Google: Your Rich Snippet Spam Didn't Hurt Your Rankings, It Is Your Low Quality Site

Jan 15, 2014 • 8:28 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Rich Snippets SpamDespite Google cracking down over the years on rich snippet spam and then applying rich snippet reductions recently - Google told a webmaster that the rich snippet spam didn't hurt their rankings.

A Google Webmaster Help thread has Google's Zineb explaining that while the site is faking their rich snippet reviews by showing users one thing and their markup containing something else - that action is not hurting their rankings. It is a breach of Google's rich snippet guidelines and thus may impact if and what rich snippets Google shows for the site.

But Googles Zineb said that is likely not the reason why the site doesn't rank well. The reason the site doesn't rank well is the "overall quality of your site," said Zineb.

Can having rich snippet spam hurt your rankings? I assume if it is really aggressive, yes but I assume that most violations will simply result in removal of rich snippets and not have a major impact on rankings. But then of course, sites spamming rich snippets are probably doing other tactics that are against Google's webmaster guidelines.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Michael Martinez

01/15/2014 06:43 pm

I wouldn't call the "hidden" reviews spam (or hidden, since users can easily get to them). The site is serving the reviews on a static page that replicates what is published on a dynamically served tab. I see some other technical flaws in the code. I think you should be careful about labeling something as spam. Maybe there is no liability in doing so but in this case the technical implementation is faulty, not intentionally deceptive. They are trying to deal with the complexity of serving dynamic content and just need to learn a little bit more about how to do it in a way the search engines are good with.

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