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We see people all the time using tricky ways to show above legitimate websites in the search results. Google’s spam specialist, Matt Cutts, educates us on the tricks these spammers are using and how to protect ourselves against them.

Web spammers are generally trying to generate profit from free links or trying to force some sort of propaganda onto the viewer. They use tricks like filling a page with common misspellings of search terms or repetitive keywords in white text that cannot be seen without highlighting the entire page. These tricks make the spam pages seem relevant to the search term and can position them above more relevant, legitimate sites.

Google uses a technique called PageRank to prevent against this type of spam. Rather than simply viewing the content on a page and ranking based on that content, Google looks at the back links to a site and decides the importance and relevancy of the people that link to that page. This allows them to determine the individual value of the page and whether or not the site is spam.

Matt Cutts tells us one procedure to prevent against spam attacks is to incorporate information in the email forms that proves the person filling out the form is a human being. Things like asking a simple math question or requiring a valid email address. Anything that a robot cannot fill in with fake information will help you to differentiate a legitimate customer from a spammer.

Another significant idea to note is that there are illegitimate companies in existence today that claim to sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services when they are simply selling spam. It is important to look into the company you are using and discover in detail the strategies utilized to improve your natural rankings. Use common sense, if they doing something that seems sneaking or too good to be true, it probably is. Nobody is going to get you to number one with a click of a button. Anyone claiming to have ‘the secret’ to the search engine algorithm is likely a fake. There are in fact capable SEO firms out there and it takes months to get the results you are looking for. Google even provides a service that allows you to register your site to be reviewed and they will alert you if your website has been hacked or if there are any other problems.

To have your website reviewed visit google.com/webmasters. Please feel free to watch Matt Cutts’ presentation in its entirety as well.


7 thoughts on “Web Spam and You
  1. Bobby Gigity says:

    I am pretty sure webmaster tools doesn’t alert you if your site is “hacked” thats a pretty broad statement. But the comic is funny.

  2. Webmaster Tools says:

    Warning: This website (http://www.wpromote.com/blog/) has been hacked. Have a nice day!

  3. Mark Cutts says:

    There aren’t ‘alerts’ in webmaster tools but it will display in the diagnostics area any 404s that are occurring, some of which may be the ‘result’ of malicious activity by ‘computer enthusiasts’.

  4. Bobby Gigity says:

    404s occurring from any kind of hacking is extremely unlikely, on the other hand if the website was broken into by crackers, its a completely different story.

  5. CrackerJack says:

    Eyem in ur sitez deleting ur filez; handing out mad 404zz!$@(*#$

  6. Jessica Como says:

    If it’s a false statement then Google probably shouldn’t have had a representative deliver a presentation with a slide reading ‘Register your site at google.com/webmasters/ and we’ll alert you to hacks’.

  7. Bobby Gigity says:

    I agree, slide 24 made me laugh uncontrollably.

    The creator of slide 24 is either very audacious or incredibly stupid.

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