To uphold the integrity of search results, it's important that we keep specific details about how Search works out of the hands of bad actors and spammers, who seek to game our systems and promote deceptive, low-quality content. However, this doesn't change our pledge to explain clearly how Search works to anyone who's interested. We’re invested in helping website owners to help them succeed and be discovered in Search, and provide a suite of tools and informational resources to help drive billions of visitors to websites small and large.
To help surface the best answers for you, we share information to help webmasters and developers succeed in having their content, sites and apps found. We provide extensive tools and tips to help webmasters understand how Search works – including interactive websites, videos, starter guides, frequent blog posts, forums and live expert support.
The webmaster portal provides a one-stop shop for support documentation and educational resources such as the Webmaster Help YouTube channel, which includes more than 1000 videos. With Google's search engine optimisation (SEO) starter guide, you can follow the best practices to help search engines understand and present content improving your website.
Website owners can get help with their sites from experienced webmasters in the webmaster forum, including from Google employees and external experts. We offer online office hours in over 15 languages for live support from Google employees via Google Hangouts.
The Search Console tool helps webmasters troubleshoot, showing errors found on their sites and advising how to fix them, from diagnosing malware to reducing load times. We’ve also built tools like the Webmaster Troubleshooter, Mobile Friendly test, Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights to help site owners build Search-friendly sites.
With these tools and communication channels, we hope to empower website owners to build sites that are great for visitors and show up well in Search.
Google also invests in quality algorithms and manual reviews to ensure that sites don’t rise in search results through deceptive or manipulative behaviour. This is especially important because many such spam sites can harm or mislead people.
Spam sites attempt to game their way to the top of search results through techniques like repeating keywords over and over, buying links that pass PageRank or sneaking invisible text onto the page. Spam also often impacts website security. Recently, we’ve seen a large number of legitimate websites being hacked, with many sites encountering deceptive display ads that redirect people to unrelated sites without their knowledge.
Our algorithms can detect the vast majority of spam and demote or remove it automatically.
The remaining spam is tackled manually by our spam-removal team, who review pages and flag them if they violate the Webmaster Guidelines. When we take manual action on a website, we try to alert the site’s owner to help them address issues.
Once sites have remedied the problem, they can submit their sites for reconsideration of the manual action. We process all of the reconsideration requests that we receive, and communicate along the way to let site owners know how it's going.
We want website owners to have the information that they need to get their sites in shape. That’s why, over time, we’ve invested substantial resources in webmaster communication and outreach. In 2018, we sent more than 180 million messages to webmasters to notify them of spam issues on their site.
Fighting spam to keep the web safe and useful is a daily challenge. While we want to be really transparent about how Search works, we also have to be careful not to reveal too much detail that would allow people to game our search results and degrade the experience for everyone. We learned this lesson the hard way. Back in 1999, Google’s founders published a seminal paper on PageRank, a key innovation in Google’s algorithm. Once that paper was published, spammers tried to game Google by paying each other for links.
Search is a powerful tool. It helps people find, share and access an amazing wealth of content regardless of how they connect or where they are located. We work hard to ensure that you see high-quality search results and not spam. We’re continuously improving our spam-fighting technology and will continue working closely with webmasters and others to foster and support a high-quality web ecosystem.