Google To Mozilla: You Had 12 Megabytes Of User Generated Spam On One Page

Apr 24, 2013 • 8:31 am | comments (18) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

zombieYesterday we broke the news that Google has penalized Mozilla for user generated spam and we did say it was a granular penalty but we didn't know how granular until today.

It turns out, the penalty was on one specific page. Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said in the Google Webmaster Help thread that the penalty was only applied to one page. Which page? Yep, just one page - all that over one page?

Well, it turns out that the reason Google penalized that page was because there was not just a little bit of spam, there was 12 megabytes of spam from 21,169 different comments. Matt said that those types of pages cause a lot of "users complain to us about" and thus they decided to "take action" against that specific page.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if Google just told Mozilla it was specific to one page? Heck, John Mueller made it sound like, although it was granular, it was throughout much of the site and a lot had to be addressed. Of course, there was spam all over the site and it should be addressed but this penalty was only on one page.

That being said, this shows how much user generated spam there has to be on a single page for Google to warrant to take action. 12 megabytes of spam from almost 22,000 different comments is a heck of a lot of spam. Mozilla, take control of your site!

Forum discussion continued at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for cute zombie

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Martin Oxby

04/24/2013 12:40 pm

Let's hope Mozilla don't forget to use the opportunity to review the whole site not just do the bare minimum to get the penalty lifted. As no doubt, Google will be back for a re-review.


04/24/2013 12:52 pm

I find it funny that they didn't know they had that much spam under one page. The other thing people should notice is that having comments on such pages as your "about" page looks pretty darn stupid. Just like having comments on your contact page... this is common place thanks to mindless bloggers using things like wordpress. Why don't they try and make a real site? That would take some thinking now wouldn't it?

Gabriel Sita

04/24/2013 12:52 pm

12 MB of spam, that's a lot of spam. Why they didn't take action before?

Alan Charnock

04/24/2013 01:06 pm

Good way to hit 22 thousand companies with bad links also. look out any one on this page

Nicholas Chimonas

04/24/2013 01:10 pm

Why not notify Mozilla politely? They are communicating like a drunken frat bro, with their muscles instead of their mouth words.

James Taylor

04/24/2013 02:07 pm

Because we should all be made to FEAR Google and acknowledge them as rulers of our online world!

Marie Haynes

04/24/2013 05:18 pm

They got notified in their WMT. The only reason it went public is because they asked for help in the Google Webmaster Forum. The original message they got told them that the action was granular. However, it would have been nice to say which page was the cause of the penalty.

chaudhary amir

04/24/2013 08:05 pm


Soni Sharma

04/25/2013 04:56 am

I have seen Mozilla blogs.. spammers had abused many pages..


04/25/2013 06:29 am

Just to add here I think Mozilla were ignorant in the fact that they are a Google funded organization, making them think that they are immune to any sort of manual action from Google, therefore resulting in them not cleaning up their comment spam.

Faizaan Khan

04/25/2013 12:35 pm

Because, there algorithems are flaw+aw full. They did it manually


04/25/2013 01:09 pm

Maybe Google should penalize YouTube for tonnes of spammy comments... oh wait...

Nicholas Chimonas

04/25/2013 02:29 pm

I agree. I think Google can afford to be transparent and communicative with their actions - then again, perhaps they wanted to "make an example" of Mozilla, sending the message that web masters need to strictly control and moderate every page on their site. A tall order for some sites with many community pages, which in Mozilla's defense, at least had the NoFollow coding on the spammy links in question.

John Edward Doyle

04/25/2013 02:57 pm

Youtube sanitize url's correctly.


04/26/2013 01:35 pm

Although... it's not the URLs that are the problem here (they're nofollowed), it's the comments posted.


04/27/2013 11:09 pm

I shared your sentiments on ,Nicholas. Funny about the drunken frat with muscles instead of mouth... but you are right. Squashing a fly with a sledge hammer? I think so. All Google had to do was just contact Mozilla politely. After all, they are partners with them.


05/06/2013 01:26 am

Yeah, like Google is ever going to downrate YouTube or any other site it owns. Google is one gigantic spam monopoly itself. No worries, though. The guild will be off the rose with Google eventually and then I hope the company dies a firey death :)

David Fricks

05/07/2013 01:02 am

This notification frustrated the heck out of me. When a site has over 100K pages, it can be like trying to find a needle in a hey stack. Traffic was good, so i stopped looking.

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