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Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam?

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Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Matt070707 1/2/14 2:49 AM
Hello,

we are a file hosting site which focuses on community - people have profiles, they upload content, etc. Due to big traffic, we have a lot of spammers on our site, which we actively fight against, but something always slips through - it's an ongoing fight for years.

Recently I noticed some of our users got deindexed, and rightfully so as they were spammers, but we have been notified that our site is Pure Spam. What I'm wondering about is why were they not categorized as User-Generated Spam. Guidelines for Pure Spam state, that we should fix the content and then make a reconsideration request. Normally we would simply remove those spammy users - should we do that as usual and then make a reconsideration request? Any other ideas?

Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? I know nothing 1/2/14 3:16 AM
without a URL we could be here until 2015.
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Matt55 1/2/14 3:56 AM
URL: http://chomikuj.pl/edukacjix,100

This is just one of many examples. There are cases such like:
  • User uploading thousands of 0 kb text files that tend to be named correctly, but inside them are links leading to another hosting services.
  • User spamming other users with profile comments.
  • Users trying to phish other people's facebook accounts.
  • Etc.

Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Gaieus 1/2/14 4:13 AM
Matt, you really need to control the content and membership on your site. Seriously, if you cannot do it, it's better to close it down. I administrate a forum with nearly a quarter of a million members and there is not a single piece of spam there although we have 200-300 new members and also 200-300 new posts daily.

Just a couple of questions:
  1. does your forum require email verification (confirmation) from newly registered members?
  2. Do you have any moderation (especially with newly registered members)?
  3. Do you have (or could you implement) any quota (like the number of uploaded files)?
There are very useful tools to prevent at least registration by known spammers. Search for "Stop Forum Spam" for instance (I know it's not a forum but registering, I guess, is the same). They have an API that you can implement and use for keeping known spammers away (and if you get spammed, you can also contribute to keeping their database up-to-date).

No-one else will do this for you and no matter how your site has become spammy, it is spammy and that's an indicator for any internet citizen to avoid it. You are the owner, you need to fix it. Search engines can only tell it's spammy (thanks to modern algorithms) but they will not give you advice how to clean it.
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Matt55 1/2/14 4:29 AM
Gaieus, just to make that clear - it's not like I run this website on my own ;) 

We have a huge team fighting against the spammers, botters, illegal content, etc, but every once in a while some people slip past our defense and tend to stay there until we update our algorithms. It's an ongoing process, they show up, we update, they are gone, then another group shows up. I would rather not describe our methods here as those spammer groups tend to find anything we describe publicly and think of finding new ways of spamming.

Let's get back to the topic - I am wondering why were they classified as Pure Spam and not User-Generated Spam. I find reconsideration requests in such cases a bit pointless, as we delete huge amounts of such accounts weekly, what I really want to avoid is top-domain deindex, as it's more often the case in Pure Spam than User-Generated Spam.
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Suzanneh 1/2/14 5:43 AM
Is the manual action listed under site-wide or partial?

Suzanne
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? black belt 1/2/14 5:44 AM
I don't know what your user stats and ratio of the bad to the legitimate. But if you're racking up large numbers, which is certainly possible on UGC sites, then it's possible that Google has decided that the overall purpose of your site might fit into the definition of "Pure Spam" -- see below. With a file uploading service like you have, the issues regarding abuse are going to be on the very high side. Google isn't going to care to police your users every single time one of them runs afoul of the rules. That's your job to control and, if it becomes too large, I'm assuming it's a site issue.


If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected that some of your pages may be using techniques that are outside our Webmaster Guidelines. The site appears to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberishcloakingscraping content from other websites, and/or other repeated or egregious violations of Google’s quality guidelines. 
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Matt55 1/2/14 5:58 AM
It is listed under Partial matches - that's why I'm wondering if we should simply carry on with our tasks (we fight against spammers all the time anyway), or should we drop everything and try to get a hold of a Googler and explain the situation to prevent side-wide match. I don't think the ratio is bad, but there is no clear definition of what will be classified as side wide / partial match for pure spam / ugc spam.
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? Suzanneh 1/2/14 8:08 AM
I think Black Belt might be on to something with the "if you're racking up large numbers" then Google might think the whole site is spam.  Well, not the whole site because it's a partial penalty.  But maybe you need to up the ante on the spam fighting?

>> I don't think the ratio is bad, but there is no clear definition of what will be classified as side wide / partial match for pure spam / ugc spam.

And Google's not going to tell you exact numbers.  I'd say they've given you a clue that the current level is not acceptable.

Or look at it this way:  all your content is UGC, right?  Or at least the vast majority?  Unless you're doing something majorily spammy with any original content, I'd say it has to do with UGC, whether the penalty is marked as UGC or not.

Suzanne
Re: Why was my site categorized as Pure Spam instead of User Generated Spam? StevieD_Web 1/2/14 1:09 PM
>And Google's not going to tell you exact numbers

Key point.  

A) Google is never going to draw a line in the sand and say 3.14159, 42 or 5% is acceptable 

B) Even if Google did say  3.14159, 42 or 5% is acceptable, next week the standard could change/tighten .