this is my first post here but I read all topics according to Google SEO in the last two years or so at this board.
Very legitimate topic, high percentage of links from institutions, 4k UV/day, 1,5 years old, 80k pages, language: not english, normal backlink scheme: 1000 links from 300 domains
We started a forum on our site used only by us, the admins, for testing purposes because it was so ugly designed. This was because we wrote our own forum.
A spambot posted 100 threads of spam in our forum two week ago. Every Thread was made of a few spam image link, 100s of lines of pure #*$! keyword spam and a list of links with more spam keywords as linktext.
I noticed the spam after a few days. Googlebot crawlt it. I removed the spam from our site by deleting the threads. We do "soft 404s", so the forum URLs redirected to our homepage.
The homepage gets most of our backlinks (2/3 or so).
At the same time I found similar spam in other forums. But: some of the spam links were pointing on my spam forum topics.
So I suppose that a blackhat SEO built a linkwheel of sites he is not owning so he can hide his spam sites in the mass of whitehat sites. Or its a tageted attack, but I dont think that one of my main competitors has the skills to do this.
The really interesting part is, that I am ranking good for the spam keywords in my country. Although the keywords are in english language but are still quite potent in my country. I discovered this 5 days ago.
For example by ranking for "p*r*" you should get some visitors worldwide.
My spam rankings are still rising and I reached the top5 for most of the keywords I found (in my country).
My CTR in spam SERPS is very bad because my site totally doesn`t fit to that topic. We dont have the keywords once on our entire site (but we had them in the forum). So I don`t have a Chance to make any money with it, because I will not change the topic of my site because of some spam links.
What would you do?
Some options I thought about:
1) Write emails instantly to every forum I find to make them aware of the spam and to take the links down. I could do that by crawling my backlinks and auto email them if the page contains spam.
2) Fill out a Reconsideration Request instantly
3) Remove the soft 404 in the specific area of the forum to allow 404 or forward this area to example.com or something similar
4) Do nothing until my real rankings get hurt, then do 1) and 2) and 3)(maybe they will not be affected)
5) Wait for more data to get collected, then autoemail the remaining spam hubs.
BTW: I dont know what I should be more afraid of: Googles stupidness or my new competitors...