FidoSysop Blog

Spammy Markup Google Webmasters Manual Action

Observed a Google Spammy Markup Manual Action in your Webmaster Tools dashboard? If not ya might want to have a quick look. Google is cracking down on Schema Spammy Markup and AMP page violations.

Doc is a regular Webmaster Tools console visitor watching how his blogs are doing in search. In early January 2018 he noticed a spammy markup manual action on his docsplace.org domain. Looking further i noticed these manual actions were also applied to several subdomains.

Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violates Google’s Rich Snippet Quality guidelines.

Thinking Google’s manual actions were a glitch i submitted for a reconsideration. The next day i received an email from Google denying my reconsideration request.

Google Webmasters Spammy Markup Manual Action

Email from Google webmasters denying docsplace.org reconsideration.

The manual action itself was not well worded or informative. There was a link to a short help page that didn’t offer much help. Searching the web didn’t yield anything recent on this subject. So i put the blog on this domain and within a week fidosysop.org was hit with a manual action. I put it aside for a week.

The next week i ran another search and came up with this article on Search Engine Roundtable. The article pointed the finger at Schema Markup Penalty.

In the past month or so, there has been an uptick in the number of manual actions seen around “Spammy Structured Markup” or rich snippet manual actions.

The reason might not be due directly to intentional spam but rather WordPress plugins that add structured markup data to your web site automatically.

It turned out to be my own use of review schema inserted into several of my reviews manually. 13 to be exact. So i removed those spammy markup problems and resubmitted another reconsideration request. A few days later my request was approved.. 🙂

Webmasters Spammy Markup Manual Action Reconsideration Approved

Email from Google webmasters notifying my reconsideration request was approved.

Also worth mentioning is, there’s a possibility that some Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) plugins might also be problems. We were using one that supported static pages because WordPress plugin did not yet support them.

Before requesting the sites reconsideration Doc disconnected his amp plugin. Googling some more revealed Automattics WordPress AMP plugin now supported pages.

Automattics plugin was installed and in true (Doc don’t read the docs) style fired up a page and no amp. I’m saying WTH. Turned out toggling AMP on in the plugin setting was needed. Also there’s a toggle on each WordPress static page within the editor to toggle amp on or off. But it still didn’t work on pages!

Turn out how Automattics WordPress amp is toggled in the page slug is different than posts. Posts end in /amp/ where pages end in ?amp. Any pages you have indexed by Google will return 404 errors. Doc resubmitted his new amp urls to Webmaster tools crawl url.

Using Yoast SEO Premium we added redirects from the currently indexed amp pages to the new. page-url/amp/ to page-url?amp which cured that problem. Don’t run Yoast SEO Premium? It’s well worth it’s $89 investment. But if that’s not in the budget, this 301 redirect plugin is still used on a couple of Doc’s WordPress sites.

While your here check out Doc’s other Webmaster help articles.

Oh well.. As usual.. Just my two cents worth! 😉