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This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >     
How do I find out if I have spammy backlinks
spammy links?
Corinna




msg:4577018
 2:02 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here we go again: my website has been hit yet again :mad:

The only thing I can think of is that I may have spammy backlinks. I have 1500 backlinks but do not recognise all the sites that link back to me. How can I find out whether they are spammy and harm my website?

If I knew which links come from spammy sites I could disavow them with the disavow tool (a friend recommended that)

I got my links through
-article syndication to article site
- posting to social networking sites through onlywire
- guest-blogging to high quality sites
- writing on two forums that are related in content to my site that allow links (follow links)

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

martinibuster




msg:4577043
 3:01 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

article syndication to article site


That can be troubling.

Step 1. Review the current SERPs
There's been a recent update so there could be other factors affecting a ranking shift. How do your important SERPs look: Big shake up or just your site is affected? Anything notable about new sites popping up in the SERPs?

Any time there's a new update it's important to not panic. If you're squeaky clean rankings return within ten days to three months later. But your site might not fall into that category.

jakebohall




msg:4577051
 3:19 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Do a download of all your backlinks from GWT. Then look through each one to see if it is defensible as a "natural" link, or if it is an obvious link for seo. If you have a lot of spammy links, you might consider a cleanup effort. There are several tools out there that can help you remove bad backlinks.

One thing to be particularly mindful of is using keyword specific anchor text, as this was known to create issues with the first penguin update.

Definitely follow Martini's advice about looking at how your rankings have shifted, and don't get too knee-jerk if the impact seems minimal.

Corinna




msg:4577074
 3:46 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

thanks for that, guys, serps have been affected - I am roughly 25% down in SERPs with main keywords but traffic is down 66%. Ok, I try not to panic.

So, no keywords into anchor texts?

How is one to keep up with all these little changes? I tried to find some SEO newsletter that tells you all these little secrets but so far have not found one.
Do you have any recommondations?

treeline




msg:4577129
 5:34 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Follow webmasterworld. There's a lot here, but this is where it get discussed.

FranticFish




msg:4577290
 7:31 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't rely on WMT.

Google 'backlink checker' - there are at least two major players, and other data providers in that space all on my page one result for that term.

Many will let you see you data for your own site for free.

zoltan




msg:4577954
 4:59 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WMT reports that 8-10 sites with "link building", "seo marketing", "backlink exchange", etc. in the domain name link to me from 300 to 1000 pages each, all with the same format, however, when I check many of these pages, my link is not there. Is this a WMT bug or the links were there once but already removed?
If so, am I a victim of negative SEO as I NEVER did any link building?

Corinna




msg:4578007
 10:11 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I now had time to look more thoroughly at my backlinks.

Goodness, there is some junk in there: from Russian #*$! sites to numerous article sites that I never posted on.

I once read that no competitor could harm your site by posting spammy links to you but things seem to have changed. Now you always hear that it is those spammy links that is bringing your site down. What is your take on that?

What do you do with your spammy links?
Do you put them all into the google disavow tool? Or contact webmasters to take them down? (As if they would take hours to delete all your links - I think it is a waste of time to contact them.)

I also wonder what to do about the 150 articles on article sites I posted 2 years ago - whether I should delete them or leave them.

How do you keep track of your spammy links - do you check them every so often?

jakebohall




msg:4578603
 1:58 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately we are at a point where negative SEO can/does work, and I'm hopeful that the effects of negative link development will be short-lived.

In my experience, if you have any "spammy" links that are under your control, you should go ahead and pull them down or no-follow them. You would be surprised by the number of webmasters that will remove links... In full disclosure, I work for an agency that developed Remove'em, which is a link removal service, and I know we typically get between 50-70% of bad links removed just by emailing the webmasters.

My standing recommendation for those trying to recover from penalties is to try and remove as many bad / spammy links as possible, and then take what you can get removed and put into a disavow file.. and then reference both in a recon request.

There are definitely mixed opinions on using disavow, as many believe you are seeding the next pengiun, you are admitting guilt, or that you are letting Google use you to crowdsource their spam team... I all about doing what I have to do to get the reconsideration request through... If you feel opposed to using the disavow tool, then try the reconsideration request without it and see if you can get approved.

As far as tracking spammy links, I just take a quick look ever couple of weeks to make sure that nothing crazy is happening. So much is completely out of our control as webmasters. I just watch and make sure nothing egregious is happening.

jimbeetle




msg:4579534
 4:19 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also wonder what to do about the 150 articles on article sites I posted 2 years ago - whether I should delete them or leave them.

As matinibuster suggested above, "that can be troubling." We can't be sure, but those sure as heck seem to be the types of links Google is now targeting: those built to manipulate PageRank.

you are admitting guilt

Sure, Google's already caught the person with hands in the cookie jar, that's why the site has been dinged. The disavow tool is supposed to be used for spammy links that *you built* (or have had built), and have not been able to remove by normal means.

Corinna




msg:4579537
 4:44 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

thanks guys1
I myself have never built spammy links - I am too much of a two-shoe goody. I also would not have known how anyway.
I have written a few emails to people asking them to take down links but then it just got too much and I put roughly 50 or 60 in the disavow link. Let's hope for the best!

sourabhrana




msg:4579825
 11:14 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am also in this same process using links data from google webmaster tool & ahrefs & OSE but GWT data is more recent

dougwilson




msg:4579855
 1:28 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Aside from possibly "guest-blogging to high quality sites" where someone invites us to write.

I've always considered those "How to get seen, get back links, get authority... ." recommendations unsound

It never made sense to me how "I" could create a good link to "me".

It turns out it wasn't good advice. I wonder if people will remove all their old "Expert Advice" articles telling other people to do all that nonsense.

I still think it's best to write for people, and link for people.

As far as finding negative links and referral spam, peruse whatever stats programs you use. Visit site, get ip address...

WMT's is useful if we expand all and download, publish and paste it somewhere where we can see it clearly. My WMT log shows about a third referral spam sites linking to me, which I ignore.

jimbeetle




msg:4579951
 4:37 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I myself have never built spammy links...

What about the article sites that might be troublesome?

I have written a few emails to people asking them to take down links but then it just got too much...

Did you really say "it just got too much?" Those aren't words that lead to any sort of success.

I put roughly 50 or 60 in the disavow link.

Did you document your attempts to take down any of the links in the disavow file?

helenp




msg:4580296
 8:17 am on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

you are admitting guilt

Sure, Google's already caught the person with hands in the cookie jar, that's why the site has been dinged. The disavow tool is supposed to be used for spammy links that *you built* (or have had built), and have not been able to remove by normal means.


And what if you have spammy links built for more than 10 years ago, in a famous old linkfarm and is not having any penalty and ever had?
I have some thats more than 10 years old, checked the backlinks in WMT and have some recognized as backlinks, some were discovered in 2006, but some wasnt until 2011, before google just ignored them.
Should I disawow them?

fathom




msg:4580355
 3:28 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

If so, am I a victim of negative SEO as I NEVER did any link building?


Assuming that negative SEO is the cause of any drop also suggests they were the firm that produced the ranks you had 'unfairly' in the first place.

Implying you got ranks and never did anything rarely works so if you indeed built the ranks... then you did it with less desirable links and those caused the drop even if the alleged culprit did a reverse spam report on you. (It would have been far easier and more effective for them to simply report your webspam to Google).

This does not work if you are an actual victim as you can't lose what you never had to begin with.

fathom




msg:4580357
 4:04 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have some thats more than 10 years old, checked the backlinks in WMT and have some recognized as backlinks, some were discovered in 2006, but some wasnt until 2011, before google just ignored them.
Should I disawow them?


Actually Google didn't "just ignore them"... all links were applied to your link graph so if you had links that were unfairly acquired they unfairly provided link juice to drive up your ranks and Google simply ignored the fact that you unfairly acquired those in the past.

But they always maintained that such link violated their TOS.

Disavowing implies you wish to drop it from the link graph so it does not pass PageRank.

That is the same as having the site owner add a rel="nofollow" attribute to the link element and that is also the effect that PENGUIN does automatically for you.

If one is already done the "dropping from the link graph" the others will have no effect.

So if you have any links that have been downgraded by PENGUIN they have already been disavowed by PENGUIN and you don't need to worry about them anymore.

You can certainly delete, or edit with rel="nofollow" or disavow them - but what confirmation did you get that Google took action against "that particular link?" ... or will take action against that link in the future?

In my experience if such a link wasn't devalued by Google's PENGUIN all you are doing is destroying your ranks even more.

Just because you don't like it (that particular link) does not imply Google hates it to.

helenp




msg:4580359
 4:37 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

So if you have any links that have been downgraded by PENGUIN they have already been disavowed by PENGUIN and you don't need to worry about them anymore.

You can certainly delete, or edit with rel="nofollow" or disavow them - but what confirmation did you get that Google took action against "that particular link?" ... or will take action against that link in the future?

In my experience if such a link wasn't devalued by Google's PENGUIN all you are doing is destroying your ranks even more.


The linkpages are not on my site, they are on others sites, and most are abandoned or not taken care of sites.
I remember many years ago I had a penalty in yahoo due of them, and I wrote them all (I saw) and most didnt do anything about them, finaly yahoo lifted the penalty and think they started to ignore them.
The linkpages are from year 2002.
I cant edit or add any nofollow on them, these pages should be updated and changed however the linkfarm disappeared many years ago but there are still pages out ther.

How can I know the links were devaluated by penguin and not my site being devaluated?
The only thing I know is that I downloaded backlinks and saw some of them being discovered between 2006 and 2011 wich I didnīt expect.
At least many years ago google ignored those linkfarms backlinks on several domains, they said, if you dont have the pages on your site, not to worry about the backlinks. However many years passed.

fathom




msg:4580365
 5:00 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The links are not on my site, the are on others site, and most are abandoned sites, I remember many years ago I had a penalty in yahoo due of them, and I wrote them all (I saw) and most didnt do anything about them, finaly yahoo lifted the penalty and think they started to ignore them.
The links are from year 2002.
I cant edit or add any nofollow on them, these pages should be updated and changed however the linkfarm disappeared many years ago but there are still pages out ther.


The same rules still apply. You're saying such links provided unwanted ranks.

If they didn't provide unwanted ranks you wouldn't need to worry about them and because PENGUIN already handled the unwanted ranks - there is nothing more that needs to be done in this regard.

Your challenge is finding new ways to get wanted links that Google does not object to thus you will produce wanted ranks.

That isn't an easy task but nothing easy is worth very much.

How can I know the links were devaluated by penguin and not my site being devaluated?


You generally don't. All we can to is theorize what links Google does not like.

I generally use the worse offenders rule... all sitewide links are exploiting the most (whether they are or are not), links on pages with high PR is next... links on scrapped pages on worthless domains are the least of your worry because they cannot manipulate much without 100s of thousands of them.

The only thing I know is that I downloaded backlinks and saw some of them being discovered between 2006 and 2011.


Discovery dates are useful to a degree... any link discovered after a PENGUIN problem isn't likely a link you need to worry about provided you didn't have any stumble later on.

At least many years ago google ignored those linkfarms backlinks on several domains, they said, if you dont have the pages on your site, not to worry about the backlinks. However many years passed.


This is completely immaterial. If these have caused you a recent issue had Google took action against them in the past you would have lost results back then as well... the fact that you may have gotten unfair value for many years is a major positive value for you at the expense of your competitors.

Think how your competitors feel getting screwed over by Google ignoring your unfair advantage for so long.

That said, you don't need to concern yourself with them - your challenge today is figuring out better ways to acquire "earned links".

sbobet




msg:4580367
 5:20 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can use service from majestic , ahrefs or linkdetox to find out

helenp




msg:4580369
 5:22 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

the fact that you may have gotten unfair value for many years is a major positive value at the expense of your competitors.

Think how your competitors feel getting screwed only by Google ignoring your unfair advantage for so long.


This I really doubt, these links value where 0 or hardly 0 on google, remember perfectly all the discussions about them and the impossibility for webmasters to delete them, we are talking about more than 11 years ago.
If something I better think if did anything to site I think more harm than a positive value.
Before it was easy to see backlinks in google search and I ever seen them as backlinks, in yahoo I did see them and yahoo penalizaed to start with, then started to just ignore them, as they have a common pattern, and are easy to recognize.

Anyway I will do what you say. I just dont feel comfortable with those links. They arent that many though as many disappeared after so many years, and I deleted myself very quickly when I found out how it worked, but the harm was done.

fathom




msg:4580377
 6:03 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

This I really doubt, these links value where 0 or hardly 0 on google


I assume you mean they offered no value, or they didn't increase your ranks... therefore you didn't lose ranks because of them either.

In context, I would say it would be extremely unfair for Google to devalue your website for stuff that didn't create unfair ranks.

So if they didn't help you rank they didn't help decrease your ranks either.

fathom




msg:4580378
 6:17 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can use service from majestic , ahrefs or linkdetox to find out


That isn't necessarily true... they interpret data sure... but interpreting a bad link is not a confirmation that Google in fact devalued that as a bad link (or will devalue that as a bad link), just like you interpreting a good link is not a confirmation that Google equally agreed.

The point that I make here is Google frowns on link scheming. Show PENGUIN "1," only one link exchange and it will not detect that single link as a bad link... show PENGUIN 999,999 other link exchanges plus that same one link for a grand total of one million link exchanges and it will see all one million as bad links... so why was that first link acceptable?

The SCHEME through volume changed the context by pushing the page(s) to a threshold detection value.

None of those services (majestic, ahrefs or linkdetox) uses threshold as a variable so they are not always accurate.

luckystrike




msg:4580380
 6:56 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

majestic seo are ahrefs are inadequate in my opinion... google webmaster tools is the way to go...

Both services were unable to detect the directories article links I had yet they were in google webmaster tools. When I enquired with their support they just told me some excuse of their index not being up-to-date.

helenp




msg:4580381
 7:01 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

None of them were in Majestic and I saw some in Ahref.

Corinna




msg:4580395
 7:59 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have now used link detox. It was a very good service (I phoned several times) at a reasonable price. I discovered horrendous links from sites that were closed due to malware and literally dozens of low-quality article sites that all copied my articles from the higher-quality article sites. I put a lot in the disavow tool and deleted all articles except from ezine articles. Let;s see what happens.

fathom




msg:4580427
 10:58 pm on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have now used link detox. It was a very good service (I phoned several times) at a reasonable price. I discovered horrendous links from sites that were closed due to malware and literally dozens of low-quality article sites that all copied my articles from the higher-quality article sites. I put a lot in the disavow tool and deleted all articles except from ezine articles. Let;s see what happens.


Nothing will happen IMHO.

A useful analogy.

You are on the highway and driving 30 mph over the speed limit. You know you are breaking the law but you continue at your pace.

You get a call on your mobile phone from a friend that was also driving on that highway and a few minutes ahead and they noticed the police had a radar trap and stop speeders.

Do you:

1. Slow down and disavow the speed you were doing in advance of the police stopping you? Or,

2. Continue on at your pace and not care about the advance warning you got?

When you get caught doing 30 mph over the speed do you:

1. Seriously think the cop will disavow the radar signal simply not care that you didn't care that you were speeding? OR

2. Give you a ticket and/or lose your license?

Disavowing is a preemptive measure not a Postmortem Hail Mary tactic.

PENGUIN is also a preemptive measure... you can't fix a preemptive measure by using a different preemptive measure.

IMHO.

kellyman




msg:4580644
 3:12 pm on Jun 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nothing will happen IMHO.


Well according to John Mueller in the below video clearly states that as long as you clean up your act Google will forgive you...

[searchengineland.com ]

I have my views on that statement however that's what he says.
the disavow is implemented without any user interaction


Statement about 3 minutes 30 seconds in

jakebohall




msg:4580652
 3:43 pm on Jun 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

We have helped many clients recover rankings/traffic from Penguin and the successful process has always been the following:

1 - Pull all backlink data available (WMT, moz, ahrefs, majestic, blekko, old seo reports, etc.)

2 - Dump all of the links into Remove'em (disclosure: a tool we own) and let it filter out all the links that are already no-followed, site is 404'd, etc.. so we only sort through those that are live, followed links.

3 - Sort through all of the links to determine those that are good vs. bad. In the case of Penguin, any that look like bad links are bad links... any that look like good links but have targeted anchor text are bad links... any that are questionable links are bad links.

4 - Send out removal requests to all of the bad links. We sometimes send anywhere from 4 - 7 requests in an attempt to get the links removed. The first request is really nice and along the lines of "Hey, thank you for linking to us. We didn't request this link from your site, and it could be causing some issues for us. Do you mind no-following or removing the link? If someone asked you to place this link, can you let us know so we can track down who is responsible." ... The emails get more direct as time goes on.

5 - Once we have about 60 - 70% of all the "bad" links removed, we then take all the remaining links and dump them into a disavow file. We take the export of removal data and upload it into a Google doc... then we send in a reconsideration request advising exactly what happened, what action was taken, and reference the removal data and disavow data.

We have been successful on the majority of reconsideration requests using this method. In the cases where we weren't successful, we just had to do more legwork in removals and resubmit the request (rinse & repeat) until success.

I have not seen an instance where using the disavow tool by itself has done anything, and Matt Cutts even stated that you needed to try and remove the bad links before doing a RR.. [youtube.com...]

Corinna




msg:4580697
 5:00 pm on Jun 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

jakebohall: thanks for the great response.

I have hundreds of links on low-quality of article sites that were copied from other article sites. Do you really think these guys have time and manpower to sit down to undo 100s and 100s of links?

I mean I never did any spammy seo - does google really try to punish those who are a victim of these spammy sites? It would take me weeks to do what you suggested. I just have a small business and cannot pay people doing this for me and I myself would never have the time.

I cannot believe that google tries to hurt small businesses like mine with unreasonable demands.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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