Google advises on spammy backlinks

Google’s John Mueller answered a question on the topic of what to do about spammy links to a site. The concern was that the rankings could be harmed by the links.

John Mueller reassured the editor that there is generally nothing to worry about. Then he made an interesting exception about when someone was buying links.

Here is the question:

“There are tens of thousands of backlinks to our website… I’ve heard a lot about you… that there are websites that are… spam websites, maybe penalized by Google… What should we do about these websites? Should we just ignore and act like we don’t know anything? »

Google’s John Mueller replied:

“For the most part, unless you’re aware of some type of regular activity that a former SEO or like someone in the past has done for your website regarding links, I don’t m wouldn’t care.

It’s something where if a website has been around for a long time, it has links from all kinds of crazy places. … These are things we see all the time on the web.

Spam links are something that has been happening for a long time. Most successful websites have them.

A client recently asked me the question. My explanation was that one scenario could be that a spammer could set up hundreds of thousands to millions of web pages, using the brand names of various websites and parts of their content. The goal appears to be to classify long phrases in an effort to click on ads or infect site visitors with malware.

My advice echoes what John Mueller said. These types of links are normal for many successful websites. As John Mueller said, it’s a normal part of the web, something Google will “see all the time.”

Negative SEO

John Mueller then alluded to negative SEO by making an exception to the advice not to worry.

Here is what he said:

“So unless you’re really aware of the kind of dedicated activity of someone going out and buying a lot of links and really doing a lot of things that are against our webmaster guidelines, I don’t wouldn’t really worry about it…”

As you can see in the quote above, Google’s John Mueller didn’t say this activity was something to worry about. He did not specify. But he mentioned it as an exception to the advice not to worry about spammy links.

The context of the discussion was what to do about spammy inbound links. The only real thing to do with spammy links over which you have no control is to disavow them.

John Mueller did not comment further. We are therefore unsure whether disavowing spammy paid links purchased by a competitor is the recommended course of action. But that could very well be the prudent course of action, even though paid links are highly likely to have no negative effect.

Spam links are a normal part of the web

The important point to remember is that spammy links are an integral part of the web. If you’re concerned about spammy links, it may be more helpful to focus on on-page factors to understand why one isn’t ranking where you think it should.

John Mueller then reassured the editor by asking the question that spammy links are normal.

“It’s interesting to take a look now and then and maybe you can spot things you should have cleaned up in the past, but for the most part this mixture of weird web pages links everywhere to d ‘other web pages, I think it’s normal part of the web.’

Watch the Hangout for webmasters here

Images by Shutterstock, edited by author

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