In response of a question asked from
“What a search spam team member does? How they decide which aspects of the search algorithm to update? Will certain things within the algorithm never be considered for removal? ” Brian Harnish
Matt Cutts said
Let’s talk through a little bit. Remember the spam team has both engineers and manual spam fighters.
What A Manual Spam Fighter Does?
Typically it’s a mix of reactive and proactive spam fighting. So reactive would mean we get a spam report or somehow we detect that someone is spamming Google. With ultimate goal to improve our results, we keep on trying every day to make sure that the spammers don’t infest the search results and make the search experience terrible for users. So, we keep on investigating how spammers rank high in Search Results. So, manual spammer team keep on interacting with engineers to make little algorithmic changes to stand against spam.
What Engineers Do?
Ok, so let’s talk about engineering. It’s interesting because engineers they absolutely look at the data they absolutely look at the examples of spam but your average day is usually spent coding and testing of ideas. So you’ll write up an algorithm that you think will be able to stop a particular type of spam.
How We Decide To Update Algorithm?
We keep on revisiting our algorithms to decide
- Is current algorithm is effective or we need to revise it?
- What parts of algorithm needs to be changed?
- What changes can make it more relevant?
- How can it tackle newly identified spammy methods?
In short, we are trying to improve quality of search results and make spammers out of show. You try to come up with elegant ways that will always catch spam. And try to highlight new types of spam as they occur. Now it’s really hard because there’s a massive amount of spam on the web. And there’s always people trying to make more spam. Sometimes, it very different and a lot of that is because we are responding to the actual attacks that we see. We are responding to actual feedback, the sorts of things that people are complaining about. But as far as average day, it’s true that there is no completely normal average day. Every day is a little unusual. Today we had a conspiracy theory that we were debunking. Someone was saying, hey, my name is whatever- whatever, and whenever you search for my name you can’t find me. And it’s because I wrote something critical about Google. And the fact is we are way too busy to worry about stuff like that. But we do try to debug that and diagnose what’s going on?
What are the things that the algorithm will never be considered for removal?
Well other than saying the core pillars like separation between ads and organic search results. If you buy ads you won’t rank higher you won’t rank lower. We have some principles that we just do not want to ever call into question. But at the same time, everything else within search ranking is up for grabs. Because if you can come up with a better, more elegant, cleaner, shorter, simpler way to do something, then you absolutely want to do it that way. So you always try to go back and revisit and say can we make architecture something that’s stronger while still being simpler? It’s a lot of fun. It’s a goof intellectual challenge. And they there will probably be people trying to spam forever. So I think we’ll have a job for quite some time to come. But we always try to say, ok, how do we look at a problem and then tackle it at the root? So you never want to play wacky a mole with a particular type of spam or a particular spammer. You always want to be saying, how are they able to exploit the web or confidence on the web or people on the web, or software packages on the web or our ranking? And try to find a way to plug that hole so that you help everybody downstream. Not just taking care of that one specific incident. It’s a lot fun. We have a lot fantastic people all around the world who work on spam. I am very grateful that they tackle it and they tackle it very well.
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