Making sure your Google Search experience is safe and without spam is always important to Google. In 2020, Google invested in many innovations to keep Search results clean and serve results from high quality websites instead of spammy ones. However, this mission is not one that Google can achieve alone and they are excited to have webmasters on this journey with them.
Looking back at last year, here are Google's initiatives to work with webmasters towards the common goal of providing users with the best Google Search experience possible:
- Providing better insights, tools, and resources: Google is constantly working to give webmasters better insights, tools, and resources to make it easier for them to build websites with the best user experience.
- Improving our systems that detect spammy content: Last year, Google made improvements to their systems that detect spammy content on websites. They also launched a new tool to help webmasters troubleshoot issues with their site's spamminess.
- Working more closely with the webmaster community: Google has been working more closely with the webmaster community to get feedback on their initiatives and to help webmasters understand how they can help fight spam.
Google Search Console is a free service that helps website owners track their site's performance on Google Search. In 2020, Google sent over 140 million messages to Search Console users, an increase from the previous year. This was largely driven by new sites using Search Console, as well as announcements of new features to help site owners during COVID-19. Out of all the messages, 2.9 million were related to manual webspam actions. This has decreased from past years as many spam issues have already been taken care of by Google's algorithms. These were actionable insights—for example, messages sent to owners of sites that got hacked so they can promptly address security issues and minimize disruption and harm to users. Combined with the new user interface for messages, Google hopes that their messages have become more convenient to receive and more useful for site owners.
The Search Console team at Google has been hard at work this year, releasing new features to help website owners detect and combat spam, as well as improve the overall quality of their site content. These features include the Disavow Links tool, a new version of the Crawl Stats report, and the SafeSearch Filtering report. The team has also worked on features to help developers build websites with high-quality structured data, such as the Rich Results Test and support for rich result types like Events and Job Postings.
To help website owners make the most of these tools, Google has rolled out the Search Console Training series. In an effort to centralize all of its resources for website owners, Google has also launched Google Search Central and migrated its blogs to this new platform. Finally, a new support channel has been launched to help site owners report persistent security issues caused by malware, hacking, or harmful downloads.
In 2020, the Search Central Help Community saw more than 39,000 posts from website owners. This showed that businesses have been prioritizing online presence more than ever. The community was able to help companies of all sizes improve their online presence or come online for the first time.
The community expanded its global reach to cover Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Polish, and Turkish in 2020. Product experts (PEs) from around the world came together for the first virtual Product Expert Summit.
If you have a question, or want to challenge yourself and help out others at the same time, you can drop by the Search Central Help Community.
The Google Search team is always looking for more ways to connect with webmasters and stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In 2020, they spoke at more than 50 online events and held over 80 online office hours. While they can't host in-person events right now, they've made Search Central Lightning Talks and Product Summits available online. They've also started the Search Off the Record podcast and the first Virtual Webmaster Unconference.
The team's journey towards a safer web without spam continues! They're grateful for the opportunity to work with webmasters on this journey and invite everyone to stay in touch via Twitter, YouTube, the blog, and the Community forums.
In its annual Web Spam Report, Google has announced that it is taking a more proactive approach to tackling spam. The search engine will now be working with webmasters and site owners to help them clean up their sites and prevent spam from being indexed in the first place.
This is a welcome change, as it should help to reduce the amount of spam that appears in search results. It also means that webmasters and site owners will need to be more vigilant in monitoring their sites for spam, as Google will now be working with them to help keep the web clean.
The report also contains some interesting statistics on the prevalence of spam. For example, Google says that 0.16% of all search queries result in a click on a spammy result, and that 0.78% of all pages on the web are considered to be spammy.
While these numbers may seem small, they represent a significant problem for Google and its users. firstname.lastname@example.org .