Backlink SEO Spam May Still Work

by Jim September 12, 2017

Hey, welcome back Rankers! Big congratulations to Nikalene Riddle of Skinnymixers, which we talked about last week. She was the number one most improved e-commerce site in the world according to Shopify. So that’s pretty good ’cause she runs her store, on Shopify and the blogs on WordPress. There’s a whole bunch of optimisations that could happen there and she can become even bigger.

Private Blog Networks

I wanted to talk to you … last week, we were talking about brand and how it helps and Niky is a prime example of that. This week I want to talk to you about some of the old-style practises that don’t help and a couple of surprising things that I’ve learned over the weekend. So I got an email during the week from a web spammer basically. He sent me this list of guest post sites. He’s calling it a private blog network and this is something that is quite common now and I even got asked about this at a conference earlier in the year. Is it worth doing PBNs?
And of course, my answer is always no ’cause that’s just the way I … Look, to me, trying to get backlinks for ranking is a little bit like trying to get applause before the performance. You know, it’s like, “No, that’s not what backlinks are about. Backlinks are about you, you’re good. Here you go, here’s a backlink.” Anyway, so I got this list and I thought, “Oh this is hilarious,” because it was all about guest posting and writing and even the subject header was English as a second language and it was disjointed and there were major grammatical errors in the email and I thought, “Why would anyone respond to this in a positive way when you’re talking about writing and you get something that doesn’t make sense?”

So I tweeted it to John Mueller and Gary Illyes at Google, he’s one of the guys that runs a lot of the webinars, the workshops or webmaster central webinars.

John Mueller Twitter backlink SEO
John Mueller Twitter discussion backlink spam

And he said, “Hey, I can double-check if you can forward me the list.” So I did and what was interesting and what came out of that and I’ll show you some … I mean, have a look at this. So I’ve just grabbed one of these at random, right, and then I’ve gone and had a look at the site and this site looks pretty ordinary and we’ve already got backlinks here actually. Movers in Plano, in Texas probably. And here you’ve got down here,
They’re already selling backlinks off the front page at this thing, look at all the content, look at all the categories but look at some of the headings, right? Getting your roof repaired after hurricane season sounds fine. “A few information about home…” “A few information?” I mean, you know. The language is terrible. So you look at it and think, “Do I want my brand associated with that?”

But not only that, you look to see if it’s indexed and that was not even indexed. You certainly are not going to achieve any page rank. But one of the interesting things that John said was that he likes passing these things on to the web spam team which he did and he said that quite often these links are already being ignored. And sometimes they’re not.
So that is a very good reason to keep up with your disavows, because if someone’s doing negative SEO on you, and there’s been a few cases over the last week, you might have thought that since Penguin real time and since Google has been saying over the last six months, “You don’t really have to worry about bad backlinks anymore, we’re pretty good at catching them. And for the most part, bad backlinks or dodgy backlinks are being discounted. You don’t really have to worry about reporting.” I think you do have to worry about reporting.
I think you should be disavowing still and I think if you are in the situation where you see a site above you, ranking higher than you and you check their backlinks and you come up with stuff like … well this one, I’ve just done this one this morning. So I just used ‘cheapest bin hire’ and I’m using bin hire because I know there is a lot of spam in that industry. Anything that is low cost usually involves these sorts of backlinks and what I mean by these sorts, I mean these sorts. So you get, this is a backlink to that ‘cheapest bin hire’, you see you get a variety of links that looks legit but isn’t.

And all of these sites here would have been paying for these links and you know, maybe … look there’s another one, So you know,’ cheapest bin hire’, he’s getting a link from a same page that probably one of his competitors is getting a link from as well. So I don’t know if you really want that either, but stuff like this, links like this still goes on. But from what John Mueller is saying is that, “Hey, you know what, if you do see them, probably should report them and keep an eye on your disavow ’cause if people are doing stuff like this to you, you just want to make sure that you’re just checking every now and again on a regular basis, make sure that the links that you are getting are legitimate ones.”


And for instance, bloggersSEO. So bloggersSEO for those of you who don’t know it’s about teaching bloggers SEO. And we’ve got a free group over in Facebook and I just went to have a look at the backlinks the other day because bloggersSEO ranks really well in the US for ‘SEO system’ and it’s not something we have tried to do but we’re number three in New York for ‘SEO system’ and I think we’re number seven or eight in LA for ‘SEO system’. And we haven’t tried to rank it well there; we’ve just been getting the thing up and running.
But when I go and have a look at the backlinks, and you can do this inside of search console, I was quite surprised about how many backlinks it actually has. Because we didn’t … I mean, we created probably two, right? And that’s really … let me just show you. So you go search traffic, links to your site, so it says here we’ve got 175 links, so it’s like “Wow, really? That’s a lot.”
And I’ve gone and had a look at them. Okay, here are the top 52 domains. So ProBlogger, so we wrote some guest posts on there. And StewArt Media, I just made an announcement to say that, “Hey, here is bloggersSEO, if you’re looking for a blog,” and every time I’m talking about blog or bloggers, I’ll throw a link at it.
But all of these, I don’t know whose linking to us at all these sites. Like, I don’t know. No idea. Affiliate business, all this sort of stuff. I don’t know. We haven’t done anything to get those backlinks and some of them will be, you know, describing sites and those sorts of things but a lot of them just might be other bloggers talking about stuff that they’ve learned in the group, hopefully that’s what’s going on there. But the other thing to consider here is that Google can obviously see these backlinks but they can also see that there are 2,600 or nearly 2,700 people in the Facebook group talking about bloggersSEO as well.

Anyway, moral of the story here is that yeah, you probably should still report spammy backlinks if your competitor is using them and is above you. I got no problem with that and I know a few SEOs I know don’t like me saying that but hey, if they’re above you and they’re doing the wrong thing, I’d rather Google become a better search engine, have better results and certainly have my client higher than its competitors. And also, just regularly check your backlinks, make sure no one’s is doing any negative SEO on you ’cause you might want to do another disavow. That’s it for this week; we’ll see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

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