The Best Way to Report Spam to Google

Google Webmaster Tools ImageI was going through videos of past WordCamp presentations to prepare for my own next week and found myself re-watching a presentation by Google’s Matt Cutts that he gave at WordCamp San Francisco in 2007.

At the forty minute mark in the presentation, Cutts said something that was interesting to those of us who deal with spam blogs but has been largely overlooked. When discussing Google’s Webmaster Center, he mentioned that you can report spam through their Webmaster Tools feature and that they “give more weight” to those reports than the ones made through their public form.

In short, if you have access to Google’s Webmaster Tools, which is free and easy to register for, you can use the form in there to file a more meaningful spam report. Best of all, the form is identical to the public one and and should not seem foreign to anyone used to filing spam reports.

How to report Google SpamThis is assumedly because the spam form in the Webmaster Tools is not anonymous, unlike the public one. Google, understandably, gives more significance to reports where they know the party providing the information.

To file the report, simply log into the Webmaster tools dashboard and click the “Report spam in our index” link on the right hand side. You report paid links.

This may resolve many of the claims that Google does not respond (see comments) to spam reports.

All in all, while this is a very simple trick, it might help with the reporting of spam in cases where a DMCA notice is simply not practical.

Note: In a strange coincidence, I found the video on John Pozadzides blog, who will be speaking directly before me at WordCamp Dallas.

21 Responses to The Best Way to Report Spam to Google

  1. Cybele: It is interesting to see what Google does and does not consider spam. I just try to listen to Google when they say they want to present the best results to the user and consider anything that tries to push inferior results to the top to be spam.

    That said, what one considers inferior is a pretty subjective thing at times.

    You don't have to find it via a Google search but you still have to find it in one. You can backtrack using keywords found on the spam page or exact quotes from the article even. You just need to produce the query and the URL of the search result.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Cybele: It is interesting to see what Google does and does not consider spam. I just try to listen to Google when they say they want to present the best results to the user and consider anything that tries to push inferior results to the top to be spam.That said, what one considers inferior is a pretty subjective thing at times.You don't have to find it via a Google search but you still have to find it in one. You can backtrack using keywords found on the spam page or exact quotes from the article even. You just need to produce the query and the URL of the search result.Hope that helps!

  3. Cybele: It is interesting to see what Google does and does not consider spam. I just try to listen to Google when they say they want to present the best results to the user and consider anything that tries to push inferior results to the top to be spam.That said, what one considers inferior is a pretty subjective thing at times.You don't have to find it via a Google search but you still have to find it in one. You can backtrack using keywords found on the spam page or exact quotes from the article even. You just need to produce the query and the URL of the search result.Hope that helps!

  4. cybele says:

    I’m curious what would be considered a spam blog in Google’s eyes. I know what they are, but I’m not sure what Google would consider sploggy … and would I have to find it via a search?

  5. Darren Hoyt says:

    Thanks for this, Jonathan. It may not cut back on the spam I'm seeing, but I'm glad to know I can get decent reporting tools and do my own investigations.

    Been enjoying the WP podcasts!

  6. Darren Hoyt says:

    Thanks for this, Jonathan. It may not cut back on the spam I'm seeing, but I'm glad to know I can get decent reporting tools and do my own investigations. Been enjoying the WP podcasts!

  7. Darren Hoyt says:

    Thanks for this, Jonathan. It may not cut back on the spam I'm seeing, but I'm glad to know I can get decent reporting tools and do my own investigations. Been enjoying the WP podcasts!

  8. Darren: Glad you liked the article! However, I have a long way to go to repay the debts for the theme so thank you very much for creating Mimbo!

  9. [...] Engines: Hosts that are uncooperative need to be pointed out to the search engines in the form of spam reports. The reason is that, if enough spam is reported in an IP range, Google will start to distrust the [...]

  10. Hello y'all, I just wanted to say that the spam reporting tool in the google webmasters tools is showing some signs of improvement. I work in SEO in the pharmaceutical business, which y'all know it's very competitive and full of spam/scams all over.

    I've used the tool to report competitors spam on forums and blogs where all they do is put repeated and hidden keyword text, with lots of alt stuffed keywords and crosslinks. To some extent I've managed, or the people at google that is, to remove a lot of spam pages from the results, altought another one pops up every 2 to 3 days, and I'm talking about the first 10 SERP's for various keywords.

    It's a little pain in the derrier to sumbit 30 and 40 sites a day, but hey someone's gotta do it, and if it bounces my sites from #6 to #3 or 2, GREAT.

    The whole point is to encourage users to report spam and abuse to Google and help clean the net.

    Greetings and good reporting,

  11. Hello y’all, I just wanted to say that the spam reporting tool in the google webmasters tools is showing some signs of improvement. I work in SEO in the pharmaceutical business, which y’all know it’s very competitive and full of spam/scams all over.

    I’ve used the tool to report competitors spam on forums and blogs where all they do is put repeated and hidden keyword text, with lots of alt stuffed keywords and crosslinks. To some extent I’ve managed, or the people at google that is, to remove a lot of spam pages from the results, altought another one pops up every 2 to 3 days, and I’m talking about the first 10 SERP’s for various keywords.

    It’s a little pain in the derrier to sumbit 30 and 40 sites a day, but hey someone’s gotta do it, and if it bounces my sites from #6 to #3 or 2, GREAT.

    The whole point is to encourage users to report spam and abuse to Google and help clean the net.

    Greetings and good reporting,

  12. @Robert Orlich -
    Glad to hear that it has been working for you, thank you for the update!

  13. [...] answer was right here on Plagiarism Today. Matt Cutts has said that spam reports filed through Google Webmaster Tools are given much more weigh… than those files through other [...]

  14. Melody Moreno says:

    There is a new scam going where you recieve a text with an urgent plea from someone stating a woman named Kat is in trouble and her children are being victimized and to type in the website 1verygoodbadgirl.The area code is 203 809 5300. It is a scam to bill you for a long distance call and set you up for spam.

  15. [...] Desigur, EXISTĂ metode de a îndepărta aceşti impostori ai internetului.  Cea mai eficientă metodă e raportarea la google. Aceassta se poate face în două feluri,  ce-a dea doua metodă fiind preferată. Dacă nu aveţi cont de google, puteţi utiliza spam reportingul de aici. În cazul în care aveţi cont, vă logaţi cu datele personale, apoi intraţi pe https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/, iar de acolo în dreapta e “Report spam in our index”. Primul, deja l-am raportat, urmează restul. Dacă mulţi îi raportează, ei vor fi depunctaţi drastic în căutări şi poate se vor râzgândi şi vor face ceva cu adevărat folosittor, în loc să se ocupe cu spam-uri jenante. Unele indicaţii interesant, aici. [...]

  16. royjones says:

    I hate spam. That's great that the best online poker site has a great security!!

  17. Jean says:

    I believe that Google may pay more attention to spam reports send through Webmaster Tools..but it still seems like they aren't putting too much of their resources into it..cause I have sent about 10-15 reports..but never have they replied to me nor have they taken care of the spam sites I reported…so I am not sure what to think…either they are burried with such reports or they don's care too much about those reports..not sure which it is though!?

  18. Lary Perk says:

    http://www.tattoojob.com is one site that is plagued with paid links, virus's and spam. The site features adense e.t.c I'm sure if google knew what they were up to they would be banned not only from the adsense programme but also from google itself. I'm appauled that a website like this even ranks really well for its main keywords, 'tattoo designs' and 'free tattoo designs' e.t.c

  19. Katrin says:

    courious ?Me too man . I build fuckin websites like echte-erotikkontakte.net . Do u like it ? Hmm ?

  20. Dennis says:

    Mr. Bailey must be in the hip pocket of Google.  All the normal person who receives a spam wants to do is to forward to the correct web site.  Google realizes that is to easy.  They require anyone to go to their web site to send in a spam report.  Try and follow their required demands on how they will accept it. It is horrible.  That is why more and more crooks are using gmail.

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