise people that you will get back to them until you have the manpower to actually do it.
If you can change the expectations at the time the reports are filed, instead of trying to do it on WW, weeks or months after the fact, would improve Google's PR.
I feel like the guy without a prom date.
Is my example spam?
Am I a whiner?
I want to "fight clean". To me the techniques of the site I filed a spam report for are definitely "dirty tricks":
"Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content."
That is what I see in the case I have outlined.
In general my websites have always performed excellently in Google and other SEs because I don't create pages optimized for "penguin popstar nude pictures" when I am really trying to promote "[lodging type] in [destination]". Nor do I create 100 separate pages with the same content on it in order to create high page rank from massive internal links from 6000+ pages.
Feedback very much appreciated.
kind regards -
Setting expectation is important and a pop up page after filing the report would be good. This page could also indicate that any action taken after the review of a spam report may take X weeks/months because of Google's desire to automate the process.
The next piece, after the report is reviewed, should be a second email simply saying "Your spam report has been reviewed". Further explanation would not be necessary.
The submitter would then simply wait to see if anything changes in the serps. At least the expectation has been set and the loop has been closed.