Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for E-commerce

Fighting back against black-hat SEO techniques

by akagan 24. May 2012 17:03

Matt Cutts of Google acknowledges that Google can’t stop every black hat SEO technique to prevent your competitors from spamming Google’s search results, and in the course of your optimization you will often find bogus search results above your website for certain keywords.

Google relies on crowdsourcing to keep things honest, and spamming is no exception to this rule. Google relies on SEOs and website admins to identify search result spam and report it to Google using Webmaster Tools, and Cutts suggests using the Webmaster Forum to raise awareness of new black hat techniques and hacks.

Title Spam is still happening

A good example of crowdsourced reporting occurred last year with the Wordpress Title Hack. Unwitting Wordpress users allowed their .htaccess file to be edited, changing the title tag seen by Google’s bot, but not affecting the page itself. This led to title tags in search results being hijacked:


As seen from this screencap taken a year later, many site owners are unaware that they’ve been hacked. What’s interesting is that Google is not actively searching for title tag spam, or if they are, they haven’t been able to catch up to this particular hack.

“We’re happy to get spam reports” notes Cutts, and he mentioned that there is a “human” team of anti-spammers at the Googleplex that process spam reports.

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