What is Link Spam?
The term “Internet Link Spam” has been around for some time now and while many people still use the term interchangeably with link building, the two are actually quite different. One is a means of building quality links to your website while the other is an effort to manipulate search engines and make it seem like your website was built through link research. Let’s take a look at how Internet link spam is made to try and understand what Google Penguin Algorithm is all about. Spammers build these links to try to increase their SEO link juice…which increases Domain Authority (DA).
Spammers look for specific keywords that they think will be profitable for them and they know that Off Page SEO is a critical part to organic ranking success in Google. They search for these keywords in niche and general industry topics, but they also experiment with using more general topics. If the keyword they are looking for is popular among Internet marketers, they will try to come up with something that is even more vague. For instance, they might try and come up with a keyword for links that only target links for gambling sites. If you were looking at the history of the keyword, however, you would see that it had been used in different ways over time without ever achieving much success as a search term.
Anchor Text for Spammy Backlinks
Anchor Text is what the links on your web pages appear as. Whenever someone clicks on one of your links, you get paid. Anchor text links are invisible, but they are used by many websites to optimize their websites for the top of the natural rankings in search engines. What is interesting is that there is no actual link, just a series of characters and symbols that are used to make up an anchor text link. It is commonly used in links to make the appearance of authority and value.
Another type of Internet spam is the use of link farms. This refers to a set of websites that are designed to drive up the number of links on your site to your website. A popular place for this to happen is on university websites, and there are even individual pages within schools that are built around linking to each other.
These links do not have to be in direct conjunction with your website, and they can be placed anywhere in your web pages. The links are usually just placed next to words or phrases that people might type into a search engine. They then click on these links when they are looking for information on your site. The most common form of Internet spam is for people to post links onto social media platforms. For example, if someone you know posts a status on Facebook about a concert that they are planning to attend, you could see a number of these backlinks posted throughout the day. Unfortunately, the only way to know whether or not this is happening is by monitoring your social media accounts for mentions of your name and reporting any instance of Internet spam to the appropriate authorities. Review your backlink profile for more ideas here.
Google and Other Search Engines
In addition to search engines, links can also be sold to other companies who are interested in purchasing them. In some cases, a company will create a search engine specifically for them, and then place links onto your site that leads back to their own site. Some search engines are designed so that links can only be placed once, while others are dynamic and allow you to place as many links onto your site as you desire. Regardless of what type of Internet marketing strategy you use, Internet link spam is one tactic that you want to avoid at all costs. You can remove these links with a simple search of the Internet for the specific term that you are trying to block.
What should you do when you discover Internet link spam on your website? The first step you should take is to notify the website owner of the link. Many times, these links are completely innocent and users will be unaware that they are being used to drive traffic to spam websites. If you notice that the links are being used to send customers to spam sites, contact the website owner to request that the links be removed. More often than not, the owner will be happy to help you out and may remove the spam once and for all.
Another option you have is to ignore the link or to report the spam to the search engines. Although, ignoring the spam may result in fewer hits to your website, the search engines in most cases, will still find and mark the spam sites as spam. In addition to removing the spam, the search engines will also often put a comment or two onto the page pointing out why the site is spam. If you choose to ignore the link, you are likely going to receive little to no hits to your website from the spam. On the other hand, if you choose to report the spam, you are most likely going to receive a significant amount of hits from people who saw the spam comments and are now marking you as a spammer.