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September 14, 2013

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Important SEO News & Updates from the Google Webspam Team

Joshua Berg - 2:46 PM

Fighting penalties & spam, the latest from Matt Cutts & Webmaster Central



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1.  Matt Cutts on Webmaster Tools showing more link details
2. Matt Cutts on Manual Actions viewer for Webmaster Tools
3. View Manual Webspam Actions details by Webmaster Central
4. Google Wants Your Feedback on Search Policies
5. Types of Spam Google is Specifically Targeting
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There are a number of  new Google tools and announcements to talk about lately. A lot of the discussion has been about Google giving out a lot more information on both the types of spam they are targeting & how you are informed about it. So let's start with Matt Cutts interview that just came out from the SES Conference.



1. Matt Cutts on Webmaster Tools showing more link details

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Matt Cutts in above video: 

In the past we've provided links sorted alphabetically...

So we've radically changed how we're sampling the links. So we take our highest quality links, the ones that are sort of in our base index & we reserve 70% of that for random links and then another 20, or 30% for random TLD's, random domain names. So you're gonna get a much better diversity of links.

In the past, like my domain name, it stopped at like H something dot com and now I'll really get a better picture of what I can do, if I need to do cleanup or anything like that.



2. Matt Cutts on Manual Actions viewer for Webmaster Tools

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The next thing Matt Cutts talks about in the video above, is the all new Manual Actions tool in the Webmaster Tools window under Search Traffic. Anyone who's ever had a big drop in Google search rankings (that would be everyone), has wondered if they got one of the much talked about Manual Spam actions from Google. The truth is, very, very few websites actually get those & most ranking drops are from algorithm changes, whether it's a penalty, or other kind of update. But from now on you'll be able to see in your tools if you actually did get a manual penalty.










Matt Cutts in above video:

One of  the most common questions we hear from webmasters is, "was there some manual action by the web spam team that means my site has been removed, or demoted for some reason, or am I just not ranking where I am because of an algorithm?"

So we've rolled out something called the Manual Action viewer. Whenever you load that up it will basically tell you if the manual web spam team has found a violation of our guidelines, and whether there's something that's a direct demotion, or removal, and we'll tell you what type of infraction it is. So we'll say, this is cloaking, or hey we think this is keyword stuffing, and we'll even try to give you example URL's.




3. View Manual Webspam Actions details by Webmaster Central

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On Google Webmaster Central, there's a recent article that goes into much more details on this:

We strive to keep spam out of our users’ search results. This includes both improving our webspam algorithms as well as taking manual action for violations of our quality guidelines. Many webmasters want to see if their sites are affected by a manual webspam action, so today we’re introducing a new feature that should help. The manual action viewer in Webmaster Tools shows information about actions taken by the manual webspam team that directly affect that site’s ranking in Google’s web search results. To try it out, go to Webmaster Tools and click on the “Manual Actions” link under “Search Traffic."

You’ll probably see a message that says, “No manual webspam actions found.” A recent analysis of our index showed that well under 2% of domains we've seen are manually removed for webspam. If you see this message, then your site doesn't have a manual removal or direct demotion for webspam reasons.

If your site is in the very small fraction that do have a manual spam action, chances are we’ve already notified you in Webmaster Tools. We’ll keep sending those notifications, but now you can also do a live check against our internal webspam systems. Here’s what it would look like if Google had taken manual action on a specific section of a site for "User-generated spam":

Continue... View manual webspam actions in Webmaster Tools





4. Google Wants Your Feedback on Search Policies

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Another new development in Google Search, is the Give Us Your Feedback on Search Policy Form. It looks like Google is really going all out in the PR department with webmasters, opening up with all these new developments.






If you use Google all the time and have ideas about how we could provide a better Search experience for our users, we want your help. Send us your best Search policy suggestions by filling out this form. Your ideas could have a direct impact on Google.
Continue... Give us your feedback on Search policies





5. Types of Spam Google is Specifically Targeting

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You might be wondering what kind of Spam we're talking about here with both the algorithm penalties and Manual Action penalties. So here's a list straight from Google:

Spam sites attempt to game their way to the top of search results through techniques like repeating keywords over and over, buying links that pass PageRank or putting invisible text on the screen. This is bad for search because relevant websites get buried, and it’s bad for legitimate website owners because their sites become harder to find. The good news is that Google's algorithms can detect the vast majority of spam and demote it automatically. For the rest, we have teams who manually review sites.


Some of the types of spam Google takes action on:

Cloaking and/or sneaky redirects

Site appears to be cloaking (displaying different content to human users than is shown to search engines) or redirecting users to a different page than Google saw.

Hacked site

Some pages on this site may have been hacked by a third party to display spammy content or links. Website owners should take immediate action to clean their sites and fix any security vulnerabilities.

Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing

Some of the pages may contain hidden text and/or keyword stuffing.

Parked domains

Parked domains are placeholder sites with little unique content, so Google doesn’t typically include them in search results.

Pure spam

Site appears to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking, scraping content from other websites, and/or repeated or egregious violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Spammy free hosts and dynamic DNS providers

Site is hosted by a free hosting service or dynamic DNS provider that has a significant fraction of spammy content.

Thin content with little or no added value

Site appears to consist of low-quality or shallow pages which do not provide users with much added value (such as thin affiliate pages, doorway pages, cookie-cutter sites, automatically generated content, or copied content).

Unnatural links from a site

Google detected a pattern of unnatural, artificial, deceptive or manipulative outbound links on this site. This may be the result of selling links that pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

Unnatural links to a site

Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive or manipulative links pointing to the site. These may be the result of buying links that pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

User-generated spam

Site appears to contain spammy user-generated content. The problematic content may appear on forum pages, guestbook pages, or user profiles.

Continue... Fighting Spam (on Google Inside Search)




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