Google’s Gary Illyes announced that it wanted to clear that spam reports are only to enhance Google’s spam detection algorithms. Google eliminated any mention of manual actions in the Google Webmaster Guidelines and states that these spam reports will not lead to a Google employee manually reviewing the website and penalizing it.
Automating Spamming Prevention
This means when you submit a spam report the report will only be used by Google to make changes and improve its search algorithms. You will not see the website get to drop by itself in the Google search results that you have reported as a spam. Google might use the information to improve its algorithms not that it will penalize any particular website manually.
Manual actions are the penalties that Google employees can give to websites that have violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The action will be shown in the Google Seach Console when you get a manual action.
Guidelines Prior To This Update
“If you believe that another site is abusing Google’s quality guidelines, please let us know by filing a spam report. Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. While we may not take manual action in response to every report, spam reports are prioritized based on user impact, and in some cases may lead to complete removal of a spammy site from Google’s search results. Not all manual actions result in removal, however. Even in cases where we take action on a reported site, the effects of these actions may not be obvious.”
Guidelines After The Update
“If you believe that another site is abusing Google’s quality guidelines, please let us know by filing a spam report. Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, and will use the report for further improving our spam detection systems.”
Gary Illyes Statement
“spam reports play a significant role: they help us understand where our automated spam detection systems may be missing coverage. Most of the time, it’s much more impactful for us to fix an underlying issue with our automated detection systems than it is to take manual action on a single URL or site.”
This is indeed a clarifying statement by Google that when you submit a spam report you should not wait for instant action or manual action against the site you reported. It may take some time for Google to improve its algorithm to have an impact on Google search results.