Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam

Showing 1-15 of 15 messages
http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Christopher More 4/22/13 3:35 PM
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 
My URL is: www.mozilla.org

We got this message from Google and I have verified it in the webmaster tools:

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Google has detected user-generated spam on your site. Typically, this kind of spam is found on forum pages, guestbook pages, or in user profiles.

As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.

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I am unable to find any spam on http://www.mozilla.org. I have tried a site:www.mozilla.org [spam terms] and nothing is showing up on the domain. I did find a spammy page on a old version of the website, but that is 301 redirected to an archive website.

Has anyone had luck finding out what pages Google feels contain user-generated spam? We don't even have a database on www.mozilla.org to allow the creation of user-generated content!

Thanks,

Chris More
Mozilla



Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Pelagic 4/23/13 3:45 AM
Hi Chris, have you checked the subdomains, using site:mozilla.org ?
e.g.

Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam JohnMu 4/23/13 4:05 AM
Hi Chris

To some extent, we will manually remove any particularly egregious spam from our search results that we find, so some of those pages may not be directly visible in Google's web-search anymore. Looking at the whole domain, I see some pages similar to those that Pelagic (thanks!) mentioned: https://www.google.com/search?q=site:mozilla.org+cheap+payday+seo  (you'll usually also find them with pharmaceutical brand-names among other terms). 

In addition to the add-ons, there are a few blogs hosted on mozilla.org that appear to have little or no moderation on the comments, for example http://blog.mozilla.org/respindola/about/ looks particularly bad. For these kinds of sites, it may make sense to allow the community to help with comment moderation (eg. allow them to flag or vote-down spam), and to use the rel=nofollow link microformat to let search engines know that you don't endorse the links in those unmoderated comments. 

For more tips on handling UGC (and I realize you all probably have a lot of experience in this already) are at http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81749

Also keep in mind that we work to be as granular as possible with our manual actions. Personally, I think it's good to react to a message like that by looking into ways of catching and resolving the cases that get through your existing UGC infrastructure, but in this particular case, this message does not mean that your site on a whole is critically negatively affected in our search results. 

Cheers
John
gioz80 4/23/13 5:33 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam David Naylor 4/23/13 6:17 AM
odd that the links are NoFollowed and still you got hit ... sad days
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Suzanneh 4/23/13 6:22 AM
It's not about the links necessarily but about user-generated spam.  If that was on my site and I wasn't aware of it, I'd be glad that Google let me know.  Obviously, I'd rather know without a penalty - ha! -- but it's up to the website owner to be on top of things like that.  Google's not my keeper. :-)

Suzanne
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Ashley 4/23/13 7:27 AM
Spam is more than just followed links, folks. 

:)
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam StevieD_Web 4/23/13 9:42 AM
+2 to Suzanneh
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam seo101 4/23/13 2:05 PM
lol!

"21,187 Responses to About"
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Matt_Cutts 4/23/13 10:10 PM
Hey Chris, we've been talking on Twitter but I figured that I'd give a quick response here as well.

Over time, Google has improved our transparency by sending messages for all the direct manual webspam actions that we take, but there are still ways that we could do better. In particular, we do send example URLs for many incidents involved hacked sites or granular actions on links, but we currently don't provide example URLs for every direct manual webspam action that we take.

We are looking at providing more example URLs for more message types over time though. In this particular case, it was the url http://blog.mozilla.org/respindola/about/ that we took action on, and that was because it was so defaced with spam comments. I checked the URL this morning and it was over 12 megabytes (!) of spam from 21,169 different comments. When a page like that lands in our search results, it's the sort of thing that users complain to us about, so we are willing to take action.

I saw that the URL has been considerably cleaned up now--thanks for that. I wouldn't take the message as an criticism of mozilla.org; it was just a heads-up that we'd taken granular action (in this case, on a single URL) because we saw spammy user content on the site. You might consider checking around blog.mozilla.org to see if there's other pages that are as badly defaced. Meanwhile on our side, we'll look at whether we can provide more concrete/actionable examples in messages so that webmasters have a better idea of where to look when they get a message from us.

Hope that helps,
Matt
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Christopher More 4/24/13 11:15 AM
Hi Matt.

Thanks for the insight and additional information.

What was confusing with the user-generated spam alert was the fact that I currently have one webmaster account set up for www.mozilla.org and none for blog.mozilla.org. Www is just one of hundreds of sub-domains of mozilla.org and the blog domain is a completely different website. I am surprised that I would get an alert on the www.mozilla.org webmaster account for a completely different fully-qualified sub-domain.

Is the user-generated spam alerts tied to the FQD of the website for the webmaster account on or is it tied to the root domain (mozilla.org in our case)?

If providing exact URLs is too much noise for a user-generated spam alert emails, could it at least provide the exact FQD of the offending spam page/site? I would have found the spam immediately if I would have searched site:mozilla.org, but instead I used site:www.mozilla.org. I *assumed* that the alert was specific to my webmaster account and thus I was only looking for spam on that single website.

We are currently running our typical spam prevention techniques on the backlog on previous comments on that specific blog. This was one of a few blogs that were set up previously and someone accidentally didn't enable our typical spam filtering. Most of the spam is already cleaned up now and should be completely resolved soon.

Thanks again,
Chris More
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Ashley 4/24/13 11:23 AM
ah, the confusion makes quite a bit of sense now. That would definitely throw me for a loop as a webmaster.

Perhaps they sent you the notification in the www version because the blog subdomain was not verified? I know Google makes a pretty concerted effort to get notification of a manual action to you. 

I wonder if you had both verifed in WMT, if the notification would then only go to the blog subdomain dash? 
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Christopher More 4/24/13 11:34 AM
Yeah, it is possible that manual spam actions are sent to all matching root domain webmaster accounts and www.mozilla.org just happened to be the one I was admin. Without any additional meta data on the action and hearing that a site like www.mozilla.org could be dropped from the Google index would make many people nervous. Glad that this was not the case and hopefully Google can add some additional information to the notices to help people like myself to manage many separate websites under a root domain. In the meantime, most of the spam is removed from the personal blog in question.
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Matt_Cutts 4/24/13 10:47 PM
Hey Chris, I agree that example.com and www.example.com are different hostnames and technically could be different sites, but in practice they're almost always the same.

We wanted to avoid the case where a site owner verifies www.example.com and then misses out on a message about example.com. So when we send a message about example.com, we typically send it to the verified owners for both example.com and www.example.com, just so a site owner doesn't miss out on getting a message.

We'll continue to look at ways to make the messages more concrete and actionable though.

Regards,
Matt
Re: http://www.mozilla.org/: User-generated spam Christopher More 4/25/13 12:00 AM
Hi Matt.

Yes, I agree on the example.com and www.example.com point, but I meaning for sub-domains beyond "www". My point is that regardless if the website is a root domain or a sub-domain (i.e. www, blog, store, etc.), just give the fully qualified domain name of where the spam is found.

For example, here are some URLs and where it would be more helpful to list the FQDN and not just the root domain in the body of the spam action notice.

http://example.com/blog/foo/about >> "example.com"

http://www.example.com/blog/foo/about >> "www.example.com"

http://blog.example.com/blog/foo/about >> "blog.example.com"

In the three examples above, I believe the current webmaster setup would always say "example.com" in the spam action email at the root webmaster account. If a webmaster is a owner of a website with no additional sub-domains the FQDN addition doesn't cause any problems, but for webmasters of many sub-domains off of a root domain, this is a major benefit to quick resolution. I still think it is good that Google is blanketing the manual spam actions to multiple webmaster accounts and just a little more meta data would make it even better.

Thanks again.

Best,
Chris