As much of a powerful tool that search is, there’s a tendency that the results we are being given are results of spam. Internet traffic generates revenue, and people might use deceptive and manipulative strategies to create traffic on their websites. Most of these content are poorly made, and the high quality ones are set aside. Google has been fighting spam ever since the search engine has been created. It is part of their mandate to ensure that their users will always access high quality content.
The issue of webspam has always been present and is continuously growing. According to Google’s report on fighting webspam, there has been a 180% increase of hacked websites compared to 2014 and there was an increase of the number of websites with low quality content. This imposes great risk for users because these websites can cause deception and even harm to their computers.
The great news is Google has alway been vigilant on fighting spam, through algorithms and manual means. The update on their algorithms helped in reducing a good number of spam websites in search results. For the rest of the spam, they took manual actions where they informed the webmasters of these sites of the issues involved.
They also set up a webmaster forum, where Google provided support and information. Concerned users were able to contribute to this, and through collective efforts, spam mitigation and management improved. More than 400,000 spam reports were submitted, where 65% were acted upon and 80% turned out to be spam. Google also hosted a Top Contributors Summit to celebrate the efforts of the people in fighting webspam.
There is still a pressing need for us users and webmasters to continue to help Google identify these spam websites and hopefully remove them from search results. It may be a battle far from over, but this is one worth fighting for. We can start by being active on the webmasters forum, or submitting spam reports when you come across these websites.
When we fight spam, we fight for internet safety, equal opportunities and high quality content. When we fight spam, we fight for our vision and the future of the Internet.