Google on Protecting Anchor Text Signal from Spam Site Influence

26 Sep, 2023 Google Features, Technical

In order for your website to have a strong presence, it’s crucial that search engines have confidence in its safety and reliability when delivering information to users. This trustworthiness is cultivated by evaluating whether your website engages in spam-related activities. In cases where a website is found to be involved in spam creation or promotion, it is regarded as untrustworthy and will be actively demoted by search engine algorithms. Websites that steer clear of spam practices are deemed trustworthy by search engine algorithms, significantly increasing their chances of appearing among the top three search results recommended to users.

Google has the greatest influence on your website as a search engine provider, handling 93.12% of all search queries. Understanding how Google determines the trustworthiness of your website is integral to ensuring your business develops and maintains a strong digital reputation and presence in the online marketplace.

How Google Determines Trust Versus Spam

Evaluating the trustworthiness of a website can be quite challenging, particularly because Google doesn’t openly provide a dedicated trust metric for public reference. However, Google filed a patent for a particular method of ranking scores to pages. It appears that Google determines a site’s trustworthiness based on the distance between a set of trusted “seed sites” and the pages they link to. If the URL is further from these seed sites, it is more likely to be flagged as spam.

This patent also mentions the use of a reduced link graph. A link graph is essentially a map of the internet created by mapping what links are connected to each other and in what order. A reduced link graph removes low-quality links and their associated sites from the graph, thus reducing its total reach. Google may compare a link graph to a reduced link graph to determine what sites are untrustworthy.

Once Google has determined what website content is spam, it finds other websites promoting this spammy content and shuts them down. Google has developed a method to hunt down spam and its creators to ensure that untrustworthy links do not appear in results pages.

How Google Hunts Spam

Google’s Spam Brain is an AI platform that analyzes web pages at different points in time and hunts spam using two main functions. First, the Spam Brain acts as an index gatekeeper, blocking sites that develop or promote spam at crawl time. These websites are found through the search console and sitemaps, allowing Google to shut them down before they can do any harm to users.

If spam is able to bypass the index gatekeeper, then Google’s Spam Brain enters its second function. The goal of this function is to hunt down spam indexed as a potential site for ranking. This second step acts as a backup filter to ensure that spam doesn’t reach a user’s top link suggestions.

Together, the Spam Brain’s two functions ensure that spam doesn’t get promoted to the user. Understanding how Google determines spam versus trustworthy content and its methods for hunting down this content is integral to understanding how your website traffic may be impacted.

How Google’s Trust Impacts Your Website Traffic

The trustworthiness of your website determines how Google indexes and ranks your website compared to other sites with similar information and keywords. Google’s Spam Brain is designed to suppress your website in search results if your content is considered too spammy. In order to have your website on the first page of Google’s search results, you need to convince the algorithm that your website is trustworthy.

The best way to do this is to build links with other trustworthy websites. It can be difficult to determine whether another website is trustworthy because Google does not make its seed sites known to the public. Some sources, such as educational institutions, well-developed news media sites, and large nonprofit organizations, can be good sources. Still, it is easy to make a website appear more trustworthy than it is.

Instead of trying to determine what sites are trustworthy, it is much more efficient to determine whether sites are untrustworthy. Google won’t trust links from penalized sites, so it is important to check before being affiliated with a site. Third-party metrics can help determine a given website’s trustworthiness, but you should not trust these metrics alone, as their calculation methods are usually hidden. Instead, you can analyze the site to see if they are getting inbound links from possibly paid links. If the website is getting inbound links from sources such as Private Blog Networks or PBNs, then the website is likely considered spammy and should not link back to your website.

Get Help Building Trust

Analyzing websites for inbound links from untrustworthy sources is a time-consuming process that requires experience and expertise to understand and address. It can be cost-effective to hire an external team that specializes in this niche to ensure your business reaps the benefits of a strong online presence without paying the high cost of in-house professionals. Call BluShark Digital today to get started.