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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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".

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