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Google’s New Feedback Form: Why Now?

     -     Oct 2nd, 2023   -     Google, Search Engine Optimization, Websites   -     0 Comments

Google is set to keep building its algorithm, and they want your voice on the matter.

Reporting bad search results just got easier. Google recently refreshed its method for reporting sites that violate policy, and condensed a process that spanned different pages and report forms. Before this announcement, there was not a one stop shop to report a site for various infractions against Google policy, including spam, deception, and paid links. With that being said, let’s take a look:

Here is the top of the new form. Any URL can be entered, with the option to include up to 5 links in any individual report. Google is looking for exact pages rather than entire domains. Further down are the reasons that can be selected:Google Spam Report OptionsIn essence, this report form encompasses a lot. Google simply did not have a report form of this kind previously. If users wanted to report bad practices by sites, they could use Chrome’s Suspicious Site Reporter extension or report phishing through Safe Browsing. But neither thoroughly covered all practices that violated policy — not to mention how ineffective and lackluster these methods seem. In other words, you almost couldn’t report these sites.Google Spam Report ClarifyThis is the second step to reporting, which asks for the query that caused the issue and any additional information. A query is not applicable in all cases, though a description will be useful in just about every case. Each case consists of these two steps, and users can send out as many as they’d like. All in all, this form is far more robust than previous ones.


Why Now?

This new report form is a big deal. It’s sleek and encompasses more than any other report method put out by Google. It comes after years of subpar and unclear ways to report issues to the search engine. With that in mind, it has likely been released now for a reason. Here are a few conclusions for what this reason could be:

Increased Crackdowns. It’s no secret that government agencies globally have been fighting Google over its content and use of data. The European Commission recently designated many companies including several owned by Google itself. Google Search, in particular, was designated as a “Very Large Online Search Engine”. This decision enables new rules on content moderation and the protection of minors.

Rise in Violations. There could be more sites violating policy than before. The only available research on policy violations looked solely at privacy violations and found more than 90% breaking at least one policy. While the data is old, there’s still a chance that a replication done today would find similar numbers. Google could be trying to mitigate a large issue affecting the user experience.

Public Opinion. It’s no secret that the general public wants greater transparency from tech giants like Google. If they weren’t enforcing their own policy, it would undoubtedly look bad on that side of things.

Improving Quality. The simplest reason is the most likely: Google just wants to improve its search results. With the implementation of new ideas like Search Generative Experience or SGE, it’s clear that Google is trying new ways to improve the user experience. Getting feedback on sites breaking policy is a good way for them to strategize and improve how they handle bad results.

Streamlining. One thing which gets mentioned by Google themselves in the article is that this form follows the announcement of search essentials. Google clarified and made concise their policies and best practices for SEO, and could be testing out enforcement of its streamlined policy and practice.

With that being said, we’ll likely never have a direct answer as to why they did this and why they chose now of all times. What’s clear is that Google is taking yet another step to improve its site. They implemented something that was basically absent before.

At present, it wouldn’t be surprising if Google announced further steps to reduce low-quality or misleading sites. That is likely the direction they will take going forward. Sites will have to continue being careful of exploitative practices that go against the company’s policies or act against the interest of the user.


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It’s important to stay in the loop on how to improve your site and to do so in accordance with Google’s content policy and guidelines. Our team at Flashpoint is always ready to assist in bringing websites to tip-top shape.

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