A spam site is a site that has been identified as “high risk” . Some unscrupulous businesses intentionally create such sites and try to increase the number of customers visiting their own sites to earn advertising revenue.
However, it is often misunderstood as a spam site even though it is not intended.
In order to avoid such a situation, let’s first understand what a spam site is and what to do if you are misunderstood.
Table of Contents
What is a spam site?
“Spam” means “unwanted activity”, and “spam site” refers to a site that engages in unwanted activity. It seems that the etymology comes from “SPAM can”, which is familiar to Japanese people.
Many of the websites called spam sites make full use of unfair means of SEO (black hat SEO) in order to increase the number of users visiting their sites and earn advertising revenue.
Another characteristic of spam sites is that they aim to increase the number of backlinks to a specific website so that it appears higher on search engines, or they consist of copied articles and low-quality content.
Spam sites are dangerous
Spam sites are a high-risk nuisance . Search algorithms frequently improve to keep spammy sites out of search results pages.
If you run a site that is determined to be a spam site, you may be penalized or your search ranking may drop. No one can stop you from seeing what you can’t see.
Therefore, some people may think of using SEO spam such as black hat SEO to aim for high ranking, but it is better not to do this. If Google determines that your site violates its guidelines, your search ranking will drop.
However, even if you do not recognize it as a violation, there are many cases where it is judged as a spam site without knowing it. Therefore, let’s check in advance what kind of actions will be judged as spam.
List of contents judged to be spam sites
Below is a list of content that is determined to be spam.
- hidden links and hidden text
- Increase multiple induction pages
- Unauthorized duplication of content
- Excessive keyword stuffing
- Sentences generated by the Word Salad Tool
- low quality backlinks
- purchased backlinks
- bad redirect
- worthless affiliate site
- malicious act
- Abuse the rich snippets mechanism
- Sending automated queries
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Reference: Guidelines for Webmasters
hidden links and hidden text
Including hidden text or hidden links in your content may be considered deceptive.
Note the following points.
- Use white text on a white background
- put the text behind the image
- Position text off screen using CSS
- set font size to 0
- Hiding links by linking only one small character (such as a hyphen in a paragraph)
Increase multiple induction pages
Low-quality induction pages are NG. Sites built solely to direct users to specific pages are considered worthless.
Unauthorized duplication of content
It is prohibited to copy the content from a site that has already been highly evaluated and that is displayed at the top of Google search results, and to publish it with a slight change in the ending of the words. This is the so-called copying and pasting.
Please note that this is not only a penalty issue, but also an act that may violate the law of copyright infringement .
In order to display high in search results, it is also considered NG to stuff too many keywords into meta keywords, body text, and text links.
It is necessary to be careful because there are many cases where the website is overloaded with keywords just by being conscious of SEO. If keywords are not used properly, you will not be able to provide useful information to your readers.
Sentences generated by the Word Salad Tool
It is also illegal to provide automatically generated content using sentences generated by a word salad tool (a tool that automatically generates sentences) or sentences that are mechanically translated by a program .
You can easily increase the amount of sentences in a short time by using a word salad tool etc., but please be aware that sites that just arrange text that does not make sense will be judged as spam. Auto-generated text can never provide useful information to the reader.
low quality backlinks
Low quality backlinks are also considered spam.
It is said that increasing backlinks itself is effective for SEO measures. However, it doesn’t make sense to link from low-quality websites with copy content, auto-generated content, and keyword-stuffed content .
If you are thinking about effective SEO measures, do your best to get backlinks from websites that are well known by many people, websites that are trusted by local governments, public institutions, etc. .
Buying backlinks is also NG . Since there is a high possibility that the purchased backlink has the same IP address or a website that reuses the template, Google may judge that it is self-made and performed.
Cloaking is the act of trying to gain a reputation by intentionally changing the page or content shown to the user .
For example, search engines recognize SEO-friendly pages (HTML text pages), while users are tricked into showing pages composed of images and Flash.
Please note that content that switches the display language depending on the country or region accessed may also be subject to spam warnings.
A redirect is a setting that automatically moves from the first accessed URL to another URL.
It’s a legitimate method if you’re directing to a new URL because the website itself has moved. However, be aware that fraudulent redirects that lead users to unintended content are subject to penalties .
worthless affiliate site
You also need to be careful with affiliate sites that have thin content and no value for readers. If the content is not rich, it may be judged as unoriginal and unhelpful content for users.
There’s nothing wrong with affiliate sites, so if you’re thinking of running one, make an effort to provide valuable information to your readers.
It is also NG to provide information unilaterally or force it to work even though the user did not ask for it. For example:
- When users download data, they also download unwanted data
- Acts of infiltrating malware, Trojan horses, or spyware into the user’s computer
- Actions that cause the user to click on a part other than the link or button that the user clicked.
Abuse the rich snippets mechanism
Actions that abuse the rich snippets mechanism are subject to penalties.
Rich snippets are information that allows users to visually image the page content to help them decide which page to click on from the search results screen .
Be careful not to make content that does not match the web page, is misleading, or does not display content that was displayed in rich snippets.
Sending automated queries
It is prohibited to automatically send a large number of keywords to a search engine using software or the like. The reason given is the waste of resources.
By the way, it also includes the act of checking web pages and ranking checks for specific keywords. Therefore, in some cases, when you search in quick succession, a warning comment is displayed.
Explain how to deal with spam sites in 3 steps
Even if you pay attention to the above, you may unintentionally be judged as a spam site. There are three ways to deal with such cases.
- Check the content of the spam judgment
- Correction of content according to guidelines
- Request a re-examination of your site
1. Check the contents of the spam judgment
The contents of the spam judgment are checked with Google Search Console, which is an official tool of Google.
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to visually check the number of impressions and clicks on your website.
- First, log in to Google Search Console.A Google account (Gmail address) is required to register for Google Search Console.Enter your mobile number and you will receive a verification code via SMS. Enter the confirmation code you received to complete the account creation.
- Go to the registration page of Google Search Console and click “Start Now”.
- Next, move to the property type selection screen and select “domain (*1)” or “URL prefix (*2)”. Enter your website URL in either one and click “Continue”. Click.*1 Domain: When measuring the entire site
*2 URL prefix: When analyzing the entire site or a part of the site by specifying a page
- After entering the URL, a TXT record (a code for verifying the ownership of the domain) will be displayed if you registered with “Domain”, so click “Copy” on the right of the TXT record and copy set toCheck the guide on the official website for how to set up the server.
- If you click “Confirm”, “Ownership confirmed” will be displayed.
- If you registered with “URL Prefix”, click “HTML Tag”. Meta tags will be displayed, so click the copy on the right.
- Paste the copied code just before the </head> tag of the HTML code of the site without leaving the screen.
- Return to the original screen, click “Confirm”, and when the message “Ownership confirmed” is displayed, it is completed.
2. Correct the content according to the guidelines
The next step is to revise the content according to the guidelines.
Summary is the first item you see when you access Google Search Console. The summary shows data for the last three months of search performance, coverage, and expansion. You can go to the detailed page from each, so let’s check it.
- search performance You can check how well your website appears in search results and what your average position is.
- URL inspection You can enter a specific page and check whether it is indexed by Google, registered for coverage, mobile usability is good, etc.
- index You can check the index status of your website. You can check how many pages of your website are indexed by Google, how many errors there are in indexing, etc.If there is an error, check the content and correct it.
* “Excluded” is a page intentionally excluded from the index by a noindex tag, etc., so there is no problem.A sitemap allows you to check the status and records that inform Google of the structure of your entire website. If you would like to remove a particular page, you can request it here.
- Expansion In extensions, you can check data about display speed, usability, etc.Data on page loading speed for mobile and desktop are shown. If your important page is slow, use something like PageSpeed Insights to fix it.Mobile Usability allows you to check usability errors for mobile users, such as text size and distance between clickable elements.
- Security and manual measures Check here for website issues. If it is visually checked that it violates the webmaster guidelines, the person in charge of google will take measures such as exclusion from the index. If action is taken, it will be displayed here and you will also receive a notification in the message center. If we can confirm it, we will correct it according to the guidelines immediately.You’ll also see warning signs here if there’s a security issue, such as malware damage. Always be conscious of checking, and if a problem occurs, it is necessary to take countermeasures.
- Link It is possible to check the URL of the page linked from outside, the external linking site, the anchor text of the linking source, and the page URL with many internal links. You can also check for possible spam links here.Also, in “Settings”, you can check information such as website ownership and index crawlers.If you have a problem with Google Search Console, report it to Google here. You can include a screenshot of when you clicked “Send Feedback” in your report.
Read Also: What Is Semantic Search?
3. Request a reconsideration of your site
In order to remove the indication that the website is fraudulent or dangerous for users, it is necessary to request a “re-examination” from Google.
In order to request a reconsideration, it is a prerequisite that the ownership of the website has been checked in Google Search Console.
Clean up the hacker damage from your site, fix vulnerabilities and get your healthy website back online.
Also, before requesting a reconsideration, check to see if your issue has really been resolved.
If you request a re-review when the problem has not been fixed, the website will remain unsafe for an even longer period of time.
It may take several weeks for the review to be completed, but if your website is determined to be healthy, the warning will be removed from browsers and search results within 72 hours.
How to disavow backlinks using Google Search Console
Learn how to disavow backlinks using Google Search Console.
First, create a list of disavowed links. Then select Disavow Links and upload the disavowed links.
1. Create a list of disavowed links
First, create a list of disavowed links.
Log in to Google Search Console and click “Links” in the left menu. Select “Export external links” at the top right of the “Links” screen and click “More sample links”.
Then select the file type to download. Either CSV or Google Sheets is fine.
2. Choose Disavow Links
Check the list of downloaded links and compile the ones you determine to be low quality links into a text file. Basically, the denial of backlinks should be described on a line-by-line basis for each URL.
If there are many backlinks from a specific domain, it is possible to disavow each domain.
At that time, write it with the prefix “domain:”.
Save the created backlink list as a text file (.txt). At that time, save the character code as “UTF-8” or “7-bit ASCII”.
3. Upload Disavowed Links
Visit the Google Search Console Disavow Links page.
Select your site and click Disavow Link. After checking the precautions, click the “Disavow link” button.
Select the text file you created and click the “Send” button to complete the upload.
The difference between spam links and natural links
|spam link||Links from websites that violate guidelines or pages with low quality|
|natural link||Links created naturally from external sites|
The opposite of “spam link” is “natural link”. The differences are as follows.
A spam link is a link from a website that violates webmaster guidelines or from a page with poor content or poor quality . There is an intention to drag down the competitor by deliberately linking to the competitor’s site with malicious intent and low quality.
A natural link, on the other hand, is a link that is naturally created from an external site . For example, it is created by being referenced or quoted from other websites dealing with the same genre of topics, or by sharing on SNS by users who sympathize.
Backlinks are very important for SEO. If you have a profitable and trustworthy site for your users, users will naturally come to you. Also, you can expect to attract a lot of customers by being introduced on other sites and being spread on SNS.
If you can collect a lot of backlinks in this way, the evaluation of not only the page but also the entire domain will increase, and you can improve the search ranking.
Be careful not to lower your site’s rating by being dragged down by fraudulent and unscrupulous links.
This time, I focused on spam sites and explained.
If you take it easy with SEO spam like black hat SEO and try to aim for a high ranking in search results, there is a high possibility that you will be penalized and your ranking will be lowered or your index will be deleted.
On the other hand, if you follow the webmaster guidelines and do the right SEO, you can get good marks from Google. Let’s create a useful site for users without violating regulations.