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.