Speaker Profile:

Name: Brian White

Company: Google

Twitter: @brianwhite



  • Brian White is the program manager of the Search Quality Webspam from Google
  • Brian works in the manual webspam team in Google
  • How Search Works infographic is up on screen – It is to provide more transparency
  • Search quality is a large group in Google broken up in to two teams: Quality Evaluation & Manual Webspam teams
  • Quality Eval – They tackle ratings for algorithm development (no changes to rankings)
  • Ratings are aggregated based on manual side by side evaluation on algorithm changes
  • Manual Webspam – they do manual investigation, actions (demotions/removals)
  • Manual webspam teams investigate and find out how people are trying to game the system, result of their work ends up with a manual action
  • Live spam screenshots – check it out! Google are providing real time removal of spam websites. Check and see what type of websites are getting removed from the index.
  • Brian is showing a graph on manual spam actions from 2004 – 2012. They are committed to fighting spam and created several offices around the world
  • Google classifies their spam in to types: pure spam, hacked sites, legacy, unnatural links, cloaking, user generated spam, etc
  • Brian just handed out a collectible android by guesssing Parked Domain girl
  • Brian is now showing some examples or Pure Spam – mainly in the casino vertical
  • Links embedded between unreadable content articles are classified for pure spam
  • Hacked sites, cloaking and sneaky redirects are considered as spam too
  • Typical hacked site behaviour would be injection of gibberish content with links without the webmasters knowledge
  • The footprint that web spam leaves is astonishing!
  • Brian White recommends using Fetch as Googlebot – see what google sees with their user agent
  • Battle thin content by adding value to the user: provide useful features. Brian is using example of Amazon Light
  • Create functionality that is useful to users, Amazon Light generate tonnes of links and mentions for years
  • Doorway pages are dreadful webspam – Brian demonstrates a crushing rabbits example on a rock crushing business
  • User generated spam on social bookmarking sites are being looked at by Google. Blog comment spamming spam – anchor text links as identity/name is also being looked at closely by Google.
  • Hidden text & keyword stuffing not only happens in english but in other foreign languages as well
  • They look for patterns
  • Automatically generated pages such as infinite Calendar entries on a website can trigger a manual action – use robots.txt to block those pages
  • was not a manual penalty, it was a mistake
  • In 2005, Google accidentally removed all websites from the index – shit happens, mistakes do happen
  • Messages sent via GWT spiked significantly in 2012 – Google’s way of providing more transparency
  • Reconsideration requests have also been increasing between 2006 – 2012
  • Brians advice when you do a reconsideration request is to be frank and honest. Be straightforward and don’t lie.
  • Example Brian used: Hi…Yes we buy links from XXX. This backlink is auto generated and cannot change html code. Regards…
  • Google ignores shit like that
  • Algos are awesome but not perfect, humans tend to be perfect but with no scale. Together, they provide better results.
  • Hints and reports from webmaster tools on spam get some priority – starting reporting dodgy sites via GWT!
  • There is going to be a major crackdown on spam in 2013, watch out blackhatters
  • Next penguin update is going to be significant!
  • Penalties tend to be very granular, they tend to penalise page level and not site level

Please excuse the typos, broken links, incomplete sentences, etc.