Spam can come in many different flavours, from old fashioned keyword stuffing to buying links in an attempt to manipulate the search results.
If you see a site that is engaging in spammy stuff then you can report it to Google via the form below:
All the forms are checked and used to make future improvements to spam detection rules. That doesn’t mean the spammy site you just reported will be removed or penalized.
In most cases Google will not take manual action against such websites.
The only time they will consider doing so is if the spam is particularly nasty and affects a large number of users, for example if a really popular site was doing spammy stuff and it provided a poor user experience for plenty of people.
If you see spam on an obscure never-heard-of-before website then chances are manual action will not be applied by the Google team.
The word “spam” can mean so many things, especially when you consider most people associate it with dodgy emails. Here are common things you should look for in a web page or site, they are all indicators of spam, as defined by most web professionals and even Google’s own webmaster guidelines:
- Keyword stuffing – the practice of repeating words and phrases over and over again in an attempt to fool the search engines into thinking the page is more relevant to this term/word. This is an outdated approach and most sites that are stuffed appear high in the rankings in spite of this, not because of it. Google does penelise keyword stuffing but they also ignore paragraphs of keyword lists.
- Link manipulation – Google and most other search engines look at how many pages link to a given site or page on the web. The more quality links a page has, the higher it will rank. Common spammy tricks are; buying links from low quality sites en masse, link exchanging, paid links, copying articles and posting them to article sites with a link back to your site. Comment spamming and hacking legitimate sites.
- Deception and cloaking – creating a site about a legitimate product and then creating hidden pages, content, images and pop ups about something completely different (such as Viagra) and then trying to hide that from the search engines.
- Lack of original content – copying a press release and adding some useful information, such as an opinion would not be considered spam but copying an article from wikipedia and wrapping in adverts would be. Use your best judgement here.
- Pages with no content – pages that contain a few words but everything else is advertising would be considered spam.
- Hacked sites – you visit a site and get redirected to a spam page trying to sell you something for your sex life, that would be a good candidate for a spam report.
- Malware – sites that load trojans, viruses or other nasties also fall into this category, although there is a different form for reporting these.
- Phishing – sites that deceive you by pretending to be another site/business. These will try to fool you into entering your password so they can copy it.
This page is for reporting phishing sites.