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Does Google think that your web site is spam?

Google has extended the penalty notification experiment that was started last year. Google’s Webspam team now works with the Google Sitemaps team to alert some (but not all) site owners of penalties for their site.

What is the penalty notification experiment?

In September 2005, Google started to send email messages to some webmasters who used spam elements on their web sites. Google has now extended this program to users of Google Sitemaps.

If you verify your site in Google Sitemaps and then are penalized by the Google webspam team for hidden text on your pages, then Google may explicitly confirm a penalty and offer you a reinclusion request specifically for that site.

Does Google inform all webmasters about spam elements on their sites?

Google does not inform all webmasters when it detect spam elements on a web site:

"If the webspam team detects a spammer that is creating dozens or hundreds of sites with doorway pages followed by a sneaky redirect, there’s no reason that we’d want the spammer to realize that we’d caught those pages.

So Google clearly shouldn’t contact every site that is penalized–it would tip off spammers that they’d been caught, and then the spammers would start over and try to be sneakier next time."

What does this mean to your web site and your Google rankings?

Even if you did not want to do it, there might be some elements that Google considers as spam. Google is still testing this program so its likely that you will not be informed about the problem.

If you have spam elements on your pages, Google will downrank your site, or they will even ban your complete site from their index.

For that reason, you should make sure that your web site does not contain spam elements. You can find a list of 9 elements that search engines consider as spam on this page.

Using spam elements on your web site will get your web site banned from Google sooner or later. Focus on ethical search engine optimization methods such as optimizing your web page contents and getting good inbound links.

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May 2006 search engine articles