Ahh the age old battle between light and dark. Google VS. Spammer. Benevolent search engine against the dark hordes of scammers. Or something like that…
Google has called out a new black hat trick on the Webmaster Blog. They’re kindly reminding webmasters to avoid deceptive practices as spammers are playing with browser history.
When users click the “back” button on their browser, they land on a new page that they’ve never visited before. Users coming from a search results page may think that they’re going back to their search results. Instead, they’re taken to a page that looks similar, but is actually entirely advertisements
Here’s what it looks like
It’s a fancy trick really. Though it’s not new it has gained attention as of late while making some black hatters a ton of money no doubt.
Now, I don’t know about you. But if I hit back and saw that page and not the SERPs, I’d spit and type in Google. However some folks are finding the whole process a bit confusing, naturally.
Google is threatening to completely remove URLs from the SERPs if they find this deceptive practice taking place.
To protect our users, we may take action on, including removal of, sites which violate our quality guidelines, including for inserting deceptive or manipulative pages into a user’s browser history.
It’s tough talk for a crowd that obviously don’t care much.