Courts in the US have consistently held that search engines have almost total discretion over the content on their pages and ranking algorithms under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is a legal defense against companies bringing claims about the economic impact of ranking changes or Google’s SEO-related policies. However, a court in Florida has now allowed a case against Google to proceed, in which the search engine manually removed links it categorized as “pure spam” and in violation of quality guidelines. According to legal tech writer Eric Goldman, the Florida court disregarded “virtually all of Google’s arguments” to allow the lawsuit to go forward. The case is called e-ventures Worldwide, LLC vs. Google. According to the facts laid out in court documents, in 2014 “e-ventures was notified by Google that 231 websites owned by e-ventures were being manually removed by Google from all of Google’s search results because … [Read more...] about Florida court allows Google to be sued by publisher delisted as “pure spam”
Editor’s Note: Since this column was originally published, we’ve received comment from Google on the matter, which we’ve included at the conclusion of the piece. Google recently posted a blog article raving about how it tackled webspam in 2015. The numbers were quite impressive. The webspam team handed out more than 4.3 million manual penalties last year, which must have been pretty labor-intensive. If only they applied the same efforts when it comes to Google My Business (GMB). Currently, the spam situation with GMB is bad. Spam is everywhere — and other than cracking down on the locksmith industry, Google doesn’t seem to be doing much at all about it. Here are the top four ways spam is flooding Google Maps. 1. Improper business names The Google My Business guidelines state the following with regard to business names: Adding unnecessary information to your name (e.g., “Google Inc. — Mountain View Corporate Headquarters” instead of … [Read more...] about Got spam? Google My Business doesn’t care.
Google posted a blog post on Friday named protect your site from user generated spam. It wasn't a warning, such as, protect your site from user generated spam or else your site may be banned from the Google search results - it was just about tips on how to block user generated spam. Of course, you and I know, user generated spam can cause issues for your site in Google. It can lead to your site being delisted temporarily, it can lead to lower rankings because of link issues or content issues and it can lead to your site being hijacked or worse. Here are some of those tips posted by Anouar Bendahou, Search Quality Strategist, Google Ireland: Keep your forum software updated and patched. Take the time to keep your software up-to-date and pay special attention to important security updates. Spammers take advantage of security issues in older versions of blogs, bulletin boards, and other content management systems. Add a CAPTCHA. CAPTCHAs require users to confirm that they are not … [Read more...] about Google Gives Tips On How To Block User Generated Spam
Facebook recently announced they will be rolling out an update to their News Feed designed to reduce the appearance of the kinds of posts users frequently flag as spam. The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them… Today we are announcing a series of improvements to News Feed to reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see. According to the announcment, many of these spammy posts are published by Pages in an attempt to manipulate the News Feed and get more organic exposure than they normally would. The update specifically targets three broad categories of spammy behavior. They are as follows: Like-baiting When a post explicitly asks users to like, comment or share the post to increase organic reach it is considered “like-baiting.” Since users tend to respond to the call to action of liking, … [Read more...] about Update To Facebook News Feed Designed To Combat Business Page Spam
Want to ask Jenny an SEO question for her bi-weekly column? Fill out our form or use #AskAnSEO on social media. This week, we received a question so big, I decided to dedicate an entire post to it. I’ve also received this question multiple times while presenting analytics presentations. How can I filter out spammy referral traffic to my site? I heard Google started filtering them out but still see them. –Kenneth F. via Twitter My static answer when giving presentations is to view the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery and search for referrer spam or block bots or similar. There are some great resources there for people just getting started. But the real answer to this question is a lot bigger, and it has many parts: Understand what you’re dealing with. It’s not just bots. Filter wisely: Set up a separate view. Block Bots in Analytics. Discover referrers manually. Create a “bad referrer” filter. Block bad bots from the website. Carefully. Part 1: … [Read more...] about Ask an SEO: Filtering Referral Spam in Google Analytics