Fighting Webspam

Recently, Google released its much anticipated—at least for us Search Engine nerds—Webspam report, which details what they’ve done over the previous year to combat webspam.

Why is Google so concerned with webspam? Google writes, “Google aims to provide the highest quality results for any search. As part of this, we take action to prevent what we call “webspam” from degrading the search experience, content and behaviours…”

Before I summarize what Google has done, and how you can help them, it might help to understand what is webspam. You can check out the official definition by Webopedia, but webspam refers to just about any practice that is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which includes practices such as keyword stuffing, link farms, malware and so on.

So, here’s a summary of what Google did in 2018:

  • Less than 1% of users were led to spammy websites via Google’s search results.
  • Although Google can’t prevent websites from being hacked, they do try to educate and provide resources to help webmasters to recover from hacking, and Google has found that as in 2017, 2018 continued with a downward trend of spam in hacked websites impacting search results.
  • For user-generated spam on blogs and forums, again, Google can’t prevent it from happening, but they do provide resources for how to stop this type of activity, which Google says reduced the impact on users from user-generated spam by 80%.
  • Google received over 180,000 search spam user reports and they took action on 64% of them.
  • Google generated over 186 million messages, warning website owners of potential issues and problems that could affect their search engine rank.
  • Of all the messages Google sent, only 2% were related to manual actions, which occur when there’s violations of Google’s webmaster guidelines.
  • Google rebuilt their search console from the ground up, providing new reports and tools that will help website owners to create great content.
  • Google worked towards better education with regard to links as well as made a lot of bad link spamming practices less effective.

How You Can Help Google Combat Webspam

If we help Google, Google helps us have a better user experience when we visit websites as well as a better experience building and marketing our own website. One of the best ways to help Google is to report webspam when we come across it. Report webspam, phishing, and malware.

Here are some more posts you might find helpful:

Should You Worry About Negative SEO?
I’m Actioning SEO, Why Has My Search Rank Dropped?
3 Reasons PPC and SEO Work Better Together