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Anyone had success reporting a site to Google?

11:23 am on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Recently I discovered that two dynamic scrapper websites in a very popular search sector in Google UK were ranking well for almost every conceivable related keyword known to man.

Both sites were pulling in more Google traffic (according to hitwise) than virtually any other site including the true authority sites in their sector.

On closer inspection I found that the primary reason they ranked so well was because their A-Z of content pages, i.e. links of pages within the site that contained more links to more pages on their site were linked to by many of their own same style templates sites across Europe.

For example the co.uk version would have footer links to .fr, .ie, .de etc etc and on those linked pages would carry the same index page of content. On the other sites they would carry the same links. The effect of this means that they would have say 12 different worldwide websites all providing links to the index of content pages found on each site.

Hence, as each respective sites increases its own Page Rank it means that each websites A-Z index page gains more high Page Rank from these pages pointing to them hence helping every page in each site thatís linked from these pages climb higher and higher in the serps and rank incredibly well.

In both website examples the sites have almost 2 million pages indexed using this method all driving incredible levels of traffic to their respective websites.

Now clearly, Google either doesnít have an issue with sites doing this kind of linking technique (but I thought it was against G T&Cs) or its technology isnít clever enough to pick it up.

Eitherway, I would like to know if this is a reportable matter or if reporting the two sites would just fall into the no reply pile or if there is an effective way to report these sites where they will genuinely get reviewed by Google staff.

Anyone any ideas?


6:55 pm on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] lists four ways to report something to Google - and the best one is sending your message through Webmaster Tools. Because you have authenticated your identity, these messages are taken more seriously and the staff always reads them.

Expect no specific reply - and often there's no immediate manual action either, except in the case of malware or adult content on inappropriate SERPs. I have had quick responses in those two cases - and they are the only kind of violations I've ever reported. But your input is always "taken on board" and used to improve future algo tweaks.

The cross-linking you describe may not be considered very spammy because it uses country code TLDs (ccTLDs) and the rankings for each are limited by geo-targeting.

5:50 pm on July 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I reported a site a year ago for having links inside hidden footer divs - actually it was a complete ring of interlinking sites that all used this tactic. They're still ranking and still have the hidden divs.
4:46 am on July 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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From my experience, the infraction has to be pretty significant in order for anything to be done about it.
8:09 am on July 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Slightly O/T but I have reported several sites to Google Adsense for breaking T&C but months later they still appear to be getting away with it, my thought is they are seriously understaffed when it comes to checking sites reported for breaking both Adsense and search T&C
3:24 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've had a close look at two sites ranking higher than mine (on a very competitive keyword) on Google. Both sites are blatantly link farming which is obviously not being picked up by Google. On Bing and Yahoo both sites rank below mine (I'm 4th and 2nd respectively) which leads me to think that the Google is not particularly good at picking up that black hat technique.
5:55 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just curious. I've found a site in a niche that has suddenly started gaining hundreds of keyword links from hundreds of individual blogs. It stands out because

A) it was like flipping a light switch--no links from blogs before and then Kaboom! tons of links.

B) The blogs have absolutely nothing to do with the purchasing site's topic and the links being given by the blogs are encased in spammy one-off pay-per-post style postings.

C) All the blogs seem to originate from asia. They're written in english, but judging from the photos on each blog they are all asian bloggers. Now why would 500 asian bloggers suddenly be writing single postings about something like (for example) the american widget association, all using the same keyword to link to this site they've assuredly never heard of?

This seems to me to be a clear instance of spammy mass link buying to manipulate the serps. Should I even bother reporting it?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:51 pm (utc) on July 27, 2009]

9:53 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It may be automated blog spamming and if so it's quite possible it's for a compromised/hacked site. Does the site itself still seem "pure"? (Don't try it in a browser - use a text-based tool of some kind: I use Sam Spade on Windows but Linux has similar tools.)

Also check if the domain name is in a surbl database such as Spam Assasin's rulesemporium.com [rulesemporium.com]. If so it is certainly compromised. And check the site's IP at the same time - use Firefox's ShowIP addon to get it.

[edited by: tedster at 10:02 pm (utc) on July 27, 2009]
[edit reason] made the domain a live link [/edit]


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