Web Spam

Web spam is a tactic used by webmasters to manipulate search engines in order to perform better within search results. This may be through spam links, hacked content or malware from third party tags, amongst many other unnatural methods. Our Hangout Notes cover how Google handles what they deem as spam, along with advice for avoiding it.

The Request Review Option in GSC Is The Best Way to Inform Google That Content is Legitimate

July 12, 2019 Source

If Google Search Console is flagging that content appears to be hacked, the request review approach is the best way to inform Google that the content is legitimate.


Rich Snippets Spam Report Tells Google About Manipulated Structured Data

May 31, 2019 Source

Use the rich snippets spam report form to inform Google about instances of manipulated structured data.


Web Spam Team Can Issue Targeted Manual Actions Against Pages With Unnatural Linking

May 31, 2019 Source

The Web Spam team can take targeted manual action against websites with unnatural linking by choosing to disregard links to individual or small groups of pages.


Google Takes The Disavow File into Account Immediately

May 3, 2019 Source

When re-crawling the URLs specified in the disavow file, Google will immediately drop these. However, they will still appear in the Links Report seen in Google Search Console.


Use URL Inspection Tool to Fetch Live HTML & Check if Site Has Been Hacked

April 8, 2019 Source

If it isn’t visually apparent that a site has been hacked but it’s ranking for unusual terms, use the URL Inspection Tool in GSC to fetch the live HTML of the pages that are ranking to check for hacked content that Google may be seeing.


Reduce Number of Unique Downloads if Seeing ‘Uncommon Downloads’ Issue in GSC

April 7, 2019 Source

The ‘uncommon downloads’ warning in the Security Issues section of GSC can be caused by sites that generate unique downloads for each user. Reduce the number of downloads so Googlebot is able to check them easily before a user accesses them.


Use URL Inspection Tool to Fetch Live HTML & Check if Site Has Been Hacked

March 19, 2019 Source

If it isn’t visually apparent that a site has been hacked but it’s ranking for unusual terms, use the URL Inspection Tool in GSC to fetch the live HTML of the pages that are ranking to check for hacked content that Google may be seeing.


Malware Can be Served via Your Site if You Serve External Content via JavaScript

November 16, 2018 Source

If you serve content from 3rd parties via JavaScript then be aware that if the websites hosting the content get hacked or edit their JS code to serve malware, then Google will flag your site as serving malware.


Reduce Number of Unique Downloads if Seeing ‘Uncommon Downloads’ Issue in GSC

November 16, 2018 Source

The ‘uncommon downloads’ warning in the Security Issues section of GSC can be caused by sites that generate unique downloads for each user. Reduce the number of downloads so Googlebot is able to check them easily before a user accesses them.


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