How Google Prioritises Spam Reports & How This Affects SEO
In a recent video posted on You Tube (see above or click here), Matt Cutts talks about how Google prioritise the thousands of spam reports submitted every day. It stands to reason the explanation that they do order complaints, and again it seem plain common sense to me that the first question they ask is “What’s the impact on their users?” – after all Google is all about their users.
Matt Cutts says that if a spam complaint is about a website that a lot of their users will visit and see then this complaint will take priority over a complaint made about a smaller site with less visitors. With so many spam reports every day, Google would surely be overwhelmed if they dealt with each one on a ‘first come – first served’ basis. Though this is a further example of Google putting larger sites, and larger brands before small business sites, but again you can see it from Google’s point of view, with so many spam sites out there it makes sense that they prioritise known and trusted brands in an attempt to protect their users. It’s another case of the spammers spoiling things for the rest of us. Spam reports of lesser importance get prioritised to the next wave of algorithms and how the algorithms should tackle spammy activities.
Matt Cutts goes on to say that they do look at ‘a ton’ of spam complaints and also take action on ‘a ton’ of complaints. The complaints that they take manual action on they try and think, “How can we best use our resources?” a further example of Google looking at issues that would most affect their users.
This is particularly pertinent to us, here at Creare because coincidentally we had to submit a spam report ourselves only yesterday. A competitor of one of our clients had basically copied the meta description of their homepage – now, we know this probably won’t make any difference to our client’s site as their meta description was indexed first, but we still felt compelled to submit a spam report. The competitor of our client didn’t even change the company name in the meta description, which is just plain idiotic!
This example of our client’s competitor is an example of people trying to ‘do SEO’ – you need to know what you’re doing. You need to be aware of the pitfalls – because I bet that our client’s competitor didn’t know they were doing anything wrong (though how anyone can think plagiarism is OK is completely beyond me), they’ve either read somewhere that meta descriptions help SEO, or they’ve employed one of the many cowboy SEO companies springing up all over the world, offering SEO for peanuts (pay peanuts, get monkeys – right?).
My advice for anyone who wants SEO on their website is to employ a reputable company. Check their listings for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ if they’re nowhere to be found the chances are, that they’re not very good, so not worth employing.