Google: That Mozilla Penalty Only Impacted One Page Out Of 22 Million

mozillaWe reported yesterday that Google penalized Mozilla over user generated content. Today, we learn that it was a really, really small penalty that only impacted a single page out of Mozilla’s ~22 million webpages.

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, added more to the Google thread explaining that this manual penalty was applied in a very granular way. In fact, it only impacted a single page on Mozilla’s domain name,

Matt Cutts wrote:

In this particular case, it was the url that we took action on, and that was because it was so defaced with spam comments. I checked the URL this morning and it was over 12 megabytes (!) of spam from 21,169 different comments. When a page like that lands in our search results, it’s the sort of thing that users complain to us about, so we are willing to take action.

Besides that being an incredible number of spammy comments on a single page, it is upsetting to see how confused Mozilla’s webmaster was over Google’s penalty notification. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Google getting more detailed in their Webmaster Tools penalty notifications. But as you can see from our coverage of the penalty and Mozilla’s questions about the penalty, it appeared that this was a little larger than just impacting a single page on this massive site.

This is a similar situation as when the BBC was penalized, and it turned out to be a penalty on one page.

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Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | SEO: Spamming | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Nick Stamoulis

    There is a big difference between a manual penalty on one lonely page and a “granular” portion of a site. On a site with 22 million pages, a “granular” portion could be 500,000 pages. And how are you supposed to find the literal needle in a haystack without much guidance. It looks like was originally listed as the example, not the cause. Obviously Matt Cutts stepped in and cleared things up but if I was Mozilla I would have been sweating hard!

  • chaudhary amir

    I agree with you

  • Chris More

    Yeah, I was a concerned when I got the generic “ User-generated spam” notice and “As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.” with no additional details. I assumed “your site” = and seeing that is the primary way that people get Firefox, I didn’t want to ignore it. :-)

  • Chris More

    That single blog had spam filters added to it yesterday and it is mainly cleaned up now.

  • rishidevdas

    Are they trolling Mozilla?

  • Brian O’Connell

    It seems a manual penalty would be worthy of a manual notice. The generic notices should be reserved to automated triggers.

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