Google Sending ‘Major Spam Warning’ Messages

Google’s Search Console provides tools to webmasters looking to ensure that their site is visible to Google, that content they don’t want indexed remains off of the search engine, and that their ROI for advertising is as expected. In recent years, Search Console has also offered a host of security features for its users, with warnings about suspicious website activity chief among them. The warning was previously named “pure spam”, while the current alert is titled “major spam warning”. This name can still be found under the “Manual Actions” section of Search Console, which details actions a webmaster should or must take as detected by Google. The warning refers to a website that appears to aggressively spam, using cloaking, gibberish and other techniques to mask the presence of malicious or dishonest web content. Many websites flagged by Search Console in this way are spam websites. However, some websites affected by these warnings are legitimate businesses or personal websites that have been hacked and defaced. Any webmaster of a website that generates ad revenue or needs traffic is best off using Search Console regularly, as Google takes actions based on these warnings (such as excluding websites from search results) whether or not the webmaster is able to receive them. These warnings are not really different from Google’s previous spam warnings, and use the same WNC number (which provides each alert with a unique identity). Their effect on the website on Google’s end is the same, as well. As such, the warnings do not indicate a new type of spam activity taking place on the Internet, but simply are more direct and thus useful to webmasters who might receive them. Websites that receive major spam warnings will usually require significant changes, which Google will sometimes provide more advice on. Until these changes are made, websites that have received major spam warnings will not be indexed by the search giant, which can cause tremendous problems for impression numbers. In a small number of cases, the website may not be hacked or illegitimate, but Google believes these false positives to be vanishingly rare. Those affected by the major spam warnings looking to reinstate their website on Google can start at this help page, which contains links to other help sections on Google. Reviewing Google’s own webmaster guidelines and ensuring that your website follows them and is free of malware is the only way to reinstate one’s website on Google.


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