Link Spam

Joran Hofman
March 6, 2021

What Is Link Spam?

It is also called blog spam, comment spam, or wikispam; it is a black hat practice that consists of posting as many links out of context in discussion forums, websites, guestbooks, blog comments, or any other place online shows user comments. This is generally achieved through the purchase of link-building packages.

What Is The Purpose Of Link Spam?

The purpose of link spam is to increase the amount of external links made to a site that the spammer wants to promote to give it a higher ranking. A greater number of links to a page increases the level or rank of a page. It increases its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the ranking in web searches, the higher the visibility of competitors, more visitors, more traffic, and possibly a greater number of paying customers

Why Avoid Using Link Spam?

Today, most blogging, discussion forums, and website software systems have ways to minimize or even eliminate link spam. There is, for example, MT-BlackList, a free-to-use plugin that fights link spam on blogs based on Movable Type.

Most likely, link spam is counterproductive for those who engage in this practice. When different search engines decide that a site is not well viewed, it can decrease traffic and ranking. It is even possible that it will be completely deleted from the search results. Measures to prevent or reduce comment spam include requiring manual approval of comments containing and using a blacklist of banned words to detect spam.

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Possible Solutions To Link Spam

Step 1. Identify the types of link spam to avoid:

Virtually any link that is unimportant to a website is a link spam, with a few exceptions, such as editorial links from large publications. Here is a small list of the most common to avoid:

  • Penalized domain links.
  • Links from link directories and link farms.
  • "Bad Neighborhood" Links (Porn, Pharmacy, Online Gambling).
  • Links from sites with languages ​​that do not correspond to the language of the site.
  • Large amounts of links from unrelated websites.
  • Exact match anchor text links.

Step 2. Find where they come from or the source of those spam links:

Several tools such as Moz, Monitor Backlinks, Ahrefs, and SEMRush can be very useful for identifying the origin of spam links since all links that adhere to their "toxic" link definitions are flagged. 

Whatever the option is chosen in terms of the tools used to recognize spam links, you should try to use one that has the option of exporting the data. This will allow you to create a file that can be downloaded and then sort and classify the found data, which will be useful to know which websites to contact first and ask them to remove the links to your site.

Recommended Reading: 11 Ahrefs Alternatives for SEO

Step 3. Make a request to remove spam links from your site:

The chances of deleting a link spam or low-quality link by requesting it from the webmaster are almost zero. But, Google requires you to take this step before asking them to ignore the link, so it should be tried anyway, just to get through the steps.

In most cases, the contact details of the person who has access to that website are impossible to find. Many don't even have a generic contact page to receive emails; in this case, use the domain search WHOIS option to try to find the information.

Most likely, data such as the name of the organization, the state, and the country to which it belongs will be obtained, these data, most of the time, will not be of great help, and the list will not have email addresses either.

Get an email but don't get a response. You can contact the company hosting the website and ask them to remove the identified unwanted links. In most cases, it will work.

To find out which companies are hosting a website, WhoIsHostingThis is recommended.

SEMrush

Step 4. Create a disavow file and send to Google:

With this tool, you can import a text file through Google Search Console, where you will find the links that you want Google to ignore. With the ability to enter specific URLs, Google can also be asked to ignore each link for a particular domain.

The backlink profile should be carefully analyzed. The tool must be used with caution not to disallow good backlinks and negatively influence the page's organic ranking.

Processing the file takes time once it is sent. It only remains to wait for the classification to be recovered gradually.

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