Our spam policies help protect users and improve the quality of search results. To be eligible to appear in Google web search results (web pages, images, videos, news content or other material that Google finds from across the web), content shouldn't violate Google Search's overall policies or the spam policies listed on this page. These policies apply to all web search results, including those from Google's own properties.
We detect policy-violating content and behaviors both through automated systems and, as needed, human review that can result in a manual action. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all.
If you believe that a site is violating Google's spam policies, let us know by filing a search quality user report. We're focused on developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, and we'll use these reports to further improve our spam detection systems.
Our policies cover common forms of spam, but Google may act against any type of spam we detect.
Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content to users and search engines with the intent to manipulate search rankings and mislead users. Examples of cloaking include:
- Showing a page about travel destinations to search engines while showing a page about discount drugs to users
- Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the user agent that is requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor
If a site is hacked, it's not uncommon for the hacker to use cloaking to make the hack harder for the site owner to detect. Read more about fixing hacked sites and avoiding being hacked.
If you operate a paywall or a content-gating mechanism, we don't consider this to be cloaking if Google can see the full content of what's behind the paywall just like any person who has access to the gated material and if you follow our Flexible Sampling general guidance.
Doorways are sites or pages created to rank for specific, similar search queries. They lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination. Examples of doorways include:
- Having multiple websites with slight variations to the URL and home page to maximize their reach for any specific query
- Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
- Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)
- Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy
Hacked content is any content placed on a site without permission, due to vulnerabilities in a site's security. Hacked content gives poor search results to our users and can potentially install malicious content on their machines. Examples of hacking include:
- Page injection: Sometimes, due to security flaws, hackers are able to add new pages to your site that contain spammy or malicious content. These pages are often meant to manipulate search engines or to attempt phishing. Your existing pages might not show signs of hacking, but these newly-created pages could harm your site's visitors or your site's performance in search results.
- Content injection: Hackers might also try to subtly manipulate existing pages on your site. Their goal is to add content to your site that search engines can see but which may be harder for you and your users to spot. This can involve adding hidden links or hidden text to a page by using CSS or HTML, or it can involve more complex changes like cloaking.
- Redirects: Hackers might inject malicious code to your website that redirects some users to harmful or spammy pages. The kind of redirect sometimes depends on the referrer, user agent, or device. For example, clicking a URL in Google Search results could redirect you to a suspicious page, but there is no redirect when you visit the same URL directly from a browser.
Here are our tips on fixing hacked sites and avoiding being hacked.
Hidden text and links
Hidden text or links is the act of placing content on a page in a way solely to manipulate search engines and not to be easily viewable by human visitors. Examples of hidden text or links that violate our policies:
- Using white text on a white background
- Hiding text behind an image
- Using CSS to position text off-screen
- Setting the font size or opacity to 0
- Hiding a link by only linking one small character (for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph)
There are many web design elements today that utilize showing and hiding content in a dynamic way to improve user experience; these elements don't violate our policies:
- Accordion or tabbed content that toggle between hiding and showing additional content
- Slideshow or slider that cycles between several images or text paragraphs
- Tooltip or similar text that displays additional content when users interact with over an element
- Text that's only accessible to screen readers and is intended to improve the experience for those using screen readers
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of filling a web page with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate rankings in Google Search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, unnaturally, or out of context. Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
- Blocks of text that list cities and regions that a web page is trying to rank for
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural. For example:
Unlimited app store credit. There are so many sites that claim to offer app store credit for $0 but they're all fake and always mess up with users looking for unlimited app store credits. You can get limitless credits for app store right here on this website. Visit our unlimited app store credit page and get it today!
Google uses links as an important factor in determining the relevancy of web pages. Any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search results may be considered link spam. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site. The following are examples of link spam:
- Buying or selling links for ranking purposes. This includes:
- Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links
- Exchanging goods or services for links
- Sending someone a product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
- Excessive link exchanges ("Link to me and I'll link to you") or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
- Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link
- Text advertisements or text links that don't block ranking credit
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass ranking credit, or links with optimized anchor text in articles, guest posts, or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
- Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
- Keyword-rich, hidden, or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites
- Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
- Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Thanks, that's great info!
paul's pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego
Google does understand that buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web for advertising and sponsorship purposes. It's not a violation of our policies to have such links as long as they are qualified with a rel="nofollow" or rel="sponsored" attribute value to the
Machine-generated traffic consumes resources and interferes with our ability to best serve users. Examples of automated traffic include:
- Sending automated queries to Google
- Scraping results for rank-checking purposes or other types of automated access to Google Search conducted without express permission
Such activities violate our spam policies and the Google Terms of Service.
Malware and malicious behaviors
Google checks websites to see whether they host malware or unwanted software that negatively affects the user experience.
Malware is any software or mobile application specifically designed to harm a computer, a mobile device, the software it's running, or its users. Malware exhibits malicious behavior that can include installing software without user consent and installing harmful software such as viruses. Site owners sometimes don't realize that their downloadable files are considered malware, so these binaries might be hosted inadvertently.
Unwanted software is an executable file or mobile application that engages in behavior that is deceptive, unexpected, or that negatively affects the user's browsing or computing experience. Examples include software that switches your homepage or other browser settings to ones you don't want, or apps that leak private and personal information without proper disclosure.
Site owners should make sure they don't violate the Unwanted Software Policy and follow our guidelines.
Site owners should create websites with high quality content and useful functionality that benefits users. However, some site owners intend to manipulate search ranking by intentionally creating sites with misleading functionality and services that trick users into thinking they would be able to access some content or services but in reality can not. Examples of misleading functionality include:
- A site with a fake generator that claims to provide app store credit but doesn't actually provide the credit
- A site that claims to provide certain functionality (for example, PDF merge, countdown timer, online dictionary service), but intentionally leads users to deceptive ads rather than providing the claimed services
Some site owners base their sites around content taken ("scraped") from other, often more reputable sites. Scraped content, even from high quality sources, without additional useful services or content provided by your site may not provide added value to users. It may also constitute copyright infringement. A site may also be demoted if a significant number of valid legal removal requests have been received. Examples of abusive scraping include:
- Sites that copy and republish content from other sites without adding any original content or value, or even citing the original source
- Sites that copy content from other sites, modify it only slightly (for example, by substituting synonyms or using automated techniques), and republish it
- Sites that reproduce content feeds from other sites without providing some type of unique benefit to the user
- Sites dedicated to embedding or compiling content, such as videos, images, or other media from other sites, without substantial added value to the user
Redirecting is the act of sending a visitor to a different URL than the one they initially requested. Sneaky redirecting is doing this maliciously in order to either show users and search engines different content or show users unexpected content that does not fulfill their original needs. Examples of sneaky redirects include:
- Showing search engines one type of content while redirecting users to something significantly different
- Showing desktop users a normal page while redirecting mobile users to a completely different spam domain
While sneaky redirection is a type of spam, there are many legitimate, non-spam reasons to redirect one URL to another. Examples of legitimate redirects include:
- Moving your site to a new address
- Consolidating several pages into one
- Redirecting users to an internal page once they are logged in
When examining if a redirect is sneaky, consider whether or not the redirect is intended to deceive either the users or search engines. Learn more about how to appropriately employ redirects on your site.
Spammy automatically-generated content
Automatically generated (or "auto-generated") content is content that's been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value; instead, it's been generated for the primary purpose of manipulating search rankings and not helping users. Examples of spammy auto-generated content include:
- Text that makes no sense to the reader but contains search keywords
- Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing
- Text generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience
- Text generated using automated synonymizing, paraphrasing, or obfuscation techniques
- Text generated from scraping feeds or search results
- Stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value
If you're hosting such content on your site, you can use these methods to exclude them from Search.
Thin affiliate pages
Thin affiliate pages are pages with product affiliate links on which the product descriptions and reviews are copied directly from the original merchant without any original content or added value.
Affiliate pages can be considered thin if they are a part of a program that distributes its content across a network of affiliates without providing additional value. These sites often appear to be cookie-cutter sites or templates with the same or similar content replicated within the same site or across multiple domains or languages. If a Search results page returned several of these sites, all with the same content, thin affiliate pages would create a frustrating user experience.
Not every site that participates in an affiliate program is a thin affiliate. Good affiliate sites add value by offering meaningful content or features. Examples of good affiliate pages include offering additional information about price, original product reviews, rigorous testing and ratings, navigation of products or categories, and product comparisons.
User-generated spam is spammy content added to a site by users through a channel intended for user content. Often site owners are unaware of the spammy content. Examples of spammy user-generated content include:
- Spammy accounts on hosting services that anyone can register for
- Spammy posts on forum threads
- Comment spam on blogs
- Spammy files uploaded to file hosting platforms
Here are several tips on how to prevent abuse of your site's public areas. Here are our tips on fixing hacked sites and avoiding being hacked.
Other behaviors that can lead to demotion or removal
When we receive a high volume of valid copyright removal requests involving a given site, we are able to use that as a quality signal and demote other content from the site in our results. This way, if there is other infringing content, users are less likely to encounter it versus the original content. We apply similar demotion signals to other classes of complaints, including complaints about counterfeit goods and court-ordered removals.
Online harassment removals
Google has policies that allow the removal of certain types of content if it violates our policies involving personal information, such as non-consensual explicit images, doxxing content, or content hosted by sites with exploitative removal practices.
If we process a high volume of these removals involving a particular site, we use that as a quality signal and demote other content from the site in our results. We also look to see if the same pattern of behavior is happening with other sites in relation to people's names and, if so, apply demotions to content on those sites.
Once someone has requested a removal from one site with predatory practices, we will automatically apply ranking protections to help prevent content from other similar low quality sites from appearing in Google Search results for people's names.
Scam and fraud
Scam and fraud come in many forms, including but not limited to impersonating an official business or service through imposter sites, intentionally displaying false information about a business or service, or otherwise attracting users to a site on false pretenses. Using automated systems, Google seeks to identify pages with scammy or fraudulent content and prevent them from showing up in Google Search results. Examples of online scams and fraud include:
- Impersonating a well-known business or service provider to trick users into paying money to the wrong party
- Creating deceptive sites pretending to provide official customer support on behalf of a legitimate business or provide fake contact information of such business
Does Google penalize for keyword stuffing? ›
To help higher quality content rank better, Google search penalizes sites that it detects are keyword stuffing, and may remove your page from its results altogether.How do you do Google SEO yourself? ›
- Make your site interesting and useful.
- Know what your readers want (and give it to them)
- Act in a way that cultivates user trust.
- Make expertise and authoritativeness clear.
- Provide an appropriate amount of content for your subject.
- Avoid distracting advertisements.
- Use links wisely.
SEO spam, also known as spamdexing, is an attempt to use your website to rank content that won't rank otherwise. This is a black hat SEO technique. Hackers use it to generate revenue but in the process, they spam & destroy your website.How SEO works step by step? ›
- Audit. The Process. ...
- Technical SEO. The Process. ...
- Keyword Research. The Process. ...
- Location Demographics. The Process. ...
- Content Strategy. The Process. ...
- Content Writing & Editing. The Process. ...
- Ranking. The Process.
- Don't Buy Links.
- Keyword Stuffing.
- Having Shallow Content Depth.
- Non-Unique Content or Copyright Infringing.
- Including Ads That Make it Difficult for Visitors to Navigate or are Top Heavy.
- Never Hide Content.
- Show You are a Trusted, Legitimate Business.
Cloaking is considered a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines because it provides human visitors with different results. A website must provide content to search engine spiders or bots (the google search crawler), in order to improve its search engine rankings for specific keywords.Can I do SEO on my own? ›
If you've wondered, “Can I do SEO myself?” the answer is definitely. You don't need to hire an outside agency to improve your SEO, and this guide gives you some basic SEO tips to get started.Can I do SEO on my own website? ›
You can absolutely do SEO yourself or DIY SEO (Do It Yourself SEO). With some research and lots of practice, anyone can learn how to do SEO for their business. A quick way to get started with SEO is to enter your URL here and then focus your SEO efforts on the recommended action items.How do I find spam websites? ›
- 1 | Carefully Look at the Address Bar and URL. ...
- 2 | Check the Contact Page. ...
- 3 | Review the Company's Social Media Presence. ...
- 4 | Double Check the Domain Name. ...
- 5 | Look Up the Domain Age. ...
- 6 | Watch for Poor Grammar and Spelling. ...
- Update your software and plugins. ...
- Sanitize input fields. ...
- Use a CAPTCHA. ...
- Keep track of backlink profiles. ...
- Install a web application firewall (WAF) to prevent spammy comments.
What types of content can be considered to be spam in web search? ›
- Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing involves the calculated placement of keywords within a page to raise the keyword count, variety, and density of the page. ...
- Hidden or invisible text. ...
- Meta-tag stuffing. ...
- Doorway pages. ...
- Scraper sites. ...
- Article spinning. ...
- Machine translation.
- STEP 1 – Find a resource for beginners. ...
- STEP 2 – Practice! ...
- STEP 3- Find a Mentor. ...
- STEP 4 – Join an SEO Group. ...
- STEP 5 – Know what's going on in the SEO world. ...
- STEP 6 – Rinse & Repeat.
The answer is simple. Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.How long does a Google penalty last? ›
This may be around 30 days for a slight transgression against the Google Webmaster Guidelines, for example, and a longer time for a more serious offence. After this time is up, the manual penalty will expire on its own.What is Google penalty in SEO? ›
A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content conflicts with the marketing practices enforced by Google. This penalty can come as a result of an update to Google's ranking algorithm, or a manual review that suggests a web page used "black hat" SEO tactics.What is Google penalty check? ›
A Google penalty checker tool helps identify if you've been hurt by an algorithmic update or manual action, pinpoints the source, and provides insight into how to fix the problem.What is cloaking? ›
to cover or hide something: He has always kept his love affairs cloaked in secrecy (= kept them secret). The river is often cloaked in mist in the early morning. SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases. Hiding and disguising.What is cloaking in dating? ›
Rachel Thompson, a single woman in London, coined the term “cloaking” to describe it. “Cloaking is when a person doesn't just stand you up for a date, they also block you on any app that you've previously communicated on,” Thompson describes in a video for Mashable.What is a cloaking software? ›
Cloaking is only an application that exists to hide optimized content from people (in order to make them more user-friendly), and not the search engines. Search engines strongly discourage cloaking and will penalize and even strike your site from the SERPs if you are caught using cloaking techniques.Does SEO Cost Money? ›
Average SEO costs are $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO costs often range from $2,500 – $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies may charge $10-$50 an hour.
How long does it take to become an SEO expert? ›
How Long Does It Take to Become an SEO Specialist? The basis of search engine optimization should take at least three months to master. But when it comes to the advanced concepts, it can take anywhere from six to 12 months. This all depends on the platform you choose for your training.How much does SEO cost for a small business? ›
How much does SEO cost for small businesses? The average cost of SEO for small businesses is $750 to $2000 per month or $5000 to $30,000 for one-time projects. Smaller companies that invest in SEO consulting services can expect to pay $80 to $200 per hour.What should you avoid when developing a search optimized website? ›
You should aim to avoid behavior like: Installing Trojans, spyware, malware, or viruses on users' computers. Manipulating the content on a page so that a user thinks they are clicking on one thing but it is actually a different part of the page.Do I need to hire someone for SEO? ›
Yes, hire an agency if you're looking for long-term success. Unless there's something easily fixable on your site (like blocking it entirely with your robots. txt file), the majority of SEO is building long-term successes and value.Is SEO worth it for small business? ›
Even if you choose to invest money in SEO, the ROI can more than double if the marketing campaign is well-orchestrated. So, the simple answer is 'yes,' SEO is worth it for any small business, even those that don't operate online.What are the 3 types of SEO? ›
The three kinds of SEO are: On-page SEO – Anything on your web pages – Blogs, product copy, web copy. Off-page SEO – Anything which happens away from your website that helps with your SEO Strategy- Backlinks. Technical SEO – Anything technical undertaken to improve Search Rankings – site indexing to help bot crawling.What are 3 main areas of SEO? ›
This is a complete guide to the three components of SEO. Which are Technical SEO, On-page SEO, and Off-page SEO.How do you identify spam links? ›
The first thing you should do is to look at the anchor text of the link. If it looks suspicious, incoherent or doesn't coincide with your niche, it can be a strong signal of a spam link. 5. You can also click on a suspicious link to check if the content on that page is low quality.How do you get rid of spam websites? ›
Understand what makes a backlink 'toxic' Use a tool to identify all bad links pointing to your website. Contact the webmaster and request removal. Create and submit a 'disavow' file to Google to ignore those links.How can I check to see if a website is safe? ›
A secure URL should begin with “https” rather than “http.” The “s” in “https” stands for secure, which indicates that the site is using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. This lets you know that all your communication and data is encrypted as it passes from your browser to the website's server.
Why am I getting so many emails about SEO? ›
Often, the sender is an SEO lead generation company whose function is to collect contact information from leads (like you). If you take the bait, they'll hand it off to a company that does actual, if questionable, SEO work. The messages may range from grammatically ridiculous to personalized and legitimate-sounding.How do I protect my website from spam bots? ›
Add a CAPTCHA: CAPTCHAs require users to confirm that they are not robots in order to prove they're a human being and not an automated script. One way to do this is to use a service like reCAPTCHA, Securimage and Jcaptcha.Why do I get so many SEO spam emails? ›
Usually, the sender has an unprofessional email or free email service, like Hotmail. They don't have their own website or their website has a terrible ranking. If they do have a site, it looks cheap and poorly designed. They encourage you to buy backlinks.What Google considers spam? ›
Google has updated what it considers to be spam when it comes to Google Business Profile posts in the Business Profile posts content policies. The new line added under the avoid section says “examples of such content that is not allowed includes “duplicate photos, posts, videos, and logos.” Duplicate.What is spam and how does it negatively affect online advertising? ›
The first is related to link spam, where you received a link from a bad site and receive traffic from that site that causes high bounces from users. This can be seen as traffic spam because it will negatively impact your site and is unwanted.
Content spam is the unwanted and unauthorized use of content from one's own website on third-party websites in connection with other content, negatively affecting your brand's and website's reputations. Content spam is one of the techniques referred to as negative SEO.How can I do SEO for free? ›
- Rank Math Plugin. Rank Math is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your website content. ...
- Yoast SEO Plugin. ...
- Google Trends. ...
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator. ...
- Ubersuggest. ...
- Google Search Console. ...
- Bing Webmaster Tools. ...
- Google Analytics.
Average SEO costs are $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO costs often range from $2,500 – $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies may charge $10-$50 an hour.How can I practice SEO for free? ›
- Reliablesoft Digital Marketing Academy.
- Yoast Free SEO Course.
- Udemy Free SEO Course.
- Clickminded Free SEO Course.
- HubSpot Free SEO Course.
- SEMRUSH Free SEO Course.
- Coursera Free SEO Course.
- Moz Free SEO Course.
If you can learn SEO for a couple of hours every day, then you can master the basics of SEO within 4-8 weeks and land your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full-time, then you can master the basics even within 1-2 weeks.
Is it hard to learn SEO? ›
SEO is not hard to learn if you start getting your basics right. You just need to be willing enough to allocate enough time and effort in the right directions when learning the SEO concepts. The main problem however is that people don't realize that SEO is a time taking process. It is not a one-day or a two-day affair.Is SEO a good career? ›
' Yes. SEO is a good career option as it is among the most sought-after careers in the Digital Marketing field. There are several organizations around the world, hiring SEO professionals to generate better content and hence produce more business leads.Should I pay someone to do SEO? ›
Yes, hire an agency if you're looking for long-term success. Unless there's something easily fixable on your site (like blocking it entirely with your robots. txt file), the majority of SEO is building long-term successes and value.Is SEO paid or free? ›
SEO is for organic traffic – so that's unpaid or free listings, and SEM is for targeted ads that you pay for. They can be complementary but only if the website itself is SEO-friendly first, then SEM has a greater chance of being successful.Which is the most powerful SEO tool? ›
Users and SEO experts agree that Semrush is one of the most powerful and feature-rich SEO tools available today. Use Semrush for keyword research as well as for conducting in-depth audits of your website, creating and tracking PPC campaigns and improving your overall rankings in search engines.Is SEO worth it for small business? ›
Even if you choose to invest money in SEO, the ROI can more than double if the marketing campaign is well-orchestrated. So, the simple answer is 'yes,' SEO is worth it for any small business, even those that don't operate online.Do I need SEO for my website? ›
In short, SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Check out the SEO tools you can use for optimal ranking.How much do SEO freelancers make? ›
How much does a SEO Freelancer make? As of Oct 9, 2022, the average annual pay for a SEO Freelancer in the United States is $63,397 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.48 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,219/week or $5,283/month.How much does SEO training cost? ›
|Complete SEO Training Experience||Bruce Clary||$1495|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization||Coursera||$245|
|SEO 2022: Complete SEO Training||Udemy||$99|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course||Simplilearn||$999|
- Understand the goal of SEO. ...
- Master keyword research. ...
- Know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO. ...
- Learn to identify UX signals. ...
- Embrace SEO-friendly content creation. ...
- Start link building.
How do I become an SEO expert? ›
- Learn the basics of how search engines work.
- Understand SEO strategies and concepts.
- Participate in SEO training.
- Keep up with industry trends and news.
- Get familiar with SEO tools.
- Experiment with SEO tactics on your website or blog.
- Show employers your efforts and results.