Video Transcript – 4 signs your SEO backlinks are spammy

4 signs your SEO backlinks are spammy – original post here

Hey, welcome back Rankers. You’re getting excited, it’s nearly Christmas. Big year. Last week, came out with the announcement that Google was going to do a Penguin update before Christmas. The following day Google came out and said they’re not going to do a Penguin update before Christmas, which is cool. I like that. That’s excellent. It’s going to be in January.

The reason that’s a good thing of not having it before Christmas is because of the tumult that it would cause in surely the busiest period of the year for a lot of businesses. However, it’s still coming. I’ve been getting a lot of questions on last week’s video about how do we detect a spammy back link. And Bret here said we created some SEOs, created some and random site owners some. Here’s the thing, get rid of the ones that the SEO companies created. I know that might sound blasphemous but typically, they are the ones you’re going to be penalised for. It depends on how it’s done.

Let me qualify that statement a little bit. If your SEO company has been working with you on outreach programs to other sites and you’re doing all sorts of things to get people to give you back links and hope they’re going to give you back links because you’re providing some awesome piece of content that you think they should know about. That’s different from someone else, as an SEO company going out and just putting up back links everywhere on random sites and those sorts of things. I’m going to show you a few of those.

What I’ve done is I’ve gone into majestic because obviously I don’t have as far as Bret’s concerned, I don’t have access to Google search console. And what I’ve done is I’ve just put his domain in here and then I’ve gone to the anchor text. This is the way I find spammy back links quickly. I go to the anchor text; I look at the anchor text. As soon as I see keyword rich anchor text, like ‘pool care’, I go, “Ooh, what’s that?” Because it’s not natural to have 194 back links with the word ‘pool care’ in it. It’s just not natural.

People are either going to link to your domain or and just say, “This is Jim’s pool care or whatever.” No, it’s not my business. It’s a large group here in Australia. If you have a look down here, you see a lot of them are from the related businesses within that group. I wouldn’t necessarily say, “Oh, they’re spammy.” But what I would probably do is change the anchor text so it doesn’t say ‘pool care’, so it doesn’t look spammy. And I would put in there ‘Jim’s pool care’, not just ‘pool care’.

The other one that I had a look at here was this pool service one. As soon as I see the anchor text that doesn’t have the brand in it, then alarm bells go off. And you can see here we have this first one Carrousel Paarden and if you go to that site. You can see here it’s an article with a heading tag and a subheading and then we have custom designer pools in here, that’s and then down here, we have other weird anchor texts to make it look somewhat natural. The pools only last up to 15 years then they link to some other article. Four years and then they link off to the article as well. And then down here 10-20 years and whatever.

In these articles, that is if you read the articles, it’s not a great article and the site itself, the rest of the content of the site, I’ll just show you that. It’s pretty ordinary. To me, it looks like this blog is being set up purely for back links. When I go and do a Whois on this domain to find out who owns this domain. This is another sign. Our first sign is you’ve got keyword rich anchor text. Second sign is that the site you’re getting it from doesn’t or tries to hide who owns the domain name. And these are all just typical things for a spammy back link. And you can see here it’s out of Panama, it’s protected. It’s anonymous basically. So you can’t find out who owns this.

Even though it says here the name is Gina, we know nothing about this person and typically on a nice blog or a non-spammy blog, you will find out all about that person. And the other sign is they’ve been going since August. There’s that. Then here’s another one, a pool service. Once again it goes off to, ‘Jimspoolcare/nsw/Sydney’. Once again, not a great article. The blog itself is full of these sorts of articles, then randomly they link off to a Victorian government health website, and there’s nothing here to say this site is an Australian site. So why would you link off to a Victorian government website?

I would say the reason that’s being done is to give your article a little bit of legitimacy to Google to say, “Oh look, we can link you to anyone but really we’re not really being paid to link to this other site.” And of course, the same thing applies here; this is also an anonymous owned website. These two definitely I would say spammy.

Then you get some that are like Yellow Pages, directories. If you don’t know the directory Yellow Pages, that’s okay. That’s a legitimate link. And Google would use it for things like location. I don’t think they’d put terribly much stock in it for…I was going to swear, but I can’t. I was going to say they’re like noses, everyone has one. Everyone has a Yellow Pages back link. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. And then you can see all these sorts of ones, Elwood rubbish removal is something…and they’re all no follow. I don’t even have to worry about that because over here it says in the link type they’re ‘No follow’, so I’m not even going to worry about that even if it was put up for spam reasons, it’s not going to work anyway.

Working with bloggers as I’ve done over the last six months. They are approached a lot obviously to write articles and link to certain sites and the bloggers are saying, “Do we have to put the ‘no follow’ link on? Because that person who is paying me to write this article really doesn’t want the ‘no follow’. They want the back link,” I said, “Yeah, that’s the reason why you shouldn’t do it.” Because Penguin has two sites to it. The site that is getting the link and the site that is selling the link. Both of those sites can be punished. So if you get approached to do this, and people want to pay you to write an article and put a back link in your article to the website, you’re going to have to ‘no follow’ or else you’re going to be in trouble as well and then they’ll probably not want the back link, it’s as simple as that. So two signs, anchor text, website is anonymous or the owner of the website is anonymous.

Third sign is that the content is not great. And this is from…we’ll just use another one. This site is S.H.E. Informed, it’s founded by Brandon. You can see here we’ve got swimming pool links, build a patio, and all sorts of random links and this site to me it’s being made to look legitimate, but it’s kind of not. It’s kind of got back links in it that you go, “Yeah, I don’t think so. I think they’re being paid for.” Another back link that this site is giving from is owned by the same person who is, let’s see if I can bring him up, this guy. So you can see here he’s this site and also this site and they’ve only been going from what I can tell this year. So they’re quite new sites probably set up as a back linking opportunity.

That’s kind of where back linking has gone now for the SEO industry is that it’s about trying to get back links from sites that look really legitimate but Google just keep getting cleverer and cleverer. So it’s a never-ending game if you go down that path. We actually have a back-linking product and we do about 1,000 back links an hour removal I’m talking not creating. That’s our back link product. Our back-linking product is removing bad back links. And that takes about 1,000 links an hour. But we’re a bit busy at the moment as you can imagine. We thought everyone here was being told to disavow. Get those disavows out if you haven’t done them yet because it’s coming.

The third sign that you have spammy back links is that you actually paid someone to create back links for you. By definition, they would be spammy unless they go knocking on doors or creating awesome pieces of content and sharing it out there in the hope of getting a back link. But typically, if you’ve employed an SEO company that’s had a back link strategy for you, you might want to go and check those. Look for the anchor text, obviously go and look at the article or the site that you’re getting the back link from.

If the site is one that you don’t want to send anyone to, like those three that I have just showed you where the content is like… then chances are that’s a bad back link, a spammy back link. If you don’t want to send someone to the site, then it’s probably…So there are the three, well the four top signs now, we have four, this blog post is getting long.

So we’ve got anchor text, we have got anonymity of the domain name owner, we have got that you have actually paid someone to create back links for you and then what was the fourth one? I don’t know what the fourth one was. I’ll put it in the blog but there was a fourth one in amongst all that. Hopefully that’s helpful but get those disavows done before you go and have a Christmas drink and then you can have a lovely January and not worrying about the next Google Penguin update. Because you’ll be safe and you’ll jump above everyone else who’s been spammy. That’s the plan anyway. See you next week. Bye.