Google has revealed that there was a notable increase in the number of websites using “thin, low-quality content” during the last year, while its own spam-fighting efforts and algorithm updates have had a positive impact on curbing hacks and other attacks, and have eliminated the “vast majority” of issues.
Google’s latest webspam report highlights the importance for publishers to verify their websites via the Search Console, as the tech giant sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters during 2015. These messages notified webmasters about manual actions on their sites, which resulted in a notable rise of reconsideration requests.
“Search is a powerful tool,” Kiyotaka Tanaka and Mary Chen of Google User Education and Search Outreach said in a blog post. “It helps people to find, share, and access an amazing wealth of content regardless of how they connect or where they are located. As part of Google’s search quality team, we work hard to ensure that searchers see high-quality search results—and not webspam.”
Google added that its manual reviews and algorithms had ensured that sites that took advantage of deceptive and manipulative methods didn’t rise in SERPs or mislead users. There was a 180-per cent increase in the number of websites hacked, but updates and manual clean-up efforts had tacked the majority. More than 400,000 spam reports were also made by users, and Google acted upon almost two-thirds of these.
The tech giant also urged webmasters to navigate to the Webmaster Central Help Forum, where they can access FAQs and other vital sources of information provided by Google staff as well as interact with more than 35,000 members with the coveted Webmaster Top Contributor status. Google also conducted live events in 17 languages to help publishers with their sites and high-quality search.
Google concluded: “We’re continuously improving our spam-fighting technology and working closely with webmasters and users to foster and support a high-quality web ecosystem. (In fact, fighting webspam is one of the many ways we maintain search quality at Google.) Thanks for helping to keep spammers away so users can continue accessing great content in Google Search.”