Google updates its spam and abuse prevention guide

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In a welcome update for website owners, Google has made some clear changes to its spam and abuse resource center on Google Search Central.

The larger updates include more robust suggestions for preventing abuse and identifying spam accounts, instead of focusing on how to monitor them.

Prevent spam and abuse

Prior to this page update, the first section dealt with “Web Hosting Services Available Without Payment”. It is now replaced by “Prevent abuse on your site and your platform”.

The previous section seemed to focus on websites that used hosting services without payment. However, spam and abuse happens even on the most secure sites.

The new and improved language gives all website owners more content to take actionable, preventable steps to protect their website.

Image: screenshot taken by author, September 2022

Google’s suggestions to help prevent abuse of the site and platform include:

  • Post a clear abuse policy during the registration process
  • Identify spam accounts by looking at certain interaction patterns
  • Use manual approval for suspicious user interactions
  • Use blocklists to prevent repetitive spam attempts
  • Block automatic account creation
  • Monitor the site and platform for abuse

Additional new sections on the page include a combination of manual and automated approvals for suspected spam.

Google lists suggestions for identifying and blocking certain IP addresses, as well as useful plugins that can help automate the process.

Why the change?

According to dataprot.net, almost 85% of all emails are spam. Now imagine how many account creations you get on your website every day.

Website owners had to be more responsive to this type of spam. As soon as one type of spam pattern is blocked, another pops up almost immediately.

This type of manual monitoring costs companies time, money and efficiency.

Google has updated its developer guide to take a more proactive approach instead of a reactive one. Starting with how to prevent abuse in the first place can save businesses a lot in the future.

Additionally, Google has subtly changed its language to target all website owners, not just low-cost or low-budget websites. This is a more inclusive approach to preventing spam and abuse for everyone.

Summary

Whether you’ve been in a reactionary state of dealing with spam and abuse or you’re a brand new website owner, read Google’s updated guide.

It provides actionable content and resources to help prevent further abuse and spam from the start, giving you more security from the start.

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