Google Published The Annual Website Spam Report

Google published a webspam report in the Google Webmaster Central Blog on 9th Jun, revealed its achievements of fighting webspam and updated some strategies of avoiding spam penalty.

How we fought Search spam on Google - Webspam Report 2019

Google Finds Over 25 Billion Spammy Pages Every Day. In the report, 80% of user-generated spam was reduced in 2018, and there's no sign of deterioration in the last year, 2019. 

Link spam is reported to be the most common form of spam. However, Google invested time and resources significantly to fight against this type of spam and managed to detect 90% of link spam from its improved machine-learning system. 


"We observed that more than 25 Billion pages we discover each day are spammy." Google says,  "Our efforts have helped ensure that more than 99% of visits from our results lead to spam-free experiences."

What Google revealed in its spam-fighting journey

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can dilute the quality of search results. The paid links are considered to be a violation of the Googles Webmaster Guidelines. Google has updated its ranking system. These type of links will be less effective than it used to be.
  • The auto-generated and scraped content are the two primary spam trends in 2019— for instance, fake buttons, overwhelming ads, suspicious redirects and malware are the most common forms of said spam. These type of spam typically engage in behaviours that annoy or harm searchers.
  • Google values the importance of user feedback. 82% of the reported issues have been handled. 
  • A manual action notification won't affect your appearance in search result page immediately. Check Webmaster Guidelines for further improvements.


How to avoid spam and optimise trustworthiness on your site

  • Google recommended applying new link attributes to differentiate the spammy content on your site. Examples include spammy posts on forum threads, comment spam on blogs and paid links.
"We introduced two new link attributes, rel=" sponsored" and rel= "ugc", that provide webmasters with additional ways to identify to Google Search the nature of particular links. Along with rel= "nofollow", we began treating these as hints for us to incorporate for ranking purposes."


What are the common forms of spam

  1. Link spam
  2. User-generated spam
  3. Hacked spam
  4. Scraped content
  5. Auto-generated content
  6. Malware

The Ultimate Take Away

Spam fighting is an on-going journey.  Serving high-quality content is the primary mission for all the site owner. Meanwhile, it requires considerable long-term effort for Google to develop complex anti-spam algorithms.


Sources: Google (12)

Edit as of 08th July 2020: Most spam reports submitted via Google search results do not lead to manual actions. Google uses the reports to improve it’s spam detection capabilities.