Google has announced that it is releasing a new search algorithm that it hopes will better catch people who spam its search results or purposely do things to rank better that are against Google’s publishers guidelines. Going live today, Google says it will impact about 3% of search queries.

Google is launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines. This algorithm represents another step in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.

Fighting Web Spam

What’s “webspam,” as Google calls it, or search spam? Pages that try to gain better rankings through things like:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link schemes
  • Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
  • Purposeful duplicate content

High ranking of a Web site in search engines can be directly correlated to high revenues. This amplifies the phenomenon of Web spamming which can be defined as preparing or manipulating any features of Web documents or hosts to mislead search engines’ ranking algorithms to gain an undeservedly high position in search results. Web spam remarkably deteriorates the information quality available on the Web and thus affects the whole Web community including search engines.

The struggle between search engines and spammers is ongoing: both sides apply increasingly sophisticated techniques and counter-techniques against each other. This paper first presents a general background concerning the Web spam phenomenon. They then explain why the machine learning approach is so attractive for Web spam combating.

Did Google Already Fight Spam? Yes, But…

The web spam techniques above aren’t new. Some of them are more than 10 years old and date back to before Google even operated as a search engine. So why is Google only now going after such methods?  Read more ……

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