Google is in a constant battle against an army of spammers that is taking place across the internet. A spammer is anyone who is using tactics unapproved by Google’s guidelines to cheat their way into a higher spot on the results page of Google. Google is doing their best to stop spamming by setting rules to prevent spammers from taking over your search result, but spammers keep finding new ways to break those rules.
Because of this, spamming will continue to cause problems and prevent equality in measuring the popularity of a page; Google has recruited a team whose focus is to find ways to prevent the spammers from continuing their attacks. They call themselves Spam Detectors.
There are two types of spam detectors at Google that have two very different jobs in the company, the Spam Fighter and the Engineer.
A Spam Fighter spends most of their day looking for trends that spammers are using to get past Google’s algorithms. He will find the problem or the tactic that the spammers are using and then begin to research how they can make a change that will prevent the spamming to continue. After they find the problem and identify a way that could possibly stop the spamming, they send it over to the Engineers for the next step.
An engineer spends most his time programing new ways to detect spam. They write algorithms that will detect the spam sites and protect the real ones and then they will run it live to see how it works. They take the pros and cons of the algorithm and then tweak it to solve any problems. Some algorithms become irrelevant because of new ways to find spam and the engineers either make changes to them or delete them and come up with something new.
While both teams do a great job it is hard to keep up and stop every new tactic for spam that comes there way, Matt Cutts, Googles head of search spam said in a recent interview,
“I would love to automate myself out of a job? You know… What we try to do, is we try to come up with algorithms that will stop the problem at the root. So you don’t want to play whack a mole, you know, you don’t want to get into hand to hand combat with one spammer who can make tens of thousands of domains. You really want to try to figure out, okay… the technique he is using to rank is X, okay so how do we stop it so that X doesn’t work and that will stop that entire class…”
Although when it comes to search engine optimization there will always be spammers trying to cheat the system, we can rest easy knowing that when it comes to keeping their search engine fair, Google and their Spam Detectors are doing everything they can.