Google To Take Action Against Fake Search Results Injected Into Browser History

google-penalty-squareGoogle made a clear stance late Friday on the Google Webmaster blog that they will not tolerate webmasters pushing deceptive search results to searchers through the use of browser history spamming techniques.

The technique uses a method of detecting a click on the browser’s back button. When clicked, a user is not sent back to the page they came from, i.e. the search results, but rather a page that looks like search results. Google explained, a “users click the “back” button on their browser, they land on a new page that they’ve never visited before.” This only happens when the user is “coming from a search results page may think that they’re going back to their search results.” But “instead, they’re taken to a page that looks similar, but is actually entirely advertisements.”

Here is a picture of what the page may look like, but keep in mind, it may look different, since the webmaster is controlling the look and content on this page:

fake-search-results

Michael Wyszomierski from Google’s Search Quality Team, said Google “may take action on, including removal of, sites which violate our quality guidelines, including for inserting deceptive or manipulative pages into a user’s browser history.”

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

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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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  • Thomas Smith

    I’ve never personally been a victim of this, but I can imagine the frustration of people who may not be more “technologically minded” than most of us in the industry when confronted with a page that never seems to go away.

  • Pat Grady

    Nuke ‘em G!

  • Ben

    I have never come across a fake search results page, but I’ve always hated pages that do a refresh or redirect so if I hit the back button, it doesn’t actually take me back. I hope these are hit by this policy.

  • Guest

    This will be a good move. Painting Artist, Inc.

  • neotrope

    Hopefully Google will ALSO fix the issue where when I hit back button my history is flooded with 50 doubleclick page links, so that I have to scroll down to find the original search subject or page … I’ve hit these fake back-page search pages, too. Very very annoying when you’re doing research for a story, vetting a client, or doing long-tail searches to find accurate info amongst the content-spam-blogs. Go Google!!!

  • http://www.smashpixels.com/ Gautham@SmashPixels

    Google already features a lot of ads and sponsored links in it’s original search engine page. – http://www.techlurk.com/

  • a1brandz

    I have came across such scenario but I when I scanned with anti spyware it showed a spyware installed and removed, the problem got solved now.

  • Leo Saumure

    Those sneaky buggers!

  • Durant Imboden

    Google obviously is being evil again, punishing Webmasters who innocently try to help users by inserting more relevant search results. :-)

  • Misa Jovcic

    If you have never done anything wrong, you should not be worrying about G to knock at your door.

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