Over the last day or so, Google began issuing manual actions for “social engineering content detected.” These new warnings have a pretty confusing name that are causing people to question what exactly “social engineered content” is.
Here is the new warning:
It seems to be related to Google’s new change to the Safe Browsing program. They recently made it so sites with deceptive advertising – such as “download button ads” which are designed to confuse site visitors, would now be flagged as deceptive.
The name is definitely confusing, simply because a huge number of webmasters have no idea what “social engineering” is or what it means. I could see where someone might think it is related to something social media – such as social media share buttons. The description is somewhat better to alerting webmasters to what the issue is.
If you run into this warning, you will need to have a close look at the advertising on your site. With ad networks it can sometimes be hard to know whether one of them is serving a deceptive ad. And there do seem to be either false positives, or issues were the deceptive ad is no longer displaying when submitting a reconsideration request.
Once you are sure the deceptive ads have been removed, you can go ahead and file a reconsideration request, which should be in your Google Search Console account under manual actions.
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