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Getting spammed by irrelevant backlinks

     
8:57 pm on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lately when I view my backlinks in WMT I have been getting hundreds/thousands of irrelevant backlinks. My website is about Italian Food and I keep getting these backlings from Roofing Companies, Apartment Companies, Flooring companies Hardeware companies, etc.... All of which if I click on the backlink it's a broken page. Is this negative SEO? i.e. someone deliberately creating non relevant backlinks to my site? Seems to be pretty strange behavior.

What should I do about all these crazy backlinks.

Here are some examples of the backlinks:
aktiroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
roofingchandler.howardsroofingrepair.com
apartmentbayview.naturerightapartments.com
beckplumbingmi.georgesmithplumbingrepair.com

WMT is literally showing thousands of these junk urls linking to my site.

What to do?

[edited by: goodroi at 5:38 pm (utc) on Oct 30, 2015]
[edit reason] delinked spam links [/edit]

5:42 pm on Oct 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If you are worried you can disavow the links. If the links are going to a deep page, you can also 410 that page.

For some reason, my first thought was that the linking sites were actually hacked sites. I don't think that is the case but it was my first thought.
7:12 pm on Oct 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've been getting the exact same links for weeks now. There must be close to 100,000 or so links from around 1,000 domains. Waste of time or not, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I hadn't disavowed them.
9:16 pm on Oct 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget you can disavow entire domains and don't need to bother with individual urls, which makes it easier for large scale issues.
12:21 am on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Correct. When dealing with that large a number of URLs there's no other way to go.
5:57 am on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Right now I wouldn't be too concerned about those links. There has been enough exposure to where it's highly probable Google is discounting/ignoring those links.

Disavow at the domain level if you are concerned, but I've stopped my domain level disavow at this point. I'll watch it, but just to see how things might change.
1:47 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the help guys!

I went ahead and used the disavow tool just to be safe. After submitting my txt file I get this result:

Results for the submission on October 31, 2015 at 9:37:26 AM UTC-4
You successfully uploaded a disavow links file (disavow.txt) containing 0 domains and 36 URLs.


Not sure why it says 0 domains and 36 url's, should be 36 domains.

I created the text file as instructed with a structure like this:

http://abackroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
http://aktiroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
http://bdryroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
http://dellerroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
http://economyroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
http://howardsroofingrepair.com


and so on.

Seems like it all worked fine but should the results have said: "36 domains?

Did I do something wrong or is this correct?

Thanks!
1:54 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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htt p://abackroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
htt p://aktiroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
htt p://bdryroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
htt p://dellerroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
htt p://economyroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
htt p://howardsroofingrepair.com

The first 5 on your list are subdomains of the sixth one..only the last ( sixth ) one is a domain..( actually, strictly speaking they are all URLs..because of the http:// part )

It might be that Google treats anything that includes the http:// part such as
http://example.com
as an URL and requires that you leave off the http:// part ..so just put
example.com
for Google to "see" it as "a domain"..

When you register a domain..you register example.com..not www.example.com..because the www part is a subdomain of example.com..and the http:// is the part that tells the "protocol" to use to get to the "domain" of example.com..

It is actually a bit more involved than that;) but the above gives you the general idea..and I think is why Google are saying that you submitted 36 URLs and not 36 domains..

Try again.."adjusting" as above..see what it says..

I put a space in http:// in your URLs ..so they became htt p://
to prevent them auto linking here..


I should add that I have never used any "disavow tool"..I consider them to be unnescessary "hoop jumping"..But the way "the web" works, makes me think the problem might be there..
2:19 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Submitted again with no http:// in the domain address and still get this result:/

Results for the submission on October 31, 2015 at 10:17:50 AM UTC-4
You successfully uploaded a disavow links file (disavow3.txt) containing 0 domains and 36 URLs.

Interesting.
2:33 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ah well..so much for my attempt at getting inside the hive mind..
( note for Google ...example.com is not an URL , it is a resource name
[docs.oracle.com...] )
Maybe someone who has received a "you successfully submitted x domains" will be along to say how they managed it..
4:15 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Did your file look like this? (no space after the colon)

domain:abackroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
domain:aktiroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
domain:dryroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
domain:dellerroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
domain:economyroofing.howardsroofingrepair.com
domain:howardsroofingrepair.com
4:22 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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oh interesting. No, definitely did not put the domain: first. Will try that now.
4:28 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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bingo! that worked. Thanks!

Results for the submission on October 31, 2015 at 12:27:57 PM UTC-4
You successfully uploaded a disavow links file (disavow4.txt) containing 36 domains and 0 URLs.
4:40 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well..interesting Atomic..I learned a new one there today..
G "think" subdomains are domains..~:o
5:24 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What's funny is I can only hope that because Google accepts these subdomains as domains in this file means they are being disavowed as intended.
5:30 pm on Oct 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, this is my hope indeed! The 36 domains equate to 1,000's of links!
4:39 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Doing nothing works better than doing something.

Irrelevant link anchors have no impact on your topics ... They are irrelevant thus will not drive your ranks up, thus topically nothing to devalue either.

At worse you are causing your website to acquire less PageRank, a minor amount but less none-the-less, at best you did nothing at all.
2:31 am on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just voted up this comment from fathom

Yep do nothing is my advice as well
7:22 am on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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People who haven't seen that form of spam probably shouldn't be making their overly redundant proclamations.

Irrelevant link anchors have no impact on your topics


I've said it what seems like 10,000 times, the anchor text on these links IS topically related.
I've said it what seems like 10,000 times, the anchor text on these links IS topically related.

Repeated for those who can't comprehend the anchor text IS topically related.

It's old enough and there's been enough exposure to where I feel search engines are probably aware of the domains producing the links.
8:22 am on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My website is about Italian Food


If you aren't trying to rank for roofing, apartments, flooring, or hardware phrases these CANNOT harm you.
12:56 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@fathom I think you might be confusing anchor text with referring domain. I don't think the OP mentioned what the anchor text was just that it came from off-topic domains.

I would be careful when making wide statements about what links CANNOT or CAN harm a site :)

I agree that some people overhype the dangers of poisonous links and can overuse the disavow tool. I also think that there are ways a smart SEO can use links to hurt a website. Thankfully it is often much less work for a smart SEO to boost the ranking of one site than try to poison all of the other sites.
1:57 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My 2 posts noted specifics not just open ended claims.

The previous post mentioned topically related anchors, admitted I couldn't find any links let alone a page or a website. If you have any examples please share.

I can certainly appreciate the OP didn't mention anchor text which is a good reason to note it.

I don't believe there are any SMART SEOs attempting to harm other websites only guys that can't monetize their own domains long enough using their black art so they need a different way to make revenue.
7:00 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There are smart SEOs that are harming websites. This is a common practice when it comes to online reputation management. To be clear I am not saying it is widespread or what is happening with OP's website.

To get back on topic, I think using the disavow is a good option for this situation. Even if the anchor text is on topic or off topic, I wouldn't want to risk triggering a false positive for penguin or the next link filter Google releases.
7:17 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all for these comments. I am learning much!

@goodrol that is exactly my concern. Penguin fear.... I have disavowed the very spammy suspicious backlinks just to be safe. When 25% of my backlinks are from very non-relevant websites I get concerned. There is nothing wrong with a backlink from a non-related website when it's a real backlink. i.e. someone talking about a recipe of food and linking back to the site while on a forum that is discussing another topic. i.e.a rabbit trail conversation inside a conversation of another subject. That is a real valid backlink regardless of what the content is on the site. It's when the backlink are coming from shady suspicious sites that concerns me. For example. One domain which is hardware or something like that has 400 backlinks to my site and when I check those pages out they are ALL broken links. There are several domains doing the same thing. Just seems a bit questionable.

I personally feel there is a LOT of negative SEO going on behind the scenes. Seems with all the latest Google changes Panda, Penguin, and all the other Google animals, it has actually become easier to DO negative SEO. Negative SEO is a very real thing in my opinion.
8:16 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't want to risk triggering a false positive for penguin or the next link filter Google releases.


Since the OP has done their disavow (in error IMHO)

A natural link profile is anchored mostly with irrelevant anchors. You cannot invent a false positive this way. PENGUIN devalues UNNATURAL LINKS, and most common UNNATURAL LINKS are keyword or keyphrase-oriented anchors.

An UNNATURAL LINK to a dog breeding website would be DOG BREEDING... but pointing that to a poker website that anchor text is as irrelevant as 'click here' or 'www' or 'website'.

Additionally, the less chaotic your profile is the easier it is for PENGUIN to discover what it was meant to uncover.

@AnthonysItalianFood I have 100+ domains with 100% irrelevant anchors from 100% irrelevant domains e.g. Expired Domain redirects for the PageRank ONLY.
8:26 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@fathom very interesting indeed about that page rank. Seems to be a flawed system on Googles part if they give you good page rank just based on quantity in lieu of quality/relativity. Seems that would be contradictory to their strong focus on quality content. So for example if there were 100,000 backlinks form #*$! sites linking to my food site, that would give me better page rank? That seems ludicrous. So you are saying page rank is based solely on quantity of backlinks?

I would like to think that Google carefully weighs Relevancy, Quality and Quantity when it comes to backlinks. Not just quantity or else this would attract black hat seo practices. i.e. just creating a bunch of bogus sites for the sole purpose of linking to ones own site for better page rank.
9:22 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google claims to be able to accurately measure relevancy, quality & quantity but reality is often different. Gaining 100k links does not guarantee a good or bad reaction. It depends on the 100k links. If they are buried on a website with no inbound links and no visitors, Google may never realize those links exist and there will be no reaction. If those links are on very bad sites with a notorious spam reputation and have 100% identical anchor text, then the odds of a bad reaction go up. If those links are on a private network of selectively chosen domains that you bought after researching to only pick the ones with pre-exisiting clean link juice, then the odds of a good reaction increase.

If we are going to talk about unnatural vs natural link profiles, you don't want 100% identical anchor text. Some "irrelevant anchors" are nothing to worry about. Most sites have many links with the anchor text of "click here" or "visit website". If you only have 50-100 backlinks and you gain 100,000 links overnight, that will look very unnatural regardless of the anchor text.
9:34 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@goodroi Thanks, this is very helpful information!

System

10:43 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Let's try to stay on topic :).

Some comments started to veer the conversation off topic and monopolize the conversation so they were split off to another thread
at: google/4776240.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:55 pm on Nov 4, 2015 (utc -5)

[edited by: goodroi at 2:16 am (utc) on Nov 5, 2015]

1:28 pm on Nov 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Some great discussion here. I checked out the conversation that was split off. Seems relative to this conversation to me. All of that discussion is helping me with my original question. :-) Thanks guys!
This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32
 

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