Last month we saw the BBC issued with a “granular penalty” for one of its pages. Google couldn’t say which one, however, and emphasised that it would not impact the performance of the domain overall.
Now it’s Mozilla’s turn. The penalty notification read:
“Google has detected user-generated spam on your site. Typically, this kind of spam is found on forum pages, guestbook pages, or in user profiles. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.”
The advice subsequently given by John Mueller was as follows:
- Ensure all unmoderated comments use the rel=nofollow link attribute so that no link juice is passed.
- Take responsibility for the actions of your users. There is lots of advice on that here but John Mueller specifically recommends a community moderation process.
As Danny Sullivan points out, the site was actually already using the no follow attribute, so I suppose the real takeaway is the second; you need to keep your house in order. If your users add spam to the net via your forum or blog, that’s your spam to clean up.
The story was first picked up by Search Engine Roundtable.