Aussie SEOs Love to File Spam Reports to Google
By analysing the raw SEO survey data supplied by SEOMoz we found that 46 Australian SEOs submitted a spam report against another site. Funny thing is that the stats also show that those who report others are more likely to have also done something naughty. Why is this so amusing? Because these individuals are harming themselves in the process. How? Well, Google is a search engine that likes to do things algorithmically and with minimal human intervention (unlike some other search engines which have more of a human touch to it, for instance Yahoo and their directory).[blockquote type="blockquote_line" align="right"]After reviewing the feedback from these reports […] it may take a bit of time before we update our algorithms and a change is visible in the search results.
Source: Google [/blockquote]
When you report a website to Google you help feed more data into their algorithm and aid them in future detection of spam and those who are trying to cheat the system. If you are also cheating the system you are in the same boat as the one you just reported. Human intervention is rare and when website gets penalised its usually due to an algorithmic trigger.
Like with everything else, Google tries to be smart about their resources and take action against sites whose actions affect most users and going down from there. We wrote something about how some small websites stay under the radar for longer due to this effect.
Our advice to webmasters? Be smart about your SEO and earn search engine love through excellence in content and service, but if you are taking shortcuts to your success in rankings be prepared to do some explanation to Google when the penalty arrives.