Google recently amended its Spam Policy to include a new clause called Policy Circumvention, and shared it on its Developers Page. Policy Circumvention allows Google to take action against those websites that are persistent on finding escape routes around the spam policy and indulging in malpractices in order to show up in the search results. If you belong to that category, think hard and think long about the repercussions of it all; Google will take action against either the content or the website itself. This policy, along with others that are already in place, is put there to protect the users across the search engine and improve the quality of search results.
Google states its Spam Policies for Google Web Search quite elaborately and clearly:
“Our spam policies help protect users and improve the quality of search results. To be eligible to appear in Google web search results (web pages, images, videos, news content or other material that Google finds from across the web), content shouldn’t violate Google Search’s overall policies or the spam policies listed on this page. These policies apply to all web search results, including those from Google’s own properties.”
What is Policy Circumvention?
According to the Google Documentation:
“If you engage in actions intended to bypass our spam or content policies for Google Search, undermine restrictions placed on content, a site, or an account, or otherwise continue to distribute content that has been removed or made ineligible from surfacing, we may take appropriate action which could include restricting or removing eligibility for some of our search features (for example, Top Stories, Discover). Circumvention includes but is not limited to creating or using multiple sites or other methods intended to distribute content or engage in a behaviour that was previously prohibited.”
In simple words, as mentioned above, if you find a way to escape Google’s Spam Policy though loophole or something, your website may well be penalised for it either by way of downgrading your existing rankings or removing the website altogether from the search results.
Google’s Spam Policies in General
Google’s Spam Policies covers a wide array of devices that include Cloaking, Doorways, Hacked Content, Hidden Texts and Links, Keyword Stuffing, Link Spam, Machine-Generated Traffic, Malware and Malicious Behaviours, Misleading Functionality, Scraped Content, Sneaky Redirects, Spammy Auto-Generated Content, Thin Affiliate Pages, User-Generated Spam, and now Policy Circumvention. On top of that, areas such a Copyright Removal Requests and Online Harassment Removals have also been tweaked and are now put under Legal Removals, and Personal Information Removals.
The end result remains the same: “We detect policy-violating content and behaviours both through automated systems and, as needed, human review that can result in a manual action. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all.”