How many types of messages does the webspam team send to Webmaster Tools?
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How many types of messages does the webspam team send to Webmaster Tools?


MATT CUTTS: Today’s question
comes from Tokyo, Japan. The question is, you’ve been
sending various kinds of messages via Webmaster Tools
to improve transparency. It’s a good move. How many types of messages do
you send, and how do you decide what message you send? Great question. So I can share a little
bit of stats. At this point, we do send
hundreds of thousands of messages each month. That might sound like a lot,
but for example, one search engine named Blekko estimated
that a million spam pages are created every hour. So the web is very large, so
it shouldn’t be a surprise that some percentage
of it is spam. And as a result, we do spend a
lot of time finding that spam. And since we automatically
send messages and notifications when we find it,
there are a lot, hundreds of thousands of notifications that
we send out each month. There’s a lot of different
categories of spam. They’re covered in our
Webmaster Guidelines, everything from cloaking to
scraping to sneaky JavaScript redirects, paid links,
all sorts of stuff. But all of those boil down to
roughly about 10 different messages that we send. So hidden text, keyword
stuffing, gibberish, all that would go into one message
that we send out. I can share some stats from
earlier this year, from January and February. Out of the hundreds of thousands
of messages that we sent over that time period,
roughly 90% of those were for what we call Black Hat. That’s pure, egregious spam,
clear cut, anybody sufficiently tech savvy would
probably be able to recognize that it’s spam. It’s the stuff that you think
of as traditional junk that you just don’t want to show up
in your results because it is very clearly spam. About 4% of the messages were
because the content had little or no added value, and so it’s
not ranking as highly in our search results. About 3% of the messages
that we sent were related to hacking. So hacking is a big attack
as far as Black Hats. And even though it’s illegal,
there’s a lot of people that do that– trying to promote
their pharmacy pills or whatever, that sort of thing. So about 3% of those messages
were related to hacking. Something like 2% of the
messages that we sent out were related to link buying,
and about 1% were related to link selling. So overall between 2% and 3%
related to links and link spam overall about buying
and selling links. So that gives you a broad idea
of the sorts of categories that we send things out for
and the rough number of messages that we send
out each month.

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