Does Google take action on automatically generated pages that provide no added value?


Transcript

Today's question comes all the way from the Netherlands. Walter wants to know, what does Google do against sites that have a script that automatically picks up search queries and makes a page about it? For example, you Google [risks of drinking caffeine], and end up at a page "we have no articles for drinking caffeine" with lots of ads. OK. So it's a bad user experience. And the way that you've asked the question, we are absolutely willing to take action against those sites. So we have rules in our guidelines about auto-generated pages that add very little value. And I have put out in the past specific calls for sites where you search for a product, a VCR, or a laptop or whatever, and you think you're going to get a review. And then you land there, and the very first thing you see is "zero reviews found for blah, blah." So if you're a search engine, you should disallow pretty much all web search results from being crawled anyway, because that's just auto generated stuff. Users really don't like to do a search and then land somewhere that's just more search results. They get irritated, annoyed, complain to us, send in spam reports. So if you see something like that, do feel free to send a spam report in. If you're a webmaster for a site that has search results, I would usually prune out the search results, unless there's something really unusual, something that says, OK, this is a different corpus, where it's not web search. This is some data that nobody else in the world has, something like that. And certainly, make sure that if you have zero results found, just go ahead and block those pages. Because that's really not helpful for someone who's trying to do research. So we are willing to take action on those, because we do consider them a violation of our guidelines. And if you see any like that, feel free to report it on the webmaster forum, or do a spam report, send a tweet to me. Because it's not a good user experience. And we hate it when we see stuff like that, as well, just because it slows things down. It gums up the works. And it's not a good user experience. So thanks for asking about that.


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