How Google Fought Webspam in 2015

Google have published a post on the Webmaster Central Blog detailing some of the work they carried out in 2015 to combat web spam.

2nd May 2016



It’s well known that Google actively tries to fight web spam and they have released what actions they have taken against deceptive or manipulative behaviour in 2015. So what exactly does this report reveal?

Increase in Hacked Sites

Google saw a 180% increase in hacked sites compared to 2014. Of course this could mean that their system is now better at detecting hacked sites or that it is reporting more false positives. Maybe not though; perhaps hackers have gotten better or security is now not as good.

Increase in Thin, Low Quality Content

There was an increase in what Google classes as thin, low quality content. They don’t provide a number for this or even an idea of whether it was a considerable or slight increase. To be honest, this one surprises me. I would have expected people to start moving on from spammy, scraped content. Maybe I am just too optimistic.

Algorithms Dealt with Most of the Spam, the Rest Were Manual

Google’s algorithms were apparently capable of dealing with the majority of spam that was encountered and they provide a link to one of their algorithm updates that addressed hacked websites. Of the remaining issues the algorithms couldn’t manage, 4.3 million messages were sent to webmasters to warn them of manual actions and how to resolve them.

Google reports that 33% more websites went to the effort of cleaning up spam issues and had successful reconsideration requests.

Lots of Spam Reports Filed

Over 400,000 spam reports were filed to Google, of which 65% were acted upon and 80% of those were deemed spam. By my calculation, that’s about 208,000 successful spam reports.

What Does This Mean?

To be honest, this shouldn’t mean anything new to anyone with regards to how you should be running your website. You already should be concerned about security and you should be concerned about your content being viewed as spammy or low quality.

If you want somewhere to start with regards to protecting your site, take a look at Google’s #NoHacked campaign.

Let us know if you’ve had any issues with hacking in the comments below or if you’ve received any warnings regarding low quality content.

The Author: Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee
I'm a bit of a geek if I had to say so myself. I love web design & development and digital marketing. I've got quite a passion for conversion rate optimisation right now. I find the insights into your customers thoughts and behaviour fascinating.

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