Google has released an extension for their popular web browser "Chrome" in an effort to counter act the amount of low-quality or "webspam" sites that turn up in the Google search results. Once installed, the extension allows the end user to report any offending, spammy sites to Google.
Matt Cutts (principle engineer for Google) describes webspam as: "junk you see in search results when websites try to cheat their way into higher positions in search results or otherwise violate search engine quality guidelines." Read the Matt Cutts blog post regarding the Chrome extension.
This extension comes shortly after two major algorithm updates this year already as part of an ongoing effort to curb the amount of webspam polluting the Google SERPs. Recently two major sites have been accused of being content farms. Sites that employ blackhat tactics such as webspam are typically marked by frivolous or nonexistent content (JC Penny being one of them).
Google is following through on its hard-line stance to combat webspam, in an ongoing effort by Google to improve the quality of search results for its users. I applaud Google’s efforts and hope they continue with their zero tolerance policy against sites spamming the search results.
IMHO, having Google involve the online community to help monitor and report webspam is a great way to ensure that the necessary resources are available to counteract the amounts of webspam that permeate the search results. IMO, this will create a much better user experience for all involved. The fact of the matter is that there are far too many sites for the Google bots to crawl, track and monitor in an effective manner. While I do fully support Google’s ongoing efforts to reduce the amounts of webspam, the reality is that there will always be a way to manipulate the SERPs.