• neyne

    OK, nice advice, but what do you do if you have an old site, with thousands of spammy links and want to come clean ? And what if killing the site is not an option ?

  • eric_ward

    The best course of action would depend on several factors. I’d need to know a lot more, but some of the questions I’d ask include

    1). How and when did you acquire the thousands of spammy links? Let me have a look at a few of them.
    2). Are any/all still reciprocated?
    3). Are the links all to your homepage URL, or do they point to various pages within your site?
    4). What percentage of your site’s total inbound link profile do these thousands of spammy links represent? 5%? 90%? Unknown?

    The above would all factor into the specific recos I’d have for your site/situation.

    -Eric

  • neyne

    well, i am sure you don’t want to turn this into a private counseling session, so can you give a few tips about what is one to do in worst-case scenario ?

    Lets say the worst scenario is that there are many many links, achieved through automated means, non-reciprocal, pointing all to homepage, spammy links representing more than 60% of the all incoming links.

    And another question, is there any way to block links (any links) from contributing towards my site’s score ? Something like .htaccess where i redirect any traffic coming from http://www.spammydomain.com back to http://www.spammydomain.com so that Googlebot does not count that link ?

  • http://www.seo4fun.com/blog/ Halfdeck

    If you’re not reciprocating spammy inbounds, I wouldn’t worry about them. Every site that ranks on the first page for any term will gain a bunch of spammy IBLs. My gut feeling tells me Google’s trust in those links will be low, so they won’t have much impact on how Google views your site as long as you don’t link back (and who does?).

  • http://seo-kolkata.blogspot.com rishi321us

    I am not sure I understand this concern for IBLs – until and unless a site reciprocates or links back to any of those spammy crappy websites, I don’t see any reason for concern even if all the spammy websites in the world would link to some one.

    The quality of IBLs can definitely add value to your Search rankings but it should no way create a negative impact on your rankings unless you are linking back to them or to their partners ( as in three-way exchange and similar link network patterns).

    If spammy IBLs had a negative impact on search rankings, I am sure some of those extremely intelligent people would get tons of spammy IBLs for their competitor’s site .

    On Internet you really cannot control who links to you, search engines understand that too and so it doesn’t make any sense to be concerned about the negative impact of spammy IBLs ( unless you link back to them !)

  • http://www.ericward.com eric_ward

    Let me clarify…

    It is unlikely that spammy IBLs will have a negative effect, because as you point out, the engines realize that we cannot control who links to us. However, having a bunch of spammy inbound links *could* easily be a red flag any engine could examine, and *if* (and this is the BIG IF), the engine finds additional evidence of intent, like reciprocity, or paid links, or blog comment links, or .gov injected links, or any one of a number of others “signals of intent”, then when taken as a whole, the overall inbound link profile for the site will look mighty unnatural.

    I think the engines tend to take a cumulative look at multiple factors. They can’t rely on any single factor as a determiner of attempted manipulation. People buy links without knowing it’s a no-no every day. People join link farms without realizing it’s a scam. People create massive recip pages not understanding the impact they may have. Then, collectively, there comes a “tipping point” where the algorithms could decide enough is enough, and they penalize a site.

    I cannot prove any of this. It’s speculation based on experience over the years and my own analysis. I’m an extremely conservative link builder, as I work with the type of content for which I simply will not risk a penalty. But I also have many clients who became clients AFTER they were penalized, looking for help cleaning up the mess. Sometimes the mess isn’t bad at all, sometimes it is.

    I believe that Google is far more sophisticated than people give them credit for, and can easily identify signals of intent if they choose to. They have hundreds of PhD’s running around, so if I can think of these things, I know they can :)

    I have two core reasons I wont try to fool Google

    1). It’s simply wrong to try and manipulate the results in your own favor to the detriment of sites that have better or equal content.

    2). It’s just not worth the risk. Google is what they is. The 800 pound gorilla. They earned it. So play with fire, get burned. Why risk it?

    Eric Ward