Avoid Poor Quality Content

Low Quality Content

This section describes Lowest quality pages. The examples at the end of this section are critical for understanding these concepts, so please review them carefully.

  1. Understand the true purpose of the page. Websites and pages should be created for users in order to serve a beneficial purpose, in other words, they should exist to help users.
  1. Websites or pages without a beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, or pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the Lowest rating. E-A-T and other page quality characteristics do not play a role for these pages. For example, any page attempting to scam users should receive the Lowest rating, whether the scam is created by an expert or not.
  1. Otherwise, the PQ rating is based on how well the page achieves its purpose using the criteria outlined in these guidelines. Pages that fail to achieve their purpose should receive the Lowest rating.

Here is a summary of what different types of Lowest pages look like:

Type of Lowest PageWhat Pages Looks Like
Pages that potentially spread hate
  • Promote hate or violence towards a group of people
Potentially harmful pages
  • Encourage harm to self or others
  • Malicious pages, e.g., scams, phishing, malware downloads
  • Extremely negative or malicious reputation
Pages that potentially misinform users
  • Demonstrably inaccurate content
  • YMYL content that contradicts well-established expert consensus
  • Debunked or unsubstantiated conspiracy theories
Pages that potentially deceive users
  • Deceptive intent, e.g., websites created to deceive users
  • Deceptive design, e.g., Ads that are disguised as MC
Lack of purpose pages
  • No MC
  • Gibberish MC
  • Cannot determine a purpose
Pages that fail to achieve their purpose
  • Lowest E-A-T
  • No/little MC or lowest quality MC
  • Copied MC or auto-generated MC
  • Obstructed or inaccessible MC
  • Inadequate information about the website or creator of the MC
  • Unmaintained websites, and hacked, defaced, or spammed pages

Lack of Purpose Pages

Sometimes it is impossible to figure out the purpose of the page. For example, some pages are either accidentally or deliberately created with no MC or gibberish and/or meaningless MC. Some pages fail to achieve their purpose so profoundly that the purpose of the page cannot be determined. Such pages serve no real purpose for users.

No matter how or why they are created, lack of purpose pages should be rated Lowest quality.

Pages that Fail to Achieve Their Purpose

Lowest E-A-T

One of the most important criteria of PQ rating is E-A-T. Expertise of the creator of the MC, and authoritativeness or trustworthiness of the page or website, is extremely important for a page to achieve its purpose well.

If the E-A-T of a page is low enough, users cannot or should not use the MC of the page. This is especially true of YMYL topics. If the page is highly inexpert, unauthoritative or untrustworthy, it fails to achieve its purpose.

Important: The Lowest rating should be used if the page is highly inexpert, unauthoritative, or untrustworthy.

No/Little Main Content

Pages exist to share their MC with users. The following pages should be rated Lowest because they fail to achieve their purpose:

  • Pages with no MC.
  • Pages with a bare minimum of MC that is unhelpful for the purpose of the page.

Lowest Quality Main Content

The Lowest rating applies to any page with Lowest Quality MC. Lowest quality MC is content created with such insufficient time, effort, expertise, talent, and/or skill that it fails to achieve its purpose. The Lowest rating should also apply to pages where users cannot benefit from the MC, for example:

  • Informational pages with demonstrably inaccurate MC.
  • The MC is so difficult to read, watch, or use, that it takes great effort to understand and use the page.
  • Broken functionality of the page due to lack of skill in construction, poor design, or lack of maintenance.

Have high standards and think about how typical users in your locale would experience the MC on the page. A page may have value to the creator or participants in the discussion, but few to no general users who view it would benefit from the MC.

Copied Main Content

One way to create MC with little to no time, effort, or expertise is to copy it from another source.

The word “copied” refers to the practice of “scraping” content, or copying content from other non-affiliated websites without adding any original content or value to users (see here for more information on copied or scraped content).

Important: We do not consider legitimately licensed or syndicated content to be “copied” (see here for more on web syndication). Examples of syndicated content in the U.S. include news articles by AP or Reuters.

The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.

All of the following are considered copied content:

  • Content copied exactly from an identifiable source. Sometimes an entire page is copied, and sometimes just parts of the page are copied. Sometimes multiple pages are copied and then pasted together into a single page. Text that has been copied exactly is usually the easiest type of copied content to identify.
  • Content that is copied, but changed slightly from the original. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source. Sometimes just a few words are changed, or whole sentences are changed, or a “find and replace” modification is made, where one word is replaced with another throughout the text. These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. We call this kind of content “copied with minimal alteration.”
  • Content copied from a changing source, such as a search results page or news feed. You often will not be able to find an exact matching original source if it is a copy of “dynamic” content (content that changes frequently). However, we will still consider this to be copied content.

Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.

How to Determine if Content is Copied

How do you determine whether all or most of the MC is copied? How do you identify the original source of the content? These things can be difficult to determine, but the following steps may help.

  1. Copy a sentence or phrase in the text. It may be necessary to try a few sentences or phrases from the page just to be sure. When deciding what sentence or phrase to copy, try to find a sentence or series of several words without punctuation, unusual characters, or suspicious words that may have replaced the original text.
  1. Search on Google by pasting the sentence or phrase (surrounded by quotation marks) inside the Google search box. Try a few sentences from the page.

google

Here are some sentences and phrases from this page about “The Wizard of Oz” film and how to search for them.

Sentence or Phrase From a SentenceQuery to Find the Sentence or Phrase
A sentence on the page:All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them tooTry the query both with and without quotation marks around the sentence:
[ “All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too” ] [ All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too ]
A phrase on the page:Dorothy uses the Golden Cap to summon the Winged MonkeysTry the query both with and without quotation marks around the sentence:
[ “Dorothy uses the Golden Cap to summon the Winged Monkeys” ] [ Dorothy uses the Golden Cap to summon the Winged Monkeys ]
A different phrase on the page:revealing an old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago in a hot air balloonTry the query both with and without quotation marks around the sentence:
[ “revealing an old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago in a hot air balloon” ] [revealing an old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago in a hot air balloon ]

3. Compare the pages you find that match the sentence or phrase. Is most of their MC the same? If so, does one clearly come from a highly authoritative source that is known for original content creation (newspaper, magazine, medical foundation, etc.)? Does one source seem to reasonably be the original? Does one source appear to have the earliest publication date, verified by sources like the Wayback Machine?

Use your best judgment. Sometimes it is clear that the content is copied from somewhere, but you cannot tell what the original source is. Other times the content found on the original source has changed enough that searches for sentences or phrases may no longer match the original source. For example, Wikipedia articles can change dramatically over time. Text copied from old copies may not match the current content. If you strongly suspect the page you are evaluating is not the original source, consider it likely to be copied.

We have confirmed that the above text (the text in the sentence and phrases in the table) comes from an older version of a Wikipedia article about “The Wizard of Oz,” which can be found using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Please note that searching for the above sentence and phrases will not lead you to a current Wikipedia article about “The Wizard of Oz,” which demonstrates how confirming that the MC of a page contains copied content can sometimes be difficult.

Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.

Auto-Generated Main Content

Another way to create MC with little to no time, effort, or expertise is to create pages (or even entire websites) by designing a basic template from which hundreds or thousands of pages are created, sometimes using content from freely available sources (such as an RSS feed or API). These pages are created with no or very little time, effort, or expertise, and also have no editing or manual curation.

Pages and websites made up of auto-generated content with no editing or manual curation, and no original content or value added for users, should be rated Lowest.

Obstructed or Inaccessible Main Content

MC cannot be used if it is obstructed or inaccessible due to Ads, SC, or interstitial pages. If you are not able to access the MC, please use the Lowest rating.

Here are some examples of pages with obstructed MC that should be rated Lowest:

  • Ads that continue to cover the MC as you scroll down the page, that are virtually impossible to close without clicking on the Ad.
  • An interstitial page that redirects the user away from the MC without offering any path back to the MC.

Inadequate Information about the Website or Creator of the Main Content

As discussed in Section 2.5.3, we expect most websites to have some information about who (e.g., what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) is responsible for the website and who created the MC, as well as some contact information, unless there is a good reason for anonymity. For websites with YMYL pages, such as online banks, we expect to find a lot of information about the site, including extensive customer service information.

Think about the purpose of the website and the type of website information users would expect or demand.

YMYL pages with absolutely no information about the website or creator of the MC, or other pages where the available information is completely inadequate for the purpose of the website (e.g., an online bank with only an email address), should be rated Lowest.

Unmaintained Websites, and Hacked, Defaced, or Spammed Pages

Some websites are not maintained or cared for at all by their webmaster. These “abandoned” websites will fail to achieve their purpose over time, as content becomes stale or website functionality ceases to work on new browser versions. Unmaintained websites should be rated Lowest if they fail to achieve their purpose due to the lack of maintenance.

Unmaintained websites may also become hacked, defaced, or spammed with a large amount of distracting and unhelpful content. These pages should also be rated Lowest because they fail to accomplish their original purpose.

For reference, a hacked or defaced website is a site that has been modified without permission from the website owner(s). Responsible webmasters should regularly check their websites for suspicious behavior and take steps to protect users.

We’ll consider a comment or forum discussion to be “spammed” if there are posts with unrelated comments that are not intended to help other users, but rather to advertise a product or create a link to a website. Frequently these comments are posted by a “bot” rather than a real person. While a specific page on a website may have a large amount of spammed forum discussions or spammed user comments, it does not mean that the entire website contains only spam.

Pages that Potentially Spread Hate

Use the Lowest rating for pages that promote hate or violence against a group of people based on criteria including—but not limited to—race or ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality or citizenship, disability, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political beliefs, veteran status, victims of atrocities, etc. Websites advocating hate or violence can cause real world harm.

Hate may be expressed in inflammatory, emotional, or hateful-sounding language, but may also be expressed in polite or even academic-sounding language.

Extensive reputation research is important for identifying websites that promote hate or violence. Please identify reputable and well-established organizations that provide information about hate groups in your locale when researching reputation. Some websites may not have reputation information available. In this case, please use your judgment based on the MC of the page and knowledge of your locale.

Potentially Harmful Pages

 Encourage Harm

Use the Lowest rating for pages that encourage or incite harm. Harm includes mental, physical, or emotional harm to self or others. For example:

  • User discussions that attempt to justify sexual abuse of children.
  • How-to or step-by-step information on how to commit acts of terrorism or violent extremism.
  • Depictions of extreme gore or violence, without a beneficial purpose.
  • Suicide promotion or pro-anorexia webpages that encourage users to engage in behavior that can result in hospitalization or death.
  • Pages with scary death threats or other realistic-sounding threatening language.

Malicious Pages

Malicious pages are created with harmful intent or created to benefit the website or other organization at the cost of the user. Use the Lowest rating for any harmful or malicious page, including the following:

  • Pages or websites that you strongly suspect are scams (see these links for more information about Internet scams: Avoid Scams 1, Avoid Scams 2, Internet Fraud).
  • Pages that ask for personal information without a legitimate reason (for example, pages that ask for name, birthdate, address, bank account, government ID number, etc.).
  • Pages that “phish” for passwords to Facebook, Gmail, or other popular online services. See here for information about “phishing” fraud.
  • Pages with suspicious links, including malware download links or other types of links that are detrimental to users.

If you suspect a link is malicious, please do not click on it. You do not need to personally experience a malicious download in order to confirm that a website is harmful. Likewise, if you feel strongly that a website is a scam, you do not need to engage with it to get proof.

Use the Lowest rating if you suspect a page is malicious, even if you’re not able to completely confirm that the page is harmful. Please exercise caution and practice good Internet safety skills.

Negative or Malicious Reputation

Use the Lowest rating if the website and the creators of the MC have a negative or malicious reputation. Here are some examples originally shown in Section 2.6.4. All pages on these websites should be rated Lowest because of the negative or malicious reputation of these websites.

WebsiteDescription
Site selling children’s jungle gymNegative reputation information: This business has a BBB rating of F. There is a news article about financial fraud. There are many reviews on websites describing how users sent money and did not receive anything in return.
Site selling products related to eyewearNegative/malicious reputation information: This website engaged in criminal behavior such as physically threatening users.
Organization serving the hospitalized veteran communityNegative reputation information: There are many detailed negative articles on news sites and charity watchdog sites describing fraud and financial mishandling about this organization.

Pages that Potentially Misinform Users

The purpose of an informational page is to communicate accurate information. Assume an informational purpose for pages that look as though they are informational or pages that many users go to for information, even if it is not an official news source or an official encyclopedia article. This includes pages that appear to be news, social profile pages spreading news or information, forum discussions about informational topics such as current events, videos which cover news topics, etc.

The Lowest rating must be used for any of the following types of content on pages that could appear to be informational:

  • Demonstrably inaccurate content.
  • YMYL content that contradicts well-established expert consensus.
  • Debunked or unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Lowest should also be used under these circumstances:

  • The content creator may believe that the conspiracy theory or demonstrably inaccurate content is correct, or it is unclear whether they do.
  • The content creators may be deliberately attempting to misinform users.
  • The content creators describe, repeat or spread conspiracy theories or demonstrably inaccurate content without a clear effort to debunk or correct it, regardless of whether the creators believe it to be true. For example, content creators may produce this content in order to make money or gain attention.

Some examples of information that would be found on Lowest quality pages include: the moon landings were faked, carrots cure cancer, and the U.S. government is controlled by lizard people. While some of these topics may seem funny, there have been real world consequences from people believing these kinds of internet conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Find high quality, trustworthy sources to check accuracy and the consensus of experts if you are unsure about a topic. Be especially careful with YMYL topics such as medical, scientific, financial, historical, or current events that are necessary for maintaining an informed citizenry.

Please research conspiracy theories. Fact-checking websites cannot keep up with the volume of conspiracy theories produced by the Internet. Some conspiracy theories are impossible to debunk because they claim all debunking information is inaccurate. If a claim or conspiracy theory seems wildly improbable and cannot be verified by independent trustworthy sources, consider it unsubstantiated.

Pages that Potentially Deceive Users

We will consider a page to be “deceptive” if it may deceive users or trick search engines. All deceptive pages should be rated Lowest.

The following sections describe characteristics of deceptive pages. However, no list of deceptive characteristics will be complete—deceptive websites continue to evolve as users and search engines figure out how they are being tricked.

With practice, you will be able to identify deceptive pages accurately.

Deceptive Page Purpose

Some pages are deliberately created to deceive users, for example:

  • A webpage or website that impersonates a different site (e.g., copied logo or branding of an unaffiliated site, URL that mimics another site’s name, etc.).
  • A non-satirical social network profile made by an impersonator.
  • A webpage or website that looks like a news source or information page, but in fact has articles to manipulate users in order to benefit a person, business, government, or other organization politically, monetarily, or otherwise.
  • A webpage claims to offer an independent review or share other information about a product, but is in fact created to make money for the owner of the website without attempting to help users. For example, the MC may contain intentionally misleading or inaccurate information created with the sole purpose of getting users to click on monetized links or buy the product.
  • A website claims to be the personal website of a celebrity, but the website is actually created to make money for the owner of the website without the permission of the celebrity. For example, the page may have false testimonials for a product and is created for the sole purpose of getting users to click on monetized links or buy the product.
  • A webpage with a misleading title or a title that has nothing to do with the content on the page. Users who come to the page expecting content related to the title will feel tricked or deceived.
  • A webpage or website with deceptive website information. For example, the website may misrepresent who owns the site, what the website purpose really is, how the content was created, how to contact the site, etc.

Any page or website that may deceive or trick users should be rated Lowest, regardless of intent. Use the Lowest rating even if you cannot see a reason for the deception or even if you think most users wouldn’t “fall” for the trick.

You should also use the Lowest rating if you suspect a page is deceptive, even if you’re not able to completely confirm it. Please exercise caution and practice good Internet safety skills since deceptive pages may be malicious.

Deceptive Page Design

Some pages are deliberately designed to manipulate users to take an action that will benefit the owner of the website rather than help the user.

Here are some common types of deceptively designed pages:

  • Pages that disguise Ads as MC. Actual MC may be minimal or created to encourage users to click on the Ads. For example, fake search pages (example) that have a list of links that look like a page of search results. If you click on a few of the links, you will see that the page is just a collection of Ads disguised as search engine results. A “search box” is present, but submitting a new query just gives you a different page of Ads disguised as search results.
  • Pages that disguise Ads as website navigation links. For example, fake directory pages (example) that look like a personally curated set of helpful links, possibly with unique descriptions. In reality, the links are Ads or links to other similar pages on the site. Sometimes the descriptions of the links are unrelated to the page.
  • Pages where the MC is not usable or visible. For example, a page that has such a large amount of Ads at the top of the page (before the MC), so that most users will not see the MC, or a page where the MC is invisible text.
  • Any page designed to trick users into clicking on links, which may be Ads or other links intended to serve the needs of the website rather than to the benefit of the user.

Take a good look at the page and use your judgment. If you believe the page was deliberately created to manipulate users to click on Ads, monetized links, questionable download links, etc., rather than help users, the page should be rated Lowest.

Examples of Lowest Quality Pages

Type of Lowest Quality CharacteristicsPQ Rating and Explanation
Lowest: Deceptive page purpose and design – News website (YMYL)
  • Harmful purpose
  • Deceptive design: impersonates a different website
  • Lowest quality MC: demonstrably inaccurate content
l1This page is deceptively designed to make users believe they are on the official ABC News website. The official ABC logo is copied and used prominently throughout the page, and the URL of this website (http://abcnews.com.co/) is very similar to the official site’s URL (http://abcnews.go.com/).The articles on this website include demonstrably inaccurate content, such as an inaccurate news report that Obama banned the Pledge of Allegiance.The deceptive website design and inaccurate content can misinform users. This website was created with a harmful purpose.
Lowest: Potentially misinform users Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories
  • Presents unsubstantiated conspiracy theories as if the information were factual
  • Lowest quality MC: unsubstantiated conspiracy theory
l1The MC on this page contains factually unsupported theories related to the Vatican’s knowledge of the planet Nibiru, the existence of aliens, and upcoming world events. Although various Vatican officials and scientists are quoted in the article, the quotations do not support the article’s claims, and in some cases do not seem to come from the person quoted.The Nibiru cataclysm and related events have also been thoroughly debunked by authoritative sources (Reference 1, Reference 2). The demonstrably inaccurate content on this page can misinform users.
Lowest: Potentially misinform users – Unsubstantiated conspiracy theory video (YMYL)
  • Presents unsubstantiated conspiracy theories as if the information were factual
  • Lowest quality MC: unsubstantiated conspiracy theory
l1This video describes the unsubstantiated and outlandish conspiracy theory that shape-shifting lizard people interbred with humans and are now running the world via government, monetary, and religious organizations.The video has high production quality, and some viewers may find it funny or entertaining. However, the video could appear to be informational and should be rated Lowest.
Lowest: Promotes hate or violence – Hate organization homepage
  • Promotes hate or violence towards a group of people
l1The Stormfront website promotes white supremacist ideology and is considered to be a hate site/group by many organizations and articles, including: Anti-Defamation League, Fox News article, USA Today article, Pew Research Center, etc.
Lowest: Deceptive page purpose– Social media profile (YMYL)
  • Deceptive purpose: non-satirical page made by an impersonator
l1This Twitter profile page (username TEN_GOP) was created to impersonate the Tennessee Republican Party (username TNGOP). For more information, see this article: Fake Tennessee GOP Twitter account highlighted in indictment of 13 Russians.
Lowest: Demonstrably inaccurate content – Social media profile
  • Harmful purpose
  • Lowest quality MC: demonstrably inaccurate content
l1At the time this example was written, Betty White was alive. This profile page on a social media website leads users to believe she is dead. Comments on the page indicate that some users have realized that it is inaccurate. If the page were truly created in error, these comments should have led the creator to realize the mistake and delete the page.While it is not clear why this type of page was created in the first place, it appears to be a deliberate intent to misinform users, which is a harmful purpose.
Lowest: Demonstrably inaccurate content – News article
  • Harmful purpose
  • Deceptive page design
  • Lowest quality MC: demonstrably inaccurate content
  • An unsatisfying amount of information about the website and author
l1This news article is demonstrably inaccurate. The event described here (the death of Miley Cyrus) did not happen. Note that no date is given, no sources are cited, and there is no author. This website is designed to look like a news source, but there is no information on the news organization that created the website or its content. The SC also features distracting pictures and outrageously titled links.This page was created to misinform users, which is a harmful purpose.
Lowest: Keyword Stuffing –Forum page: Watch RoboCop online
  • Lowest quality MC: large amount of “Keyword Stuffed” MC
l1This is an example of a spammed forum page, where the goal is to try and get users to watch a movie online, which has nothing to do with the purpose of the site. For a forum page, the user comments are the MC, and much of the content is not helpful for users. Here is an example of some of the “keyword stuffing” on this page that is not meant to be read by a human, found near the bottom of the page.
Lowest: Copied content – Wizard of Oz
  • Lowest quality MC: copied content with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l1All MC is a copy of an old Wikipedia article, which you can see here by researching it on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.The current Wikipedia page offers much more content, links, references, etc. This page doesn’t add much value for users.
Lowest: Unsatisfying amount ofMC – Wedding dresses
  • An unsatisfying amount of MC for the topic of the page
  • Very low quality MC
  • No evidence of E-A-T
  • True purpose of the page and website is questionable
l2This page has so many low quality characteristics that the Lowest+ rating is appropriate. There is a question about what the true purpose of the page is—Lowest is appropriate if you feel this page was created with little attempt to help users.
Lowest: Malicious, harmful, or deceptive – Asks for personal information (YMYL)
  • Malicious, harmful, or deceptive
l1This is a shopping checkout page, but it asks for the user’s government ID number, driver’s license number, ATM pin number, bank account information, etc.
Lowest: Auto-generated with Little Attempt to Help Users – Engine Code (YMYL)
  • Auto-generated MC, created with little to no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l1The first sentence is incomplete, and doesn’t provide an explanation for the code, and therefore fails the purpose of the page. Other pages on the website have inaccurate, misleading, and/or incomplete information. In fact, some pages seem borderline gibberish, with contradicting information. It appears the page exists only to make money, with no attempt to help users.
Lowest: Fraudulent – Charity (YMYL)
  • Extremely negative or malicious reputation
l1There are many claims of fraud and financial problems about this organization on reputable news sites and charity watchdog sites: Negative review 1, Negative review 2, Negative review 3, and Negative review 4.
Lowest: No website information – About dry sockets (YMYL)
  • No website information for YMYL website
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l1There is no information about who created this website, no contact information, and no authorship information.Medical pages require a high degree of user trust. Because there is no information about who owns this website and who created this content, we will consider this an untrustworthy website.
Lowest: Fake directory page – Mesothelioma (YMYL)
  • Deceptive purpose (fake directory page)
  • No website information for YMYL topic
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l1The links on the page appear to link to helpful articles, but in fact the links are Ads that do not go to articles. This is a YMYL topic, but there is no indication about who is responsible for this content or website.
Lowest: Fake search page – Chicken recipes
  • Deceptive purpose (fake search page)
l1Advertising should never disguise itself as the MC of the page. Pages with Ads that are designed to look like MC should be considered deceptive.
Lowest: Fake search page – Chairs
  • Deceptive purpose (fake search page)
l1This page was created to make money from clicks on Ads rather than to help users.
Lowest: Deceptive purpose – Viagra (YMYL)
  • Lowest quality MC (copied content with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users)
  • No website information for YMYL website
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l1This looks like an information website for a drug. The real purpose of this page is to get users to this website, and then get them to click on the “order now” link, which takes users to another website.All MC on this page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Here is the original source.
Lowest: Deceptive page purpose and design – Washing machine reviews
  • Purpose of the page to make money with very little or no attempt to help users
  • Lowest quality MC (copied content with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users)
l1This page is titled “Washing Machine Reviews,” but there are no reviews on the page and the content is copied from another website. The links all go to a single Internet retailer selling washing machines. This is a deceptive page because it is designed to get users to click on the prominent links.
Lowest: Deceptive page purpose– Fake survey page
  • Deceptive purpose
  • Highly untrustworthy
l1This page contains a fake survey, which appears to promise users the opportunity to win an Apple MacBook Air, an iPhone 5c, or a Galaxy S4. However, after completing some survey questions and selecting the product the user would like to win, the user is redirected to website after website to complete more and more survey questions, while being asked to supply more and more personal information, including medical information and bank account information.There is no information about who is responsible, even though this website asks for highly personal information such as bank account numbers. Despite appearances, there is no affiliation with Google.
Lowest: Deceptive page design – Javascript alert box
  • Deceptive or misleading page design
l1Some users might not even notice the MC because it is under a long list of Ads. Users may mistake the Ads for MC.
Lowest: Deceptive page purpose– Rachael Ray diet blog
  • Deceptive purpose and deceptive content
l1The title of this page is “Rachael Ray Diet Blog,” but the page has nothing to do with Rachael Ray or her diet or her products. This page exists to sell products using Rachael Ray’s name and image. In fact, there is a brown-text-on-brown-background section at the bottom of the page (which we consider to be hidden text) that says “Disclaimer: Rachael Ray is not affiliated with nor does she sponsor or endorse this blog.” This page is deceptive in spite of the disclaimer!This example has been annotated with red text at the top to point out deceptive aspects of this page.
Lowest: Keyword stuffing and gibberish– Imodium for dogs
  • Lacking in purpose
  • Lowest quality MC (gibberish, keyword stuffing)
l1This page has no helpful MC and no helpful purpose.
Lowest: Malicious website – Site selling products related to eyewear (YMYL)
  • Very negative, malicious, or financially fraudulent reputation
l1This website took users’ money and physically threatened users who complained. These articles on Wikipedia and the New York Times describe the deceptive techniques used by this website and provide other negative information about the website and its owner.
Lowest: Gibberish – Celebrity site
  • Lacking in purpose
  • Lowest quality MC (gibberish)
l1This page has no helpful MC and no helpful purpose.
Lowest: Gibberish – PDF file
  • Lowest quality MC (gibberish)
  • Lack of purpose
l1This is a gibberish PDF file. We don’t have any idea why this was created. There are no links or Ads. This page has no purpose and no reason to exist.
Lowest: Lack of purpose – Free credit report (YMYL)
  • Lowest quality MC (gibberish)
  • Highly untrustworthy
l1This page has deceptive features, such as a friend request, a prize alert, and a download button.
Lowest: Lack of purpose – Las Vegas gambling terms
  • Lacking in purpose
  • Lowest quality MC (gibberish, keyword stuffing)
l1This page has no MC and no helpful purpose.
Lowest: Highly untrustworthy – Article about how to cure stomach flu (YMYL)
  • No evidence of E-A-T
  • Inaccurate or misleading
  • No website information for YMYL topic
l1This content is poorly written and uses a lot of words to say very little. There is no information about who is responsible for the content and no contact information for this YMYL medical topic.
Lowest: Highly untrustworthy – Download page
  • Highly untrustworthy (suspect download)
l1This is a download website with only one page – this page. There is a lot of text (with grammar and spelling errors) promising that users will make money from this free download. The purpose of the page seems to be to entice users into clicking on the links with the promise of making money.Remember that you are not required to click on any links that are suspicious.
Lowest: Deliberately created with no MC
  • Large amount of prominent Ads and no attempt to help users
l1This is an example of a page with no MC. You might think that the MC is “missing” due to a problem with this particular page, but in fact, this website has hundreds of pages that look the same way—no MC, just Ads. This website shows Ads with little or no attempt to help users, and should be rated Lowest quality.
Lowest: Low quality MC – Article about popping pimples
  • Lowest quality MC
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l2This content has many problems: poor grammar, and sentences that are meaningless or state something obvious. For example: “Popping pimples could be or could be not the new trend of getting rid of them.” In addition, the “About the Author” section of the page has an Ad, but no information about the author.
Lowest: Low quality MC – Article about getting a mortgage in Texas (YMYL)
  • Lowest quality MC
  • No evidence of E-A-T
l2The level of expertise of the author of this content is not clearly communicated. Providing this background information is particularly important for medical, financial, or other YMYL topics for which expertise is needed.
Lowest: YMYL page with inaccurate information – Chest pains and smoking (YMYL)
  • YMYL page with inaccurate potentially dangerous medical advice
  • Lowest quality MC
l2We must evaluate this page from the point of view of a user visiting this page from a search engine, rather than a participant. The question is poorly worded and difficult to understand. The answers are poorly worded and have incorrect and potentially dangerous medical advice. The MC is low quality.
Lowest: YMYL page with bad information – Paying off loans (YMYL)
  • YMYL page with potentially damaging financial advice
  • No evidence of E-A-T
  • Inaccurate or misleading
l2This page gives loan advice that can be potentially damaging, for example, instructing people not to pay back their loans. The article has grammar and spelling errors, and the page is highly untrustworthy.
Lowest: Potentially untrustworthy shopping page with insufficient contact info (YMYL)
  • Completely inadequate or untrustworthy customer service information for a shopping website
  • No evidence of E-A-T
  • Inaccurate or misleading
l2This page is selling Nike Air Jordan shoes. When you look at the “Contact Us” page, it does not give the name of a company or a physical address, which also cannot be found anywhere else on the website. This amount of contact information is not sufficient for a shopping website.In addition, the “Shipping and Returns” page has the name of another company that seems to be unrelated. There are also official looking logos at the bottom of the homepage, including the Better Business Bureau logo and Google Checkout logo, that don’t appear to be affiliated with the website.
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