1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How bad is this for my site?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Stove, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Stove

    Stove Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hi, I recently noticed the site that I'm working on has a ton of spammy links going to it, from what I understand the website was probably pharma hacked in the past and for some reason the hacker was building links to it. In the past month we've completely started fresh (new hosting, new cms.etc) but the site still has a bunch of spammy links going to it. These links are all going to pages that don't exist (eg. website.com/media/viagra-information) I'm not sure if these pages existed in the past or not.

    From what I've read if the links are going to pages that don't exist it's not as big of a problem but I would still like to get rid of these links if I can, the site is a small local business and we are trying rally hard right now to improve our rankings. I'm afraid that these links are keeping us down, how should we proceed? I know we can use Google's disavow tool but there are thousands of links coming from different sites so it would take a long time to add them all and I've heard that the disavow tool doesn't work so great anyway.
     
  2. aussiejack

    aussiejack Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    62
    probably better to get a new domain. If this domain was ever redflagged by google you will never become happy. You can check with web.archive if these pages existed in the past
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Stove

    Stove Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    11
    I've looked on the waybackmachine and I can't find any of the spam pages, but it doesn't make sense to me that the hacker would link to pages that don't exist? I would rather avoid getting rid of the domain because it's companyname.com and they use it for all their email accounts, business cards, brochures.etc also we are ranking for some of our keywords just not on the top. We are ranking first page for some of the smaller stuff and are working on getting there for the big ones. Is their anyway to check if the domain has been redflagged by Google? Our google webmasters doesn't tell us anything except for the fact that we have links going to 404's.
     
  4. aussiejack

    aussiejack Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    62
    If it is an established company and you have an aged domain you should rank well for the main keywords unless they are really competitive. Check some of your pages which are optimized for mildly competitive keywords. If you dont rank well for these keywords that would be a sign that google does not trust you too much.

    When you are in Webmaster tools that you dont just check the message at the top of the menu but rather Search Traffic --> Manual Actions. If there was action taken against you it will show up there.
     
  5. rob1977

    rob1977 Power Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    676
    Based on what you have said I think you have to bite the bullet and plug through the disavow list.
     
  6. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    6,561
    Likes Received:
    11,700
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Location:
    Riverside, California
    Home Page:
    One of my clients I mentioned in this thread had an issue with spammy backlinks pointing to hidden pages from when their website was hacked. More than likely, those pages existed at one point in the past on your website (they may not have been indexed or they were used as 301 redirects to malicious/churn and burn websites), but assuming the entire website is clean now, you shouldn't have to worry about the pages.

    Anyway, you have to make a tough decision right now. If the website is a brand name website for the local business, I would say that you should just try using the disavow tool to discredit the nullify the links, but only if you think the low-quality inbound links are harming your website. The disavow tool can be effective when used properly, but it can also hurt your rankings if you do not use it correctly. If you find that findign and disavowing the spam backlinks is a cumbersome process, then you can register another domain and start fresh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  7. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,903
    Likes Received:
    847
    Location:
    New York
    A typical pharma hack, once they exploit the site they then create thousands of pages with pharma related content and then spam the crap out of it. A buddy of mine had this done to his website and it went unnoticed for over a year. The spammers built hundreds of thousands of links to the site.

    The only option you've got at this point is to remove the links. People will tel you this is wasted effort but I'll disagree. I watched my friends website go from 200k+ spammy links to less than 10k. The backlink checker I'm using doesn't go back that far on his campaign but here's a recent snapshot.

    [​IMG]

    The problem with pharma hacks is that they typically trigger some type of penalty. Typically either algorithmic or via a manual inbound link penalty. Sometimes it can trigger an outbound spam link penalty as well.

    Fact is that you need to figure out how to get the links removed. My buddy used a link removal service but you could do it yourself if you have enough time.

    Last point, sometimes the hosting companies are the root of the problem. I know that you mentioned you switched hosting but just be sure you upgraded and didn't downgrade.
     
  8. Stove

    Stove Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    11
    Thanks for all the responses guys, I think some of the best info on this site is hidden in threads like these. I checked the Google webmaster tools like aussiejack suggested and I don't see anything in the Manual Actions section so it seems like we're good on that. I was going to start using the disavow tool but noticed something strange, on seoprofiler.com I see a lot of the bad backlinks but when I download the "Link to your site" thing from webmaster tools many of those links aren't in there. Maybe something happened to them and seoprofiler didn't update? Or Google automatically got rid of them (Unlikely but one can dream)? I haven't had a chance to check all the bad links but so far all that I've checked aren't in the webmaster tools file that I downloaded.
     
  9. tigressnita

    tigressnita Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is one of the things to look out for when choosing a domain. These links can be dangerous, or perhaps your domain may have already been penalized. You can disavow and see what happens.