The question in everyone's minds at this point is "What are the current issues and projects that the Google Web Spam Team will choose to tackle for 2011? All indications point to Google making the decision to go back to basics. What this means is that the search engine giant is now concentrating on improving the services of what made it into a multinational conglomerate known the world over: Providing organic search results with little to no spam and unrelated websites included in its index.
What Going Back to Basics Entails
Blog comment spam, keyword spamming, and so forth has long been a problem with Google ever since it became the go-to search engine of choice in the worldwide web. Ironically, many of the search engine optimization techniques that business use to get higher page ranks are also used by spammers in order to increase their influx of traffic to the point of abuse by several magnitudes (e.g., keyword stuffing and using keyword-stuffed blog comments to acquire page ranks).
At any rate, Google engineers are presently working on resolving those issues, particularly those that people easily recognize as spam. In fact, they've devised a content-based spam classifier that people may see the impact the Internet in the near future. Google will also be continuing its projects on link quality. They're specifically focusing on hacked sites at present; they'll keep working on that for most of 2011. "This site may be compromised," messages will be weeding out the hacker traps soon enough.
Communication Makes It Happen
Google has also set its sights on improving communication between itself and the webmasters that depend a lot on its placement on Google's results page. The Web Spam Team is particularly enthusiastic in getting the ball rolling in improving Google's communication skills with those that rely on it the most. No longer will talking to Google seem like conversing behind an Iron Curtain! Google is doing everything it can to figure out how to better talk with webmasters and provide them ways where they can figure out what's going on in their site SEO-wise.
Google is also looking into ways where webmasters can submit reconsideration requests and get a little bit more information back. The Web Spam Team isn't only improving its ability to detect spam sites, scam sites, and hacked sites; it's also providing new avenues to help out those who've been misidentified as Internet trash through algorithmic false positives a chance to get right back on track and obtain its rightful ranking in the SERP.
The Challenges that Lie Ahead
One of the problems that the Google Web Spam Team is looking at is volume. Relative to the size of the web, it can be overwhelming for them to tackle each and every last request. They want to figure out how they can communicate with webmasters in a scalable way. They want to let people know what's going on with them in a way that's easily understandable and widespread. They want to relay information and responses that are actionable and beneficial to all concerned parties.
In regards to hacked sites, communication is also vital in solving that problem. They're looking at the full spectrum of ways to communicate better not only when Google thinks there's something wrong going on with your site, but also when you want to submit a reconsideration request. Finally, the Google Web Spam Team will continue to improve their detection of things like hacked sites. Hopefully, Google can accomplish its goals by focusing on the problems of keyword stuffing, improving link quality, and concentrating on hacked sites.
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