How to Report a Website to Google
Editors note: we are not a website removal tool nor do we offer this as a service, this is merely a “howto” post to get started.
There comes a time in the lives of many searchers where you come across a site and think, “wow, this is just terrible.”
If you ask anyone in my office, I am a huge believer in karma. Not religiously, just the overall philosophy that the world will work itself out particularly in the SERPs.
I generally feel that if I follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines that my sites will rank. I also feel that eventually the sites that are using spam/dupe content/etc will eventually be penalized.
For the most part, this is true.
There are a variety of reasons that you might want to have something removed from Google. You might have stumbled across a blog that has unreadable content or perhaps you’ve found some of your copyrighted material being used on someone elses blog or website.
Any Site that Violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
This might be anything from using hidden text, cloaking, or sneaky redirects. Believe it or not, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are pretty straightforward.
If you do feel as though a website has or is in violation of Google’s Guidelines, you can report them here:
This doesn’t include a lot of other violations, such as DMCA take downs, malware, phishing, and paid links.
A Guilty Penguin Site
When Penguin 2.0 was rolled out, Google released a form for webmasters and users to submit sites to that they felt were guilty of Penguin violations. You can report any site you think might be in violation here:
Keep in mind that a lot of times you might be viewing ahrefs or Majestic SEO backlink data, but the webmaster has already disavowed backlinks. For instance, one of our sites has about 5000 backlinks and we have picked up a few nasty backlinks over the years. Although it looks like we are in violation of Penguin we have actually disavowed these links just to be safe.
How to Report Other Google Violations
There are dozens of other “infractions” that you might want to report to Google at any time. For instance:
- Inappropriate websites containing obscenity etc
- Child pornography or a website that could be harmful to children
- People who are in violation of other Google products such as AdSense, Adwords or Google+
- Someone who might have set up a phishing page to get usernames and passwords
Google does a great job of weeding out the bad stuff, and generally has been known to take immediate actions for any serious issues.
There are other, “smaller” issues such as webspam which is an ongoing issue that never ends that Google just cannot get to.
Google receives over 5000 reconsideration requests per week. You can only imagine how much SPAM is out there based on that number alone.
Report Something within Google’s Knowledge Graph
If you notice something wrong from within Google’s Knowledge Graph (usually the part on the side of the search results) you can report this by going to the bottom of the result and clicking “feedback.”
Once you do that, sections will become highlighted all over the place. Click on the section you want to report and a box will pop up. Really bad stuff like profanity will generally get removed right away, false info will also get edited fairly quick. Other random information that isn’t correct but isn’t hurtful might take a bit longer to update.
Report a Phishing Page to Google
Phishing is the latest rage with Google. They make a website appear to look like a trustworthy website, in hopes of stealing your information. We recently came across an example of phishing when mis-typing in the wrong domain in the URL section of your web browser. Here you can see the attacker makes a website look like the Microsoft website:
To report a phishing website to Google, use their “report phishing page.” Once you navigate there, enter the URL of the phishing page, and any comments you might have.