Chapter 3. Identifying and Reporting Spam

In This Chapter

  • Knowing spam when you see it

  • Avoiding spam on your own Web site

  • Reporting spam violations to the search engines

  • Recognizing paid links

  • Reporting paid links for the search engines to investigate

  • Understanding click fraud

When you hear the word spam, it might make you think of the many unwanted e-mails littering your inbox. Or maybe the first thing that comes to mind is cans of processed meat. (Mmmmmm, processed meat . . .) But in the world of search engine optimization (SEO), spam is any deceptive tactic used on a Web site to fool the search engines about what that site is about.

In this chapter, we recap the different types of spam polluting the Internet. Although we describe the different forms of spam in-depth in Book I, Chapter 6, in this chapter, we explain what you can do to clean it up if you find it on your own site, and what choices you have if you find it on someone else's. This chapter contains specific instructions for reporting spam to all the major search engines, which could be good reference for you in the future. You also find out about a type of fraud that affects paid search advertisers, and how you can guard against this in your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns (search engine ads that display on search results pages, and that you pay for only when users click your ads).

How to Identify Spam and What to Do About It

You need to know spam when you see it for a few reasons:

  • You can prevent your own Web site from inadvertently ...

Get Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.