Weekly SEO news: 15 December 2015
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Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google’s definition of a spam website (official)

Google's recently published search quality rating guidelines revealed Google's definition of high quality web pages and low quality web pages. If you want to avoid a penalty, it is also important to know Google's definition of spam pages. You can find Google's definition of a spam page below.

Google's definition of spam pages

Does Google think that your web pages are spam?

A web page with a low quality isn't necessarily a spam page. However, if a web page page is deliberately created to deceive and potentially harm users in order to benefit your website, it won't get a good rating. If your pages contain the following elements, it is likely that Google thinks that they are spam:

  1. Your pages are malicious or harmful

    Pages designed to "phish" for the user’s government issued identification number, bank account information, or credit card information are harmful because the purpose is to steal private information. Malicious download pages are another type of harmful page. These pages are spam.

  2. Your pages are deceptive

    If your page is designed to deceive users or trick search engines, rather than to help users, Google will flag it as spam. For example, Google doesn't like false testimonials for a product, or pages that are created for the sole purpose of getting users to click on monetized links. Examples of deceptive pages are:

    • Websites that pretend to be or mimics the look of a well-known other website.
    • Web pages that claim to be a survey, but instead exist to steal passwords or personal information.
    • Websites that claims to offer an independent review or share other information about a product, but are in fact created to make money for the owner of the website through affiliate links without attempting to help users.
    • Websites that claim to be the personal website of a celebrity, but the websites are actually created to make money for the owner of the website without the permission of the celebrity.

    Google also does not like deceptive page design. If your page is deliberately designed to manipulate users to click on ads, monetized links, or suspect download links then it might be flagged as spam.

    A popular example of this is a fake search results page that contains ads disguised as search engine results.

  3. Your pages use sneaky redirects

    If your web pages contain redirects that are designed to deceive search engines and users, Google will mark the page as spam. In general, this means redirects to unrelated websites, or redirects to shop sites through affiliate links.

  4. Your pages don't have real content

    Google thinks that these page types are spam because they do not have real content:

    • Pages with no helpful main content at all or so little content that the page effectively has no main content.
    • Content that consist almost entirely of "keyword stuffing", gibberish, or meaningless content.
    • Auto-generated content that has been created with little time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users.

Spam pages do not get high rankings on Google. Chances are that Google will remove your website from the index if it contains spam pages.

Do not try to trick Google and other search engines. There is no fast track to high rankings. Make sure that your web pages contain all of the elements that Google requires. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to do that:

Analyze your website with SEOprofiler

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google: confident Google Penguin 4.0 is good enough for a January release

"John Mueller of Google said in a Google+ hangout this morning at 18:44 mark into the video on if Penguin 4.0 will happen in January. He said he is confident it will be but doesn't want to make any promises."

GoogleBing testing new smaller brand organic / local pack hybrid

"Bing seems to be testing a scaled back version of the organic listing which adds a basic organic search result with just a description snippet, with the local pack results directly below."

Google rewords many of their reconsideration request responses

"Marie Haynes posted an example of a response to a successful reconsideration request, and Robert Meinke posted an example of an unsuccessful reconsideration request.

The successful one now reads 'Reconsideration request approved,' while the old language read 'Manual spam action revoked.' [...]

The unsuccessful one seems to now imply that Google is potentially penalizing on the link level and not all links may be penalized. The new language in the body says, 'Therefore, when determining your site’s ranking, we will continue to demote links to your site as a factor in our calculations.'” 

GoogleGoogle continuing to test 4 text ads in search results

"We’ve received several reports of people seeing four text ads in Google search results on desktop over the past couple of months. [...] In all cases we’ve seen, four ads are served at the top, and no ads appear along the right rail; most reports have come from outside the US."

In search of a European Google

"If you look at Europe now, we’re in the equivalent stage of being in, let’s say, 1920, with no car companies. No Citröen, no BMW, no Rolls Royce, no Fiat, nothing. [...]

Google’s global index is policed using US copyright law, and receives a thousand times as many requests under those laws as it does under the right to be forgotten – and grants more than 95% of them, compared to the 41% it has granted for privacy requests. The world’s biggest search engine is based in the US, and that gives the US the power to dictate copyright law to the world."

Search engine newslets

  • Social extensions will no longer show with ads on Google Search and search partners.
  • 2015 Twitter statistics.
  • Sharing to Twitter declines 11% after Twitter kills share counts.
  • Google: continued momentum for the AMP project.
  • D'oh: don't use Google Webmaster Tools if you spam Google.
3. Recommended resources

SEOprofiler Smart

SEOprofiler helps you to get high rankings on Google and more customers. It offers all the tools that you need:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • AdWords Profiler and Ranking Profiler
  • and much more.

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