At the beginning, web technology was operated by the people who were committed to keep it safe. They were dedicated to build such a communication network that will turn the world into a Global Village. But there is a negative site everywhere. Some people always try to abuse the technology. They use technology to harm other people and thus try to get some personal benefits. What do you call them - Hacker, Spammer or simply Criminal?
Google is trying to prevent the webspam. And you have a great opportunity to contribute to build a safer web along with Google Spam Report! Recently Google Webmaster Tool has introduced a new page through which you can report 10 types of suspicious site under following categories:
- Paid Links - Page that sells or buys links
- Objectionable Contents - Page that contains inappropriate contents
- Malware - Page that is infected
- Other Google Products - Page that abuses AdSense, Google Maps etc.
- Something else is wrong - Page that is not webspam but has some other issues
- Report Webspam - Page which is really webspam
- Copyright and other legal issues - Page that violates copyright
- Personal/ Private - Page that discloses private information
- Phishing - Page that asks for sensitive information like username, password etc.
- Rich Snippets - Page that violates Google's Rich Snippet guidelines
Google defines webspam as - the pages that try to trick Google into ranking them highly. And before you file a webspam report, you should decide which of the above categories best describes the page.
If the page has multiple identifiable issues, I think you should report the site which will punish it more!
Here I would like to illustrate some practical situations -
If someone is copying contents from your site, you can report it to the Copyright and other legal issues category. And you must be the copyright owner. Or you can also report the site in Other Google Products category if that site uses Google AdSense Ads.
Link Sharing Site
Some sites share too much links. If you found a site which is primarily selling or buying links without providing services to the people, you can report that site under paid links. Users find it difficult to use the site due to the numerous links.
Sites Sharing Malware/Virus
Some sites have downloadable contents. And often they share virus or malware. If you found a site that shares virus or malware, you can report this site in Malware category.
These sites are really boring for the users. Wherever you click on these sites, a pop up window may appear. Or you maybe redirected to another unwanted page. These sites could be reported in different categories. But I prefer Something else is wrong category.
Site Revealing Private Information
Privacy has been a great concern now. Often we see, some sites reveals secret information about different individuals which is against privacy. If you found a site which discloses your personal information or someone else, you can report it in Personal/Private category.
Sites asking passwords, username etc.
Some sites may ask your Facebook username or password to sign up or log in. Or they may want your Google username or password. Or they may ask for any information which they are not supposed to do.
Sometimes you may find a fake site which exactly looks like a popular site. Suppose Facebok instead of Facebook. Or Goggle instead of Google. They are known as phishing sites. If you ever sign in to these sites by mistake, change your password immediately. Because you may loose your account anytime.
If you found a phishing site, please report it in the Phishing category. It's popular method to hack someone's account.
If you found a site which contains wrong information, exchanging links, copying contents from others, too much posts within a few days, misguiding the readers, redirecting the visitors to unwanted sites - in a word Massacre - you can report this site in Really webspam category. You may find all sorts peculiarities there!
Some sites mislead the usres. Suppose you search something in Google and found a site appropriate for your query. But after visiting the site, you've understood that this sites doesn't contain your desired contents. But it provides wrong information in Google search result. You can report this site in Rich Snippets category.
These sites use such a description in the search result, that influences users to click. But when the visitors enter the page, they don't find necessary information.
If you think, the contents of a site is not appropriate, then you can report it in Objectionable contents category. Or if you fails to decide the proper category, then use Something else is wrong option.
The last thing I would like to tell you, I personally hate Phishing, Spamming, Copying and Malware sites. What do you hate most?