Pharma Hack Spam

Is Google Strong Enough To Fight Pharma Hack Spam Yet?

Posted On : June 22nd, 2016   By : Diptimayee Mohanty   To : Google Algorithm

My answer? A Big NO!

A lot of discussion is going on about artificial intelligence controlled search algorithm to produce better & spam free results. No doubt, anomaly exists in any system so is in search results and there are ample examples critics bombarded at Google. That’s okay. But the real pain is if such a fault lies there for more than six months.

Search for “buy Cialis online” on Google.

Pharma Hack Spam Buy Cialis Online

Cursive Army

You’ll be surprised to find pages like the above in top 3 of Google for such a highly competitive keyword. When you click the Google search result to visit the page, you’ll be redirected to a pharma site which is selling such products. A clear case of doorway page.

If you try to open the link directly in your browser and you’ll find a page like the screenshot added below. A 404 page!

Cursive Army Existing Page

If you check the cached version by Google, you would get a different page like the screenshot added below with full of content relevant to the user’s search query.

Google Cached Cursive Army Existing Page

Great! Full of content relevant to search query, one of the major ranking factor.

But wait! A 404 page and cached as a different page by Google? Cloaking.

Now! That’s interesting; a doorway page with cloaking issue in top of Google SERP.

The level of spam is huge because 3 out of top 10 sites have beat Google through this technique to get first page result.

Pharma Hack Spam Top 20 June 2016

In some cases, the spam pages in the result look normal for general viewers with relevant quality contents but as soon as you check other pages of the same sites, the doubt gets stronger. The site belongs to a completely different niche than pharma having isolated pages with such spam content. So, these are clear case of pharma hack.

Interestingly the hacked content pages are not just ranking from last few days, in some cases these pages are in ranking since last 6 months & surprisingly Google spam team or search quality team is completely unaware about these spams.

Pharma Hack Spam Top 20 Jan To June 2016

Am not saying that Google has lost the battle with spammers. It has been fighting with different types of spams with proven track record but such cases like above where spam results have been in top positions for so long consistently is hard to digest or simply can’t be ignored. The search query is highly competitive and the pharmaceutical sector has been in Google’s Radar as a spam-prone sector since many years.

Then how could Google not sense this short of clear spam results?

Possible factors for first page result in Google:

A quick view indicates the following factors might have helping such spam pages to be in top.

  • Good quality content
  • Presence of the exact Keyword & related search terms well-distributed throughout the content
  • Other competitors page are not strong enough
  • Domain authority of the hacked site

Cursive Army DA

Design Tools DA

You may think that DA is not a ranking factor clearly mentioned by Google in different platforms. I know. But Google has calculated & assigned some kind of authority level to sites and I believe the DA represents a fraction of that authority; how big or small I don’t know but certainly a part of that.

Content is one of the three major ranking factors. But can we say that quality content & high authority are sufficient to make a site spam-proof even with such worst type of spam like cloaking or doorway pages?

When Google is going forward in implementing AI in its algorithm, it is well desired that it should be equipped enough to fight such common spams like pharma hack, cloaking or doorway pages.

Diptimayee Mohanty
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