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Should I disavow if I have not received spam report in WMT?
Jon12345




msg:4621126
 6:44 pm on Nov 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just got an ahrefs subscription and find that I have links to my site from Russian domains, where they have spammed my forum and are linking from 2nd tier spammy sites. Naturally, I want these removed.

But, I haven't received any spam report in Google Webmaster Tools. Do I need to wait for a warning from them first? If some of the links are not showing in Webmaster Tools, what should I do?

I am a Disavow noobie!

Thanks,

Jon

 

goodroi




msg:4621392
 7:50 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just about any site that has been around long enough and has been popular enough, has attracted links that a safe webmaster would prefer not to have. Think about all of the spammy sites that used to scrape serp results and republish them.

Personally I do not strive to have 100% clean link profile because IMHO there are better things to do then chase after every single uninvited spammy link.

I do actively monitor my backlink profiles. I am looking for signs of the bad links increasing into a risky ratio when compared to my good links. When I notice the ratio of good to bad links sliding down, I first spend more time developing good links. Good links will directly drive traffic to my site. So if Google does penalize me, I won't mind since I will have so much legitimate traffic coming directly to me from the good links. Then I will send out automated emails asking for the spammy links to be removed. Then, the last step if all the other steps didn't work is to file a disavow.

aristotle




msg:4621420
 10:05 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am looking for signs of the bad links increasing into a risky ratio when compared to my good links. When I notice the ratio of good to bad links sliding down, I first spend more time developing good links.

You'd have to build good backlinks really fast to keep up with all of this auto-generated link spam. At the rate it's growing, I think we're all going to have to depend on Google's algorithm to filter it out.

rish3




msg:4621425
 10:21 pm on Nov 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Personally, I think you would be better off either moving, or deleting, the pages in question. Then add an entry to .htaccess (or similar) so that the pages report 410/GONE, and additionally remove them with the URL removal tool.

According to G, spammy links to pages that don't exist won't hurt you.

Of course, sometimes, the pages are ones that are too important to move or delete.

aquanaut




msg:4621739
 4:11 am on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Of course, sometimes, the pages are ones that are too important to move or delete.

Yep, like your homepage :)

JD_Toims




msg:4621741
 4:30 am on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I haven't received any spam report in Google Webmaster Tools. Do I need to wait for a warning from them first? If some of the links are not showing in Webmaster Tools, what should I do?

Personally, my opinion is: disavow if you want and have time for it; otherwise don't -- The type of links you're talking about are *simple* to detect and discount alrogithmically. They're not an "edge case", or anything like that.

It's just plain simple to detect and ignore the type of links you're talking about in an automated fashion, so the bottom line for me and what I'd do about them is: whatever made me not stress and allowed me to get on with business asap.

If the preceding position led to disavowing, then I'd disavow and move on; if I didn't have the time or the concern about something I think is very simple for Google to detect and ignore, then I wouldn't bother doing anything about them and move on -- Either way I'd get it over with, not stress on it, and move on to things that are likely much more important.

Jon12345




msg:4621830
 1:31 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

A concern of mine is that one site links 27,000 times to my site. So I am wondering if this will have a negative impact. When I type in the domain name, it redirects to a different domain name. There are masses of links like this:

theirsite dot com/?ado=calendar&page=calendar&showdate=10/8/2012&month=10&Year=2012&CalType=1&evid=

My site is a forum. So I am confused!

adamxcl




msg:4621960
 11:50 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have yet to do any disavows but I do think about it often. My concern is that doing none at all presents a kind of blind innocence or ignorance. Then once you start doing it, it opens all kinds of doors and situations. I am concerned a search engine could track it all and think "well he disavowed these 90 links (so he is in the SEO space), what about these 30 links over here (that you may not have noticed) that are not disavowed. He must like these bad links."

Probably just reading too much into all of it but I don't trust it. No one is ever going to be able to remove thousands of spammy malicious links so it should be up to search engines to figure it out. This had started a whole side economy of money transfer around bad links, that should not exist to begin with.

aristotle




msg:4622193
 1:32 am on Nov 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has anyone ever figured out why Google doesn't simply disregard all suspected purchased and artificially-built backlinks?

If they would do so, then:
1. Nobody would have any need a disavow tool.

2. Nobody would be able to gain an advantage by buying or building backlinks.

3. Nobody would be able to use backlinks for "negative SEO" so as to sabotage a competitors rankings

4. Neither manual nor algorithmic backlink-induced penalties would be necessary or desirable.

5. Search results would be generally better than they are now.

JD_Toims




msg:4622194
 1:39 am on Nov 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has anyone ever figured out why Google doesn't simply disregard all suspected purchased and artificially-built backlinks?

Likely because some links fall in a "grey area", they try to "err on the side of caution", and the data they get from disavow files also provides them with data for detecting networks that may [likely will imo] be visible through a large enough number of independent webmasters stating they did not have anything to do with and cannot do anything about the links to their site present on "domain.ext, another-domain.ext, some-domain.ext, one-more-domain.ext"

I think it's important to remember, they're "pattern people", so having webmasters submit "I didn't do it and can't get it removed" reports should eventually, over time and enough reports, give them more data to detect subtle patterns relating to networks and artificial links to more accurately filter their results -- It's really not a "bad thing" if your site is "unique, liked, usable", but for those who are "ranking artificially" it could be devastating, especially in the long-run.

Shai




msg:4622248
 5:22 pm on Nov 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

JD_Toims - Normally agree with you 100% but on this occasion, we have parted company :)

I strongly believe that apart from the two main 'types' of penalties, i.e Manual and algorithmic, there is also a third that is also algorithmically calculated but not of Penguin or Panda ilk. Lets for argument sake call it the "slow death" penalty (ok, no one claims that I am creative) This “slow death” penalty is literally caused by low quality links, not only not boosting the site ranking, but actually weighing it down. I have one perfect example of such a site and data to support this.

The site, which was discussed on another post I made recently, has had a continual stream of thousands of bad links going to it. These link had anchor text which was not related to my site's subject. (this I suspect is the reason for not tripping a manual or algo penalty, but that is purely speculation) Although we did not receive any manual action notifications, We also did not see any sharp declines in ranking which are so typical of Penguin. However, what we have seen is a ‘cancer’ like degradation in our serp positions. A gradual, steady and quite depressing drop in rankings. No specific penguin dates, no cliffs drops, just a slow death. We then uploaded a massive disavow file and the results were not a sharp rise but rather a reverse of the trend. So now, instead of a gradual drop, we were back to a gradual increase. Almost as if, as google re crawled the links and processed them through the disavow file, one by one they got removed from the profile and therefore one by one the links -ive energy was also... well.. negated.

Ever since then, we keep a close eye on our link profile and remove anything that is spammy in nature. We don't go over the top, and we leave some of the more natural automated type links where they are but if anything is incoming from any shady areas of the web, it goes straight on to the Disavow.

I am now almost convinced that removing bad link can have a beneficial effect on the whole site.

So, to answer the original question, yes, you should definitely disavow all those links and make sure you check and update the file at regular basis. For our clients, it’s now part of the monthly checks we carry out on their sites and I would recommend others do the same if not already.

JD_Toims




msg:4622282
 11:52 pm on Nov 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, no one agrees on the "nuances" to SEO all the time Shai, so a bit of a disagreement on wtf to do isn't a big deal at all to me, and I don't think we're really in that much disagreement, since I could "go either way" and disavow or not-disavow on this one depending on my "gut feeling" -- the last 2 paragraphs of my initial post say what I was meaning more than my 1st one does -- The biggest point I was trying to make was, "Don't stress on it, just do what makes you the most comfortable and move on to other things."

Also, I'd look at your situation a bit differently based on the info I have about both -- In the OP, there isn't a ranking issue described, "Russian links" were just discovered and there's no indication of age, but I'd suspect they've been in place since prior to the last Penguin run, which means they're not having an effect, so I wouldn't "stress on" or "think about" them much more than a few minutes at the most, mainly because once I saw them I'd just do what put my mind to rest so I could move on and if disavowing did that, then that's what I'd do, but if I didn't have time or had better things I could do with that time, then I'd just leave them as they are.

In your situation, there's a "constant stream" of unrequested, spammy inbound links as well as a ranking decline, so I'd likely handle that differently than I would finding links that appear to have no effect on rankings in any way.

aristotle




msg:4622286
 12:32 am on Nov 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my opinion Google should do whatever it takes to make sure that nobody's site can be harmed by backlinks created either by other people or by automated programs. A webmaster shouldn't have to spend any time at all worrying, or even thinking, about possible harm to their site from backlinks.

JD_Toims




msg:4622288
 1:30 am on Nov 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I really can't disagree with your post aristotle, because I think you're right on with what Google should/should-not require.

Unfortunately, where a site ranks in Google is up to Google and what they choose or choose-not to require of those wanting to rank is up to them, so we as "those who want to rank" have to conform to what they decide is important for us to do wrt having a site that ranks in their results.

I don't like everything they do or require by any stretch, but as has been said before, it's their search engine...

Shai




msg:4622387
 8:16 pm on Nov 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also agree. In my opinion, it wont be long now until Google will have to do something about this. The current system is just not sustainable. This is a growing problem even if Matt says otherwise.

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