Google Tips for Least Spam with Free Hosting

To improve security, Google is sharing tips to help website hosting users save resources like bandwidth & processing power and prevent spam.

Free web hosting – huh? the word seems useful to some and ridiculous to some others. Call it inappropriate for better web development due to spamming, inefficiency, uptime lacks or so, by Google Webmaster Central provides the Tips to make your free website valuable for searchers.

Many of these services have helped to lower costs and technical barriers for webmasters and they continue to enable beginner webmasters to start their adventure on the web. When it comes to automatically generated sites, Google’s stance remains the same: if the sites do not add enough value, they generally consider them as spam and take steps to protect users from exposure to such sites in our natural search results.

In a post on product Official Blog, the company stated that if a free hosting service begins to show patterns of spam, they make a strong effort to be granular and tackle only spammy pages or sites. However, sometimes, when the spammers have pretty much taken over the free web hosting service or a large fraction of the service, Google may be forced to take more decisive steps to protect users and remove the entire free web hosting service from its search results.

Create Privacy Policy and Terms

Have thought of creating your own Privacy Policy and Terms of Services page? Google suggests you to publish a clear abuse policy and communicate it to your users, such as during the sign-up process. This step will contribute to transparency on what you consider to be spam activity.

Use Verification Tools

To keep a lot of the bad actors out you should, in your sign-up form or comments form (for blogs etc), consider using CAPTCHA (e.g. Google ReCAPTCHA) or other similar verification tools so as to make sure only allow human submissions and prevent automated scripts from generating a bunch of sites on your hosting service.

Monitor Your Users

It is always advised to watch your free hosting service visitors for other spam signals. These may include redirections, large numbers of ad blocks, certain spammy keywords, large sections of escaped JavaScript code, etc. Google suggests using the site: operator query or Google Alerts may come in handy if you’re looking for a simple, cost efficient solution.

Identify Spam Patterns

You should keep a record of sign ups and must try to identify typical spam patterns like form completion time, number of requests sent from the same IP address range, high risk countries, user-agents used during sign-up, user names or other form-submitted values chosen during sign-up, etc. Again, these may not always be conclusive.

System Logs

Google suggests you to keep an eye on your web server log files for sudden traffic spikes, especially when a newly created site is receiving unexpected traffic, and try to identify why you are spending more bandwidth and processing power.

Phishing and Malware

Another tip is to check your free web hosting service for phishing and malware-infected pages. Google advocates using the Google Safe Browsing API to regularly test URLs from your service, or sign up to receive alerts for your AS.

Come up with a few sanity checks: If you’re running a local German web hosting service, what are the odds of thousands of new and legitimate sites in Japanese being created overnight on your service? There’s a number of tools you may find useful for language detection of newly created sites, google applications for the same include language detection libraries or the Google Translate API v2.

Moreover, if you run a free web hosting service be sure to monitor your services for sudden activity spikes that may show a spam attack in progress like high usage of bandwidth and processing power, CPU usage. You may flag some high risk countries, block users and websites, e-mail domains etc also to produce a better service out of it.

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