Wednesday, June 14, 2023
In October 2022, we rolled out the Search Essentials, providing clarity on the policies and practices Google follows to protect users and serve high-quality results. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all. However, if you still see results that you believe violate our Spam policies, you can notify us through our improved Search Quality User Report. User feedback helps us identify where our automated spam detection systems may be missing coverage, and is also used to improve our ranking algorithms. Let’s take a look at some of our new form’s features.
More than just Spam
Various ranking manipulation techniques attempt to compromise the quality of our results and degrade the search experience for everyone. These techniques go beyond the traditional definition of spam. Some sites are extremely poor quality, others are deceptive and harmful to our users. That is why we are expanding the scope of user feedback we want to collect. Now, you can report spam, paid links, malicious behavior, low quality, and other search quality issues, all in one improved form. We also added a bulk submission feature, and you now can submit up to five pages that violate the same policy in one report.
Reference Spam Policies when in doubt
We want to receive actionable feedback to improve our algorithms. Therefore, we are adding granularity to our feedback form: you can now choose a category and a subcategory of the issue you are reporting. While you can only select one main problem category per submission, you’ll be able to submit multiple issue types within that category in the next step.
To help you select the right category, our form links to a help page with an explanation of different quality issues, also referenced in our Spam policies. If you believe the page you are reporting has many issues from different categories at once, you can resubmit the form reporting the same page and selecting different categories. However, our system will disregard identical reports submitted by the same user to prevent spam.
Not sure what category to choose? No problem: you can select “Not sure”. The form also includes an optional comment section where you can provide more detailed information on the issue you are reporting.
Simplified confirmation email for your records
Some of our most valuable information comes from you, and we appreciate the reports you submit to us. Upon submission, you will receive a confirmation email. The email contains help links to external resources that cover our quality policy and our forum for personalized support.
At Google, we strive to provide the highest quality, most relevant search results, so we take your feedback very seriously. We hope our new form makes the experience of reporting Search quality issues as straightforward as possible. Remember, if you have concerns about other web behaviors in Search, you can report them in separate feedback channels to the appropriate teams so that they can resolve your issue in a timely manner.
Posted by Lisa Dyatko and Megumi Hitomi, Search Quality team