Google: Spammy Backlinks & Negative Impact on Rankings

Spammy Backlinks

Google’s John Mueller has recently answered a question about what to do about spammy backlinks that were perceived as harming search rankings. The online Search Engine Journal has refernced answered a question on Reddit about what to do about an increase in spammy backlinks that are perceived as having a negative impact on rankings. Mueller’s answer showed what publishers should focus on.

The person asking the question said that they had noticed an increase in spammy backlinks and that they associated it with a negative impact on their rankings. They also said that it was affecting their “overall credibility.” They didn’t elaborate what they meant by “overall credibility” but perhaps they were talking about a third party site metric like Domain Authority.

This is what the person asked

“I’ve noticed a significant increase in spammy backlinks pointing to my website, and it’s negatively impacting my site’s search engine rankings and overall credibility. Despite my efforts, I’m struggling to effectively remove these spammy backlinks.

Can anyone provide guidance or suggestions on the best practices and tools for removing spammy backlinks and restoring the integrity of my website’s link profile? Any tips or suggestions will be helpful.”

Mueller answered that it’s not necessary to do anything about “spammy backlinks” because Google ignores them. He didn’t even suggest using the Disavow Tool, a tool that tells Google to ignore specific links that a publisher is responsible for.

Mueller responded

“I’d strongly recommend focusing on other things – Google’s systems are really good at dealing with random spammy links, but – like users – they do get hung up on websites that aren’t awesome. Make your site awesome instead of chasing those links.”

About “Overall Credibility”
Third party metrics don’t offer insights into how Google sees a website. They’re just the opinion of a third party that can be used to measure one site against another.

25 years ago Google used to show a representation of PageRank on Google’s toolbar. It was authoritative source of information that related data about the quantity of links and whether or not a site was indexed or not indexed. Yet even Google’s own PageRank tool didn’t accurately reflect the ability of a site to rank well.

Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow scores are useful because they communicate the kinds of links flowing to a website and gives an idea of what the backlinks say about a site.

But other than that, a third party “authority” metric is not anything I have ever used and will never use. Many SEOs with longtime experience don’t use those metrics.