Google Spam Report Update: White Hat SEO
As many of you know, in the past, and still today, there have been many ways to trick search engines. One example of this would be the JC Penny paid link scandal. I won’t 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 may not ever get caught.
Last night Google released a significant update to their spam report. This has made it all the easier for whistleblowers to let Google know about black hat (this 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.
If you’re logged in to Webmaster Tools, the new spam report page is accessible at www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?pli=1.
This page gives you the ability to report the following types of webspam.
This page is selling or buying links.
Copyright and other legal issues
This page should be removed under applicable law.
This page is inappropriate.
This page discloses private information.
This page is infected.
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 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. At the same time, the people who cut corners will be penalized.