Much like a police task force keeping the peace, Google’s spam fighting team led by Google software engineer Matt Cutts, is actively helping to keep search engine results relevant. Cutts and his team are helping to clean up internet searches and keep on topic content on top.
To get technical, Cutts and his Internet Spam fighting team study data from search engines that logs the sources of the queries from IP addresses and cookies looking for suspicious activity. Queries are studied on a chronological basis to look for repeated attacks from spammers. Graphs demonstrating spam growth are viewed by the team. Algorithms catch repetitive words used for advertising. Other blog spam is filtered out manually. Doing this allows the Google spam fighting team to recognize potential spam threats and trends on a monthly basis. Blogs aided to the top of search engine rankings with the crutch of spam may see their blog fall in ranking and popularity if the task force discovers them.
What is Blog Spam
“A website where you’ll let anybody post the kinds of links embedded in those articles as a result might affect your site’s reputation. So do think about that,” says Cutts.
Cutts says of the crackdown, “If it’s down to the level where spammy activities are taking place, whether there be article spinning, those results are going to make users unhappy and therefore Google is going to be interested in solving that problem. So do think about that whenever you’re having a guest writer write an article.”
Guest Posts and Content: Does it affect SEO and how to avoid any penalty
Help your rankings out, avoid the task force and make sure that guest blog articles are original. Ask contributors for their bios to ensure legitimacy. Ask for blog contributions from field experts. What you don’t do could affect both your reputation and your search rankings.
In their search for blog spam, Cutts and his anti-spam team look for blog content that is relevant to the blog’s topic. If the blog is business related and suddenly the team finds lots of keywords and links related to “breast enhancement”, for example, the content will be suspected of being spam and handled.
Another tip is to make sure that guest blogging posts are done in moderation. Cutts suggests that mass posting will drive more viewers away than it will attract. This concept is the same as if someone screamed a bunch of messages at you at once, rather than giving you one clear direct message.
Fight spam on your guest blog by deleting comments with URLs to unrelated websites on them. These URLs are a desperate attempt for spammers to get views to links and to distract users. Perform some cleaning on your website and rid yourself of unwanted comments. Your viewers will be much happier that way.
Create a CAPTCHA requirement on your blog to eliminate those who are not making relevant blog comments but are mass posting instead. If a commenter types in a CAPTCHA you can be assured they are not regurgitating an automatic message and are not a “bot.”
Require that users register under a valid email address. If a registered user begins to spam your blog, simply shut down their account. You can stop spam in its tracks.
You may want to use a spam fighting tool such as Akismet, a third party spam filter available at akismet.com/development/, which is free for personal use and available for a monthly fee for commercial use.
It is a good idea to use a keyword filter on your blog which will flag and pull malicious spam comments. A blog moderator can create one by typing in keywords that are never to appear on the site by blocking them out. An example of this is to create a blacklist and a whitelist. A blacklist is a list of unwanted URLS while a whitelist is a list of one containing favored keywords. This allows you to block specific spam URLs and IP addresses or exemplify others.
If not already built into your blog, use a Plug-in for CAPTCHAS, Akismet, Blacklists and user registration. Modify your blog’s settings and change the filters. Plug-ins are available on the Akismet website.
When it comes to spammers, Cutts says, “You’ve been warned.”