On-site webspam-related Google ranking signals

  • 1 Content farms

    Sites that have a lot of low quality, copy-pasted content are flagged as content farms by Google and penalized. See also what are the web design guidelines for content writing.


  • 2 Site links to bad reputation sites

    When a site links to other sites with bad reputation such as online pharmacies or payday loan sites, its ranking is reduced.

  • 3 Website redirects users to a different website

    Websites that attract users with some content only to redirect them to another website are ranked worse or even totally removed.

  • 4 Site has popups or distracting ads

    The official Google Rater Guidelines Document says that popups and distracting ads are a sign of a low-quality site. See also why ads are bad for your website


  • 5 Site is 'optimized' too much

    If a website includes things like too much keywords, too much H1 tags, and has excessive amount of keywords in its content it will be ranked worse.

  • 6 Page is 'optimized' too much

    Google might penalize an entire site if it finds pages on it that have too many keywords, H1 tags and similar.

  • 7 Too many ads above the fold

    Google penalizes websites with too many ads above the fold. See also Study Summary: Banner blindness is real


  • 8 Website hides affiliate links

    If Google detects that a website tries to hide its affiliate links, it will penalize it.

  • 9 Site is an affiliate

    SEO community believes Google doesn't like affiliate sites to much, perhaps they see them as a competition. Because of that some believe websites that monetize with affiliate links are ranked worse.

  • 10 Content is auto-generated

    Google doesn't like computer-generated content. This could result in a penalty or total removal from Google's index.

  • 11 Website excessively uses nofollow

    A website that excessively uses nofollow attribute in its links might indicate that it's trying to cheat. Such strategy might bring about a penalty. 

  • 12 Web server's IP address is flagged for spam

    If the web server's IP address is flagged for spam, it may hurt all of the sites on that server. See also Video Summary : Does Google take manual action on web-spam - Matt Cutts


  • 13 Too much keywors in meta tags

    If Google thinks there's too much keywords in website's meta tags, they might penalize it.