While Gmail has had a host of anti-spam features for some time, Google has upped its efforts to combat spam on other fronts too in the recent times, with search being a key area where the company aims to contain the threats posed by spam. Google says it removed 80% of the websites from the search results that were reportedly hacked or whose security was compromised to a variable extent.
In a blog post, Google’s Global Search Outreach Lead, Juan Felipe Rincon revealed that the company detected and removed 80% of such potentially dangerous websites from the search results in 2017. He added that Google has developed close ties with leading content management platforms such as WordPress and Joomla among others. Google is working with these platforms to develop safeguards against spammers, who promote the abusive use of forums and comments sections to spread malicious online content.
Google defines spam as web content which tries to manipulate or distort the search rankings against the guidelines, web pages which try to steal sensitive user data or try to seed malware, those which subscribe users to services with shady terms of services, etc.
In addition to removing compromised websites, Google also took action on around 90,000 user reports of search spam, in a bid to create a spam-free search experience.
Moreover, Google also claims to have conducted over 250 webmaster meets and reached out to around 2,20,000 website owners with guidelines on ways to encourage a safe web search experience and create high-quality content and services. The company also sent over 45 million notifications to registered website owners to notify them about issues that might affect the ranking of their websites in search results, and also sent around 6 million manual action messages to warn webmasters about practices that violate the search guidelines, alongside guidelines to fix the issues.