Unfortunately, practically everybody that uses the internet has been a victim of webspam at one time or another. What exactly is webspam? Think of it as getting spam in your email inbox, but instead of it coming to your email, it attacks you when you visit a particular website. The bad thing about it is that it can infect your computer and even when it doesn’t, it can be a real nuisance. Either way, it is something that is unwanted and webmasters are having just as much of a difficult time with it as everyone else that uses the internet on a daily basis.
One of the truly alarming things about webspam, according to a Google blog post, is that between 2015 and 2016, the amount of webspam increased by over 30 percent. Sometimes this involves ads and at other times, an erroneous link to a website that can take over a person’s computer and essentially hold it hostage is involved. Still at other times, it involves trying to get customers to click on a link that can infect their computer. The worst part about it all is that innocent customers are affected and webmasters that are in charge of reputable websites are adversely impacted when their websites become associated with something like webspam.
Taking the Right Steps
According to the blog post, Google has taken a lot of proactive steps to try to effectively deal with this issue. By its very nature, some of it involves dealing with the issue after it has already happened but Google tries to prevent it from happening in the first place. A lot of this occurs by utilizing the algorithms that Google is so famous for in order to detect webspam and the websites that frequently incorporate it. While all the algorithms do a great job of detecting most of it, they cannot detect webspam in all its forms. Therefore, the company has also employed manual efforts to deal with the remaining issues. This means a lot of man-hours but it also shows that the company is taking this problem seriously. Ultimately, all of this is done to notify webmasters once problem is detected so they can then address the issue. Otherwise, the website will be deleted in its entirety from the Google page rankings.
Staying One Step Ahead
The company is also taking additional steps to try to put a stop to webspam before it becomes a problem. To that end, they have created a dedicated department where webmasters can file reports when they notice or even suspect a problem, often before the Google algorithms or the manual efforts ever detect the issue. This alerts Google to a potential problem which can then be investigated in order to either confirm or deny the existence of webspam. If the problem is confirmed, it can then be addressed accordingly. The company has also created a dedicated component that exists for no other purpose than to answer questions. A lot of people that are operating reputable websites have questions about how this kind of thing happens and what they might be able to do on their end to either reduce or eliminate the possibility of it happening again. Having people that can answer these questions quickly and reliably is an invaluable tool and Google is making the most of it.
Unfortunately, there will always be people out there that are trying to take advantage of others. As technology continues to advance, they seem to find more and more ways to do exactly that. This means that companies like Google will have to stay on their toes in order to protect the general public and the people who operate reputable websites. Fortunately, this is a company that has made the decision to take the proactive approach instead of sitting around and waiting for something to happen and then trying to deal with it after the fact.
— Rob (@bobsseo) May 8, 2017