Google’s Matt Cutts Talks Phone Number Spam

    April 20, 2012
    Chris Crum

If you have pages on your site where you cram a whole bunch of phone numbers onto a page, you may want to think twice, because Google will basically get you for keyword stuffing (which is of course, against Google’s quality guidelines).

Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, brought up the subject in a post on Google+.

“I wanted to clarify a quick point: when people search for a phone number and land on a page like the one below, it’s not really useful and a bad user experience. Also, we do consider it to be keyword stuffing to put so many phone numbers on a page,” he said. “There are a few websites that provide value-add for some phone numbers, e.g. sites that let people discuss a specific phone number that keeps calling them over and over. But if a site stuffs a large number of numbers on its pages without substantial value-add, that can violate our guidelines, not to mention annoy users.

Here’s the image he refers to:

Phone number stuffing

Cutts added in the comments section, that “these pages have always been considered violations of our guidelines as keywords stuffing – I just wanted to be especially clear so that we could point to explicit guidance we’ve given.”

“Excellent. Now, if you can get Tom with Home Protection to stop robo-pitching us all 3 times a day, that would be superb!” Rob Beschizza said in the comments.

To this, Cutts replied, “You might consider Google Voice to block robocallers. Newer Panasonic cordless phones also let you save a number as blocked.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with Keyword Stuffing or Google’s exact wording, there is a page here that explains it, where it’s described as the practice of loading a page with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking.