Every single day, Google flags over 2,500 crore spam pages
The ability to produce relevant and reliable results has made Google a leader in the Search segment. Now, giving a little more insight into this effort, Danny Sullivan, Google's Public Liaison for Search, has revealed that the company detects and removes over 2,500 crore spam pages every single day to make sure results remain suitable for users. Here's more about it.
Spam pages, in simplest terms, are those websites that try to sneak into top Search results by mimicking content elements of legitimate, reputable sites rather than delivering on those things. These pages could be anything between sites rigged to steal data or download malware to those following spammy practices like sneaky redirects, keyword stuffing, and scraping content.
As spammers keep employing new techniques to create phoney sites, Google uses a team of manual analysts and AI-powered systems to detect and weed out spam from hundreds of billions of webpages in its index. In 2019, the company says, over 25 billion (2,500 crore) spammy pages were detected and removed every single day to keep over 99% visits via Search free from spam.
Though Google has obviously not shared much about the techniques it uses to detect spam (to prevent spammers from developing workarounds), it did say that the behavioral tactics used by spammers to manipulate the ranking system are taken into account. Once the spam pages are detected, depending on their respective behavior, the company takes actions like down-ranking the pages or removing them completely.
Sullivan noted, "For most of the 25 billion spammy pages detected each day, we are able to automatically recognize their spammy behavior and ensure they don't rank well in our results." But, in some cases, the pages slipped past, which is where the human detectors came in. They flagged the spammy pages that went unchecked and made sure they do not go unnoticed again.
When a page is manually flagged as spammy, Google sends a warning notice to the owner of the site. Every year, Sullivan said, the company sends millions of these notices to site owners so that they can make things right and re-submit their website for Search listing. This gives a second chance to site owners who were hacked or had inadvertently used foul practices.
"It's unfortunate that there is so much spam, and so much effort that has to be spent fighting it. But that shouldn't overshadow the fact there are millions upon millions of businesses, publishers and websites with great content," Sullivan added. "We want them to succeed."