Filing Bogus Spam Reports on Your Competitors is a Boneheaded Idea, Google Confirms

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Remember a few months ago when Google said that they keep track of users who submit good, real, honest spam reports? And that those reports get prioritized? Seems like they've confirmed the reverse of that is true, too - users and IPs who repeatedly file bogus spam reports are likely to be ignored.

Gary Illyes's words were: "We trust some reports more...If someone files a ton of bogus reports, we will start ignoring them. We have lots of experience with this, we know businesses will report each other because they can. It is an open form and anyone can use it."

According to Illyes, Google has policies for dealing with fake reports. They're also able to "identify and recognize when 40 spam reports are all coming from the same user or IP address," for example. Apparently a whopping 20% of all spam reports aren't spam.

So if you're thinking about filing a false spam report, don't - you're not as clever as you think you are. And if you're worried about competitors getting Google to destroy your site unjustly, I hope this helps you breathe a little easier. I'm sure false positives happen sometimes - statistically, they must - but Google is aware of the problem and as time goes on, it seems likely that they can only get better at identifying liars.