Bill Hartzer

Google Adds Report Spam, Paid Links, Malware Page to Quality Guidelines Navigation

In the past 24 hours, Google appears to have added a new page as a part of their quality guidelines: a page that explains how to report spam, paid links, malware, and other problems. Previously this page was not a part of their quality guidelines located here.

You can see the new page listed below, which has also been added to the sidebar navigation of the Link Schemes and other pages that are a part of the quality guidelines:

Since Google does not allow caching or archive.org of its Webmaster Guidelines and Quality Guidelines pages, I am unable to go back and see the previous changes to the quality guidelines. However, a tool that I use to track such changes indicates that this is a new page, or at least it was just added to the Quality Guidelines.

The Report Spam, Paid Links, Malware, and Other page has several sections:

Spam
Paid Links
Copyright Issues
Objectionable Content
Malware
Other

I am particularly interested in the “paid links” section, where they mention reporting any link that is bought or sold that passes PageRank:

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can dilute the quality of search results. If you believe a site is engaged in buying or selling links that pass PageRank, please tell us about it. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

Certainly, this is nothing new, and there have been ways previously to report spam, paid links, and malware, and copyright issues (DMCA request). In the “other” section of this page, though, I am kind of surprised that Google recommends that you contact the webmaster of the site and request that they take down the content you want removed. And then, of course, when the content is removed, Google will update their search results:

“If none of these reasons apply, and you feel that the content should be removed, contact the webmaster of the site with your request. Once the webmaster removes the page or changes its content, our search results will automatically reflect this change after we next crawl and reindex the page.”

What is interesting, though, is that the page already has 50 or so Google +1s, so the URL is probably not new. The page has been there before. So, I updated the title of this post to add the ‘navigation’ part, as they recently added this to the navigation of the Quality Guidelines. I suspect that this page has the 50 or so Google +1s already because it’s not new… although that could be because others are reporting this already. As a comparison, though, the Google doorway pages page has only 33 +1s while the link schemes page has over 1000.

The page was last cached on the 9th of April, so it’s not new–it was just added to the Quality Guidelines navigation/sidebar in the past 24 hours.

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