News & Insights


Why You Can’t Spam Your Site to the Top of Google

pwd staff OLIVER WOOD
Oliver Wood

|19th February 2016

It used to work before.

Where you could use software tools to automatically generate fresh content and build thousands of links to your pages, and rank for extremely competitive keywords the next day. Then you could enjoy an avalanche of traffic to your site and sales as a result. But the days of spamming the search results are long gone. Such practices are now largely ineffective and likely to result in a complete ban from the index.

If you think that spamming your site to the top of the search results is the solution to increasing sales, you are mistaken. SEO is a lengthy process, one that requires strategic planning and implementation to be successful. Attempting to circumvent this process with shortcuts or other questionable tactics simply won’t work as it will only get your site penalised.

Here we look at why you simply can’t spam your site and expect to rank in Google.

Frequent Algorithm Changes

Google is absolutely relentless in its pursuit to deliver the best results.

Failing to meet that promise would mean that users would turn to other search engines to find information online. And Google simply cannot afford for that to happen for obvious reasons. It is estimated that the ranking algorithms are tweaked hundreds of time a year.

Around the time that the Penguin update was launched, Google made the following announcement on its blog:

In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.Webspam is the key emphasis here.

Examples of webspam are using automatically generated content, stuffing content with irrelevant keywords, and participating in link schemes. Each is specifically designed to manipulate the search results and raise red flags in Google’s ranking algorithm. Even if your site manages to remain unscatched from a ranking algorithm, there is no telling when the next data refresh will be.

Competitors Can Report Your Site

Your site is finally ranking in the search results.

But you had to resort to questionable tactics to achieve those rankings.

You can bet that your competitors won’t be too happy that your site is ranking about theirs. So they will comb through every page of your site and even analyse your links. If your competitors suspect that your site is ranking due to spam, all they need to do is report it to Google’s webspam team.

If the site is spam, tell us about it! Google takes spam extremely seriously, and investigates reported instances. These reports are submitted directly to our webspam team and are used to devise scalable solutions to fight spam.You may be able to rank your site in the results and even avoid a ranking penalty. But your competitors will be happy to report you if they suspect that you are spamming your pages. This is yet another reason why you simply cannot spam your way to the top of the results.

The only approach then is to implement an SEO strategy that consists of:

  • Creating engaging content that provide value
  • Building quality links from relevant sites
  • Optimising your site to be mobile friendly
  • Implementing a structure that is easy to navigate
  • Improving loading times so pages load quickly

Of course, these efforts take time but they ensure that your site will be protected against future algorithm updates. And your competitors will have no reason to report your site for spamming the search results.