• http://jameshalloran.net/ James R. Halloran

    Who would hide something in their rich snippet? (That is, if you’re not a spammy company.)

  • http://babypickel.com/vincenzo.html Chenzo

    Do we know when the first signs of this started to be sent out?

  • Philipp Kloeckner

    This is important as it allows to file Reconsideration Requests once someone has screwed this. Overdue.

  • http://www.CheesyCorporateLingo.com/ Patrick Reinhart

    100% agree, why would you even take the time to do this?

  • http://seohour.com/ Akash KB

    Actually it’s like – Marking or using of rich snippets on some pages of your website which is invisible to users but visible to search engine bots (cloaking), which is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

  • http://www.rustybrick.com/barry Barry Schwartz

    I think just within past 24 hours.

  • Colin Guidi

    Also, lots of Webmasters are implementing markup incorrectly. Leveraging Authorship markup when they should be leveraging Publisher markup.

    This is probably just a way for Google to clean up the space. Wouldn’t you want to know if your markup was incorrectly implemented?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sophietran Sophie Tran

    Rich snippets aka “bacon bits for search engines” sound like they’d clog up my internet arteries causing me to suffer from content over-consumption. All junk. Spam. Annoying.

  • Jim Hodson

    I’m all for fighting spam, believe me… but pretty soon people and companies will no longer be able to create websites on their own. The will be forced to pay Google thousands of dollars to “verify” that it doesn’t violate some guideline or to build a “compliant” site for them.
    I think it’s really sad that rather than simply ignore these types of things when they identify them (as we KNOW they can as is evidenced by the recent 15% drop in rich snippets), Google over the last 3 years has chosen to instead destroy the livelihoods of many legitimate sites and businesses that might have done such things by mistake or out of ignorance. Sure, spammers are the cause of many instances of such things. But more and more, Google is taking out legitimate sites as collateral damage and literally destroying many small and medium sites and businesses. Luckily in this case, it is a manual action which does allow for a Reconsideration Request.
    Unfortunately, the same thing is happening with all of their major algorithm updates that result in algorithmic filters. It seems that each time such an update is rolled out, there is more and more “acceptable” collateral damage affecting non-spammers. And in the case of algorithmic filters, most sites and businesses have zero recourse UNLESS they are a huge brand that would make Google look like idiots if they did not show in the SERPs. Victims of filters cannot even submit a Reconsideration Request.
    And it’s only going to get worse…
    Sad state of affairs IMO.

  • http://abinternet.es/ Raul Illana

    I tell you from first hand: a developer with design requests.

    Are you telling me we’re spammers just for having incorrect markup implemented?

    Wake up!

  • Adam Whittles

    Has this been verified with Google as a new manual action message, or is it solely from one webmaster’s post? I’m not saying I completely distrust the source of this but it would be nice to have some form of official word ;-)

  • Karthik Nataraaj

    Rich snippet should have been given proper usage guidelines especially regarding unique industry related attributes. Lot of people are wrongly using rating system with ratings that weren’t authorized anywhere.

  • Gridlock

    Marking up an article with Review markup is the cause.

  • MIchael de Valois

    I agree.
    One more thing for web-masters to worry about. It seems that the ever increasing complexity of Google mandated rules is becoming a major distraction to serious web publishers who find it harder and harder to focus on their main task, “their content”!
    Come on Google! Be a “Search Engine”. We know you can do it. And we “know” because you used to do it. Don’t tell us our good content will not rank because we are not willing to spend countless hours to comply with an endlessly increasing set of rules that are many times quite vague, and other times conflicting.We should be spending all that time making our content even better.

  • MIchael de Valois

    Structured Markup was developed as a way for web publishers to help search engines understand their content.
    However they may prove to be even more valuable to spammers who are trying to miss-represent their content… at least until search engines catch on and start ignoring them altogether.
    Am I missing something? Is there something that would prevent what I described above from happening?

  • SpareFootTony

    The most common offense I saw was using aggregate review snippets incorrectly. At one point all the major travel sites were showing star ratings on city pages. A search for “hotels in Austin” had 3-4 organic results with star ratings. But that doesn’t make sense for the user – ratings are for individual items, not listings pages like an Austin landing page. Same for ecommerce sites but with category pages.

  • Britney Muller

    Exactly!!! They knew this was going to happen…maybe Schema Markup is Google’s long con to discover all the shitty SEOs?! -GENIUS!!

  • Nitin Rustagi

    Need to know how to check for these spammy structured markup as google webmaster not providing any particular details?

  • Ross Smythe

    If we are not talking about ‘cloaking’, what else can there be spammy in those 170-ish characters of rich snippet? I don’t even use the authorship image for my site – http://blog.teks.co.in