Report spam, paid links, malware, and other problems

If you find information in Google's search results that you believe should be removed (for example, sensitive information, illegal content, or dead links), here are our recommendations.

Spam

If the site is spam, tell us about it! Google takes spam extremely seriously, and investigates reported instances. You can file a spam report at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport. These reports are submitted directly to our webspam team and are used to devise scalable solutions to fight spam. If you don't yet have a Webmaster Tools account, you can send us a spam report here: http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html.

To tell us about spam in search results rich snippets, send us a report here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=rich_snippets_spam.

(Got more questions or suggestions for Google? Find out the best way to let us know.)

More information about spam

If you've ever clicked a search result and been taken to a junk page—a page that's blank, completely unrelated to your search, or full of gibberish —then you're familiar with spam. The term "spam" or "web spam" refers to the kind of content created by webmasters who attempt to manipulate search results with deceptive methods.

Common spamming methods include (but aren't limited to) the following:

  • Hidden text or links. Some webmasters hide links or text on their page with the intention of deceiving search engines about the nature of the content on the page. For example, a casino site could stuff its pages with hidden text such as "labradors, labs" with the intention of tricking search engines into sending dog lovers to a casino page.
  • Cloaking or sneaky redirects. These techniques are used to display one page to Googlebot with the intention of ranking high in search results, but to direct human users to a completely different page (such as an adult site, or a site selling pills or other products).
  • Pages stuffed with irrelevant keywords. Like hidden text, stuffing a page with keywords is intended to game search engine rankings.
  • Multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content. Some webmasters attempt to improve their page's ranking by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. For example, content may be stolen from other sites ("scraped"), or consist of autogenerated nonsense. Duplicate content can also show up as affiliate programs with little or no original content. Typically, affiliate websites feature product descriptions that appear on sites across that affiliate network. Some affiliate programs distribute content to several hundred affiliates. Because a search result could return many of these sites, all with the same content, they create a frustrating user experience.
  • "Doorway" pages. "Doorway" pages are often mass-generated pages created primarily for search engines. These "cookie-cutter" pages often look identical except for a few keywords or phrases that vary between the pages; typically, each page is optimized for that specific keyword or phrase. Some doorway pages immediately funnel users to a different page, either with a redirect or with large "click here" links presented front-and-center to users.
  • Link schemes. Some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites.

Paid links

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can dilute the quality of search results. If you believe a site is engaged in buying or selling links that pass PageRank, please tell us about it. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.

Copyright issues

If you believe the content should be removed from Google's index because of a copyright infringement, you should file a DMCA takedown request. Unlike requests to remove spam or personal information, DMCA requests must come from the content owner.

Objectionable content

This tool will guide you through the process of reporting content that you believe warrants removal from Google's services based on applicable laws. Completing this form will help ensure that we have all of the information necessary to investigate your specific enquiry and and resolve it as quickly as possible.

Malware

If you believe the site is infected with malware or malicious software, please report it to us so we can take action as necessary.

Has your site been infected with malware? Here are Google's recommendations for fixing the problem.

Other

If none of these reasons apply, and you feel that the content should be removed, contact the webmaster of the site with your request. Once the webmaster removes the page or changes its content, our search results will automatically reflect this change after we next crawl and reindex the page.

If the webmaster makes these changes and you need us to expedite the removal of the cached copy, or if the webmaster does not make these changes and the page contains personal, private information, please submit your request using the URL removal tool in Webmaster Tools.