Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.162.139.105

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Looks like a negative link SEO attempt to me

     
5:33 pm on Jan 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts: 1124
votes: 38


Looked at my back link profile in Google webmaster tools this morning. On December, 31 WMT discovered a massive number of spammy new links to the same five webpages on my main website. There were six Chinese websites involved. The new back links numbered from 15,000 to several hundred thousand.

The website in question does not appear to be suffering in any shape or form from these back links.

I checked the linking websites and all delivered a 404. Further research revealed many copyright removal requests from a couple of the websites. All of these websites do have very spammy back link structures.

So, was there a back link negative SEO attempt made? Is this what people do to win top search spots?
5:49 pm on Jan 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3280
votes: 244


These backlinks are probably just auto-generated spam. Millions of them are created everyday, but usually they're ephemeral.
7:36 pm on Jan 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts: 1124
votes: 38


These backlinks are probably just auto-generated spam

15 year old domain typically with at least 130,000 backlinks as reported by Google WMT.

These new spammy links are pointed at very competitive money webpages. There are 800,000 of these spammy links btw bringing my total backlink count to about a million.

I disavowed all of the spammy links yesterday.

Unfortuantely, I do have two very aggressive competitors whom have pushed the limits of SEO for years. At this time I'm going with negative SEO attempt.
8:08 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 4, 2002
posts: 1830
votes: 3


@Edge if the links are nofollowed Google may be ignoring them as it's getting better at recognizing negative SEO.

I have a client that was hit by negative SEO by a competitor who bought thousands of links pointed at my client using his #1 keyword phrase as anchors. Google applied a manual penalty but only dropped that keyword phrase by about 8 points after we sent in proof that the competitor bought the links (this same competitor has had several crash and burn sites removed for copyright infractions so I'm surprised Google allows this person to rank at all). It's impossible to disavow all the links but most of them were nofollowed anyway.
10:31 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts: 1124
votes: 38


Up to about 1.6 million spammy links, still no effect on rankings nor should there be. I have disavowed all of the links.

They are follow links..

If I can verify who then....
9:22 pm on Jan 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts: 166
votes: 28


I'll post my experience.

We have also gotten thousands of links from similar sites but I believe these are simple fly by night scrapers. I'm talking of garbage sites like m.biz (which is chinese BTW) and sites that post excerpts from your site with a followed link.

Our particular industry is also full of spun content so we have lots of links from spam blogs which link to us and other authority sites in the belief that the spun content will rank better as it links to authority sites. Every day we have something like 50 to 100 new links from sites that are either posting our excerpts with a link, our pictures with a link or that are creating spun content and then linking randomly to authority sites (including ours) to try to make their spun content "more" legit.

In our case, these kind of links amount to over 10k but they have appeared over the span of 6 months or so. I recall hearing Matt Cutts say in one video that their algorithm is smart enough to tell these links and simply ignore them, however these links appear on WMT, which is no good as it has a tendency to send us webmasters in a panic state when we see 000s of links from ridiculous sites that are nothing but world wide web pollutants.

In your case your talking of millions of links which is somewhat different. But I can tell you that we have 000s of these links on our WMT and we haven't done anything about them as their purpose is too obvious and we trust the Googlebot to at least be able to tell these obvious stupid links.
9:08 pm on Mar 23, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts:1124
votes: 38


Thought I would provide an update and conclusion on the negative SEO attempt on my site. - Just in case the culprit hangs out here..

Total or maximum spike of spammy links pointed at my site was 2.0+ million.
Effect on any web page position - none that I can measure or see.

Cons about his experience: Spent time and more time monitoring backlinks and disavowing in GWT and Bing WMT.

Pro's about this experience: Motivated the H3ll out of me to build all kinds and new quality links, structural improvements in keywords and interlinking, improved content and other ongoing efforts.
6:22 am on Mar 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 20, 2011
posts:21
votes: 0


Yea, negative seo seems much harder to do since last Penguin update when they did some "softening" of the algorithm.
11:45 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 25, 2015
posts:3
votes: 0


Is there anything we could do to avoid any negative SEO / spamming SEO techniques.?
11:48 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User from IN 

joined:Aug 25, 2014
posts:2
votes: 0


The only way to avoid negative SEO is keep your website audited time to time and keep track of back links and try to remove all the bad links. There is no full proof way for negative SEO as this is not in our control. But with preventive measures and keep auditing website and links will help a lot.
12:17 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


The one thing you never said were the link anchors associated with your targeted phrases.

If not you just got a bunch of natural links that will not harm your ranks.
12:18 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts:1124
votes: 38


Yesterday, somebody (don't remember who) posted a link to a negative SEO case study that I would consider helpful to folks searching for and finding threads on this topic. I have no affiliation with the author, website or otherwise. The case study outlined the symptoms, effectivity and ultimately a solution to a website under a negative SEO attack - which is the sort of thing webmasters under a negative SEO attack would be interested in. Search google for "Negative SEO: 600K Spam Links! (Case Study)".

I have no idea why a moderator or the original poster would remove an educational and helpful post on this subject.
12:38 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts:166
votes: 28


LOL at the case study you mention (not at you, at the case study). He goes on about Ahrefs without mentioning what's going on in terms of backlinks in WMT. He mentions the site was penalized, but penalized for what? Spam, incoming links, outgoing links? Has h made that case study up simply to post at medium.com (full of wannabe SEOs)?

If Google ain't detecting those low quality spam links, then they're ignoring them (most likely). Google can tell if a WT site suddenly gets a massive spike in spam links that this is a neg. SEO attack. It's common sense and something many SEOs lack and by proxy screw up their innocent gullible clients.

The site's that get penalized are the sites with a HISTORY of manipulating rankings. That's why you see all these SEO wannabes posting amateur case studies trying to come with sophisticated theories when all it is is that the site itself already had some history of manipulating rankings so it's already red-flagged by Google. Any further spam attempts, whatever they may be as, will tank the site. Google keeps themselves silence about your status, they don't want you to know it as it makes it easier to move on to another site to manipulate rankings.

Meh, looks like a very amateurish case study and done to advertise that link detox crap. Like 99% of the SEO case studies done. It's a shame because that would be a great case study to do a report on. Looks to me like that SEO from the case study had already built shady links. Classic move from SEO agencies or from clients themselves. Looks like the client had already built links through connections and the SEO decided to "maintain" the links via relationships with the guys who linked to her. Oh wait, isn't that manipulating to maintain links? A webmaster should be able to link to whoever they want whenever they want, not have some amateur SEO come to them to tell them to please keep the link we're going through a rough time. Pleas, please, please I will buy you a coffee at Starbucks.

Also the real links that can tank solid sites are ones that I'd rather not mention in this post but that anyone with 2 brain cells knows (since most amateur spammers, specially in my niche, have 1 brain cell, I won't mention it as I know they read these forums).

He mentions sophisticated spamming but he hasn't a clue of what that is. The stuff he mentions ain't sophisticated, sophisticated is digging through networks and finding "gems".
12:54 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


Admittedly NSEO can happen but in most cases these are just website's owners wishful thinking so to keep themselves from admitting they caused their own decline.

A massive amount of new links are just that... They happen naturally to websites regardless of the linker's intent if they were meant to harm you and your targeted phrase for ranks was bunker hill widgets memorial that would be the link anchor.

If you are seeing chinese characters or words that have nothing to do with your website material you have misidentified a Negative SEO campaign.
1:04 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User from GB 

joined:Feb 27, 2015
posts: 27
votes: 1


@Edge, I have to say I concur with @Kratos; it's not a case study and tbh the link has no place here. It adds nothing to the subject, does not show you how to clean up negative SEO and frankly anyone who heads up the article with 'SEO Expert' probably isn't.

Delighted however that you have got the thing under control and that it didn't harm the site.

Our own experience points to smaller sites being hit hardest by negative seo, I guess due to the proportional effect of the links. We spotted one last year for a client where 150,000 links arrived overnight. The link spike in Majestic was clear and in this case a disavow was enough.

Sad that it goes on :(
1:35 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


We spotted one last year for a client where 150,000 links arrived overnight. The link spike in Majestic was clear and in this case a disavow was enough.


The important point isn't the amount of links as 150,000 click here links would merely devalued you for click here if devaluing was a potential.

Disavowing non-targeting-keyword references don't save websites from anything as you can't be harmed if the references have nothing to do with you (if you are not attempting to rank for that term).

Saying there is a type of LINK JUICE that makes BAD PAGERANK is totally false.
1:52 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 24, 2012
posts:648
votes: 2


The important point isn't the amount of links as 150,000 click here links would merely devalued you for click here if devaluing was a potential.

Assuming google doesn't have any non-anchor related, link centric filters, penalties, etc. How would you know for sure, given all the potential variables?
2:07 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


When sites can get millions of links a day because they: 1.) offer something very unique and 2.) don't have any input in what the anchor will be.

... When this is possible to say a 12% link return will produce a negative return while 8x more links won't spits in the face of it being the cause (e.g. negative campaigns).
2:08 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts:166
votes: 28


@rish3 Because mass scale "click here" is what spammers use (i.e. mostly GSA these days). It would stand out like a sore thumb if a WH site (I'm talking real WH, so WH that the owner doesn't even know what SEO) if the site would get 150,000 links saying click here. It spells "competitor spamming HQ site with GSA" and Google is aware of this hence why neg.SEO doesn't work that way for WH sites.

This is all assuming the site is purely WH although I have seen the same with relatively WH sites (I hate the term "relatively" since you're either WH or BH but I hope you know what I mean).
2:08 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts:1124
votes: 38


It adds nothing to the subject, does not show you how to clean up negative SEO and frankly anyone who heads up the article with 'SEO Expert' probably isn't.


I categorically and completely disagree with with this statement... Speaking from experience of course...
2:21 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User from GB 

joined:Feb 27, 2015
posts: 27
votes: 1


I categorically and completely disagree with with this statement... Speaking from experience of course...

Fair enough :-)

I get invited by clients to sit in on meetings where 'SEO experts' present their pitch and I have yet to find anyone who was close to competent. I accept however that my experience is probably not the same as yours.

I love talking to SEO experts when I do find them but all the one's I know don't shout that they are SEO experts.

Again, just my experience....
2:26 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


@rish3 Because mass scale "click here" is what spammers use (i.e. mostly GSA these days). It would stand out like a sore thumb if a WH site (I'm talking real WH, so WH that the owner doesn't even know what SEO) if the site would get 150,000 links saying click here. It spells "competitor spamming HQ site with GSA" and Google is aware of this hence why neg.SEO doesn't work that way for WH sites.

This is all assuming the site is purely WH although I have seen the same with relatively WH sites (I hate the term "relatively" since you're either WH or BH but I hope you know what I mean).


Totally untrue.

That could be a single link on a single blog with 150,000 pages in sidebar menu and no more about webspam as any WH site that never heard of webspam before.
2:34 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts:166
votes: 28


@fathom Right, like you see a lot of "click here" on blogs that have 150k pages LOL... I've never seen even one on a sidebar in my life. I see plenty of "click here" on content itself, but not on sidebars.

Do you really think a blog with 150k pages will put "click here" on the sidebar instead of something like the website name as anchor text? You know, like the vast majority of huge blogs do on their blogroll? That or naked anchor text?

A blog with 150k pages will be controlled by someone or people who know their stuff and know how to link. You may be the one saying untrue stuff, not me. Can't believe you just call that out like that putting some fantasy-world stuff to back up your post.

I inspect backlink profiles every single day to buy domains. I can guarantee you right now without a shade of a doubt that a website with 150k links saying "click here" is a site that has been hit with GSA SER links or some other SEO spamming script (e.g. Xrumer with forum profile links).
2:57 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


The reference was meant to denote a natural link as opposed to an unnatural one.

Here are other ones WWW, Website, read more, the actual url or brand.

Click Here is commonly used for adobe reader which is why they are #2 & #3 today for me.
3:46 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts:166
votes: 28


@fathom Yes, but we ain't talking of Adobe, are we? That example is pointless to this discussion.

I'm talking of 150k naturally-gained links with anchor text as "click here" from blog sidebars as you've put it or from any other sitewide links. Again, 150k backlinks with "click here". You think some site selling jewellery will get that? (which is what that SEO case study saying nothing was about)

Or perhaps, a big technology blog, how many "click here" links do you think they get? 1,000? Maybe if they'e extremely lucky 12,000? They won't be getting 150k, I can tell you that right now.

Tell you what. I've just taken the time to analyze the only site that stands out as "unusual" from the search query "click here" on Google.com (may slightly vary depending on your location). It's clickherelabs.com

I went and examined their anchor text with both MajesticSEO and Ahrefs. Guess what's the most used anchor text for them? Naked anchor text from a mere 81 baclinks in Ahrefs and 124 in majesticSEO.

Not only that, but that site is an internet marketing site that is purposely going for the term "click here" as they know that it is used plentifully in the IM space. They obviously know of the importance of backlinks.

But, wait!

According to MajesticSEO (which I trust over Ahrefs and the utter piece of crap known as MOZ), the number 1 ranked page for "click here" on Google.com is a page of Adobe that has a "massive" (please note the sarcasm) 5,861 backlinks with "click here" as anchor text! That's right, the site ranking number 1 for "click here" has 5,861 backlinks with that anchor text. A bit far from 150k, don't you think? Let's even say that majesticSEO only tracks about 1/3 of what Google does (which is about right in my experience examining thousands of domains to buy with good backlink profiles), that's still some 18,000 backlinks with "click here" or about 1/10 of the 150k backlinks.

But, wait again!

Not happy with the above (again, note the sarcasm) I went to the ranked page of the second site on the SERPs from w3.org which actually talks about the use of "click here" and they have an impressive 49 backlinks with the "click here" anchor text LOL

Really?

I can continue with this all day long to continue proving you wrong, but I have other things to do. Don't take this personal fathom. I actually look forward to your posts on this forum and I read them fully as you provide some great thoughts on SEO. I have no doubts that you have great knowledge of SEO, but you are just wrong on this one.

In essence and like I've said all through this thread, any site with 150k backlinks saying "click here" is a spammed site, unless we're talking of mega corporations with tens of millions and millions of naturally gained links and by the mere law of numbers they happen to have 150k "click here" backlinks. But it ain't going to happen in a million years to Joe's website and Mary's website (which is what we're discussing implicitly in this thread).

Cheers
4:10 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


Since you have absolutely no control over who or what links to you or how your points are pointless.

Trying to explain, any amount of link anchors that have nothing to do with what you desire to rank for is not a Negative SEO campaign and it certainly isn't automatically considered webspam by Google no matter how much wishful thinking you have.

If you are a victim of Negative SEO disavow the suspected links will fix the problem but if that does not fix your problem then you are focusing on the wrong links.
6:13 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2015
posts:166
votes: 28


@fathom Please, buddy, we're talking of 150 THOUSAND links here. Of course you don't have control of who links to you, but you sure ain't going to be getting 150k links with "click here" unless you have been spammed. Come on, I'm talking (and making the point of) of 150k links, not 10 or 100, but 150 thousand links with "click here". No blogroll is ever going to get you that because blogs that big are either not going to be linking out freely unless paid (and good money) or they actually know how to link and/or use the blogroll option in Wordpress and are thus using other terms (mostly name of the site) to link on the sidebar instead of "click here" or "read more".

Don't go on a tangent with your last post. I've specifically addressed the 150k "click here" links. I'm not going to post anymore on this thread and I stand by the first posts of mine in this thread. Likewise and like I've said before to you fathom, I consider you an exceptional forum member and I would take advice from you om SEO anytime (just like I'd do from may forum members in this forum whom I've noticed who know their stuff). But I have seen so many spammed sites with 10k, 50k, 100k, a million spam links that I can recognize one in seconds when looking at the backlink profile, and I know what to look for. I also scan tiered buffer sites, so you can imagine how much "click here", "website", "read more", "click to site", "click here to website" anchor-text crap I've seen. In fact, ask anyone on Fiverr for any gig advertising thousands of links and you're going to get those anchor texts by the bucketload. I also know that no Mary's website is ever going to get 150k links, let alone 150k links with "click here" unless Joe isn't happy with her raking in all traffic from pos. 1 on the SERPs.

Cheers and I think that our posts are useful to anyone who happens to get very-generic anchor texts out of a sudden.
7:02 pm on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 5, 2002
posts: 4110
votes: 109


The 150k click here link from a single website or from 150,000 websites or anything in between will never cause anyone problems. Because no one is trying to rank for that phrase.

Pretending that phrase is valuable to anyone where a Negative SEO campaign would harm someone is rediculous.