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Is spam hurting your search rankings?

Digital Marketing for your business

I want to share a little win here because I’m not sure everyone understands how horrible spammy backlinks are for your SEO. I did an audit for a client recently. This is a regional client that’s enjoyed a moderate amount of success for several years, but by no means a Fortune 500 company. I hooked their site up to Moz and let the crawler run.

For those who aren’t familiar with Moz: it’s just a tool that allows you to track keyword rankings, domain authority, backlinks, and all the other lovely factors that Google takes into account when deciding who gets those coveted SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) spots.

An hour later or so, I get an email telling me that the crawl is complete. Hurray! I drive right in.

OK OK, I probably put it off for a while because, admittedly, SEO isn’t my favorite thing.

82,000 backlinks. That’s 82,000 times “someone” had linked to my clients website in some way, shape, or form. That’s 82,000 times “someone” has typed on a blog post or web page. My awesome, but regional, B2B focused, service based, client.

Yeah, right. I’m calling bullshit.

So I dug into the detailed report and started seeing some really weird looking links to the domains that were supposedly linking to my clients site. Somewhere around 85% of them are SPAM backlinks. Why these exist? Well, that’s a story for another day.

The lesson of today’s story is that these links didn’t all appear at once. This is a call to action for anyone who runs a website. There’s always someone out there attempting to profit off of your hard work. Stay vigilant. Get a tool like Moz and watch the traffic.

I swear this isn’t a sponsored post for Moz. I just use Moz. There are countless other tools out there that do the same thing.

If and when you do find spammy backlinks (you’ll know them when you see them) — you’ll want to disavow them via Google Search Console.

Why disavow? Well, that’s simple. These backlinks are hurting your search rankings.

Once I did this for my awesome client, within weeks we saw a major boost in organic search traffic (9.86%), we moved 6 tracked keywords into the top 10 in search ranking, and our domain authority rose by multiple points. This is a nice win in a game that’s as slow moving and painstaking as SEO.

I hope this helps someone else grab a boost in search ranking. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a question here.

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