With 2017 well underway, Google wanted to take a moment and share some of the insights they gathered in 2016 in their fight against webspam. Over the past year, they continued to find new ways of keeping spam from creating a poor quality search experience, and worked with webmasters around the world to make the web better.
The Web spam team at Google did a lot behind the scenes to make sure that users can make full use of what today’s web has to offer, bringing relevant results to everyone around the globe, while fighting webspam that could potentially harm or simply annoy users.
Here is a list of Webspam trends in 2016 that Google encountered.
- Website security continues to be a major source of concern. Last year we saw more hacked sites than ever – a 32% increase compared to 2015. Because of this, they continued to invest in improving and creating more resources to help webmasters know what to do when their sites get hacked.
- They continued to see that sites are compromised not just to host webspam. They saw a lot of webmasters affected by social engineering, unwanted software, and unwanted ad injectors.
- Since more people are searching on Google using a mobile device, they saw a significant increase in spam targeting mobile users. In particular, they saw a rise in spam that redirects users, without the webmaster’s knowledge, to other sites or pages, inserted into webmaster pages using widgets or via ad units from various advertising networks.
And, How They Fought for That
- They continued to refine their search algorithms to tackle webspam. By bringing up multiple improvements to how they rank sites, including making Penguin (one of their core ranking algorithms) work in real-time.
- The spam that they didn’t identify algorithmically was handled manually.
- They performed algorithmic and manual quality checks to ensure that websites with structured data markup meet quality standards.
- They took manual action on more than 10,000 sites that did not meet the quality guidelines for inclusion in search features powered by structured data.