At the SMX West conference, during a “Google Manual Actions” panel, Juan Flipe Rincon from Google said that Google will take action in around 65% of the 35,000 user submitted spam reports it receives.
Rincon said that of those 35,000 spam reports about 65% are pure spam, so Google takes action on them.
Web spam reports can be made using this form and can also be made via the Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools).
Google says that it prioritises reports based on the effect the spam has on users and the search results. Google also says that some users are very good at reporting spam so may prioritise action based on the users history of filing good spam reports.
Apart from user submitted reports, Google is becoming much better at dealing with web spam. In particular Google is able to very quickly weed out content that is pure spam and take manual action to remove those pages or sites from Google search results.
One common tactic of Internet Marketers used to be to spin articles hundreds or thousands of times and distribute those around the web linking back to a site or another piece of content or as part of a private blog network. Google now detects these tactics very well and will not only take action on the spam but may take action on the site that the spam is linking to.
In further news about Google and web spam, Andrey Lipattsev from Google said that some non English search results may appear easier to spam than English ones even though Google's spam algorithms are global.
Panda works differently for English than for some other languages. Although Panda was rolled out globally it works best for the English language and is all about quality content. Penguin is all about links and is global and works the same globally.
So why does web spam appear more frequently in some other languages? The reason cited by Lipattsev is that for some languages there is much less content written in those languages so Google serves up the content that it can find and some of it may be spammy. One example cited was Arabic, where there is comparatively very little content in that language.
You can watch the full video of Google Q&A for March below.