As many of you know, in the past, and really still today, there have been many ways to trick search engines. Once example of this would be the JC Penny paid link scandal. I wont go into that in depth on that episode, but the basic idea is that you can do certain things to climb the rankings quickly and you may or many not ever get caught.
Last night Google releases a significant update to their spam report. This has made it all the more easy for whistle blowers to let Google know about black hat (this basically means shady) SEO practices that are taking place around the internet. So for example, if you realize your competitor is using paid links to get to the top of the rankings, the ability to submit this info to Google is now all the more clear. Let’s take a quick look at the update and then we can talk about the effect this will have on search engine optimization.
This page gives you the ability to report the following types of webspam.
Paid links This page is selling or buying links.
Copyright and other legal issues This page should be removed under applicable law.
Objectionable content This page is inappropriate.
Personal/private This page discloses private information.
Malware This page is infected.
Phishing This page is trying to get sensitive information.
Other Google products This page abuses Google products other than Search, e.g., AdSense, Google Maps, etc.
Something else is wrong This page has other, non-webspam related issues.
As we can see submitting information on really any type of webspam is now easier than ever. This is a welcome change for white hat SEO companies. Building quality non-paid links through efforts like blogging, social media marketing, press releases and creative link bait can be tough work. It is nice that those who have been abusing the system can now be more easier called out. With the implementation of this new webspam submission structure, websites that have stayed away from black hat SEO may be pushing ever higher and get those rankings they deserve. While the people who cut corners will be penalized.