What to do if someone builds bad backlinks towards your website

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So I’m doing my normal weekly backlink check to see if there are some new and interesting websites linking to us and I discover someone has built 190 “dofollow” backlinks from 43 different domains towards this article on inchoo.net. Most of these backlinks have porn related anchors. Naturally, my first thought was, some spammer made a comment on the blog post and decided to build backlinks towards this post, but there was no such comment on it. Was this built by a competitor – or someone just made a mistake during their spamy link building efforts – remains a mystery.

I quickly log-in to webmaster tools to see if Google figured out these links and see they are not there. After some googling and researching official answers from Google, I came to a conclusion that there is no need to worry about such an isolated incident. With a stable link profile and years of building unique and quality content, there is no way anyone could hurt us using this technique.

Official answers from Google employees say that if this happens to you, there is nothing you can do about it. In most cases, Google will simply ignore the link juice and anchor text value of these spam links and pretend like nothing happened. Some new domains that don’t have a stable link profile, however, could be damaged this way. So if you’re starting out fresh, the best thing you can do is pray to the Lord that no one tries to pull this on you. I know, it sucks. Someone suggested at the Search Engine Journal in the comments section that Google should make some sort of robots.txt markup that would allow us to point to links that we want to be discredited and tell the algorithm that we didn’t build those spam links and don’t want any credit from them. That would be an awesome feature but so far, there is no talk about it.

During the time I was researching this, I stumbled upon this comedic jewel inside the Google Support Forums:

Enormous Link Farm Discovered

Doing competitive research, found an enormous blog link farm. Over 500 domains. I reported it to google yesterday but I doubt they will do anything about it, so I thought I would share it here and ask what to do. Look at the backlinks for the following domain names;

www * comparewrinklecreams * com
www * electroniccigarettesreviews * net
www * buyengagementrings * net

Its one of the largest link farms I have ever seen, my niche is web design so while I dont like that they are cheating the system, at least its not destroying my rankings yet. However I found the network while researching backlinks in web design, and several page two rankings that are rising really fast are using these same links. I guess I am posting this because I fear losing my own rankings that I attained over a few years and natural linking. How can I compete with this? Should I just file the report, and does google care much about this type of behavior?

Id like to know because if google does not care then I should look into buying some links like this. And if they dont approve of this type of thing, I am asking for other webmasters help in reporting the links. Even if its not your niche, Think about it from an honest webmasters perspective. Losing ranking and income to someone who cheats seems wrong. Thoughts?

Anyone? 3/3/10
Now that I know its called Domain Farm, can someone else place some input here? 3/4/10
Nobody? Cmon guys can I please get some feedback on this? 3/4/10
Update? 3/5/10
Thanks Anyway 3/5/10
How can I directly notify the spam team about this? 3/14/10
I read online on seomoz that google does not even read spam reports. They provided a link and tracked clicks. not on visit from anyone…but they still got the “we have completed our review of your website” email. I dont think the spam team cares as much about this kinda stuff as everyone thinks they do. If they did they wouldnt allow people do this kinda stuff. 3/15/10
Please report this link spamming so google will look at it 3/15/10
Conclusion: Build a Domain Farm or Lose the Battle… 3/16/10
Yea I decided not to waste my time doing any research for anyone on here. All I can say is Fck you Google. You dont want to enforce your own rules, dont be surprised when garbage sites build huge networks and rank number one. I am buying up pr domain names right now, and apparently google does not care. So I soon will have a page one number one ranking. Thanks for everyones help in helping me understand that google does not care about search quality, and giving excellent examples of how to build a network that can influence my rankings.

Andy 3/20/10
Update – I started building my own network. I bought some domain names from tdnam.com that are a pr4. I bought 5 of them, and then made them into one page websites with links pointing to my website as a test. Yes, it works. I jumped from page 8 to page 3. Google are fucking idiots – They not only invented this problem by introducing pagerank, but also warn against doing it while not enforcing their own rules.

My recommendation to anyone trying to gain better search engine positions is to buy domains and build your own network. Google does not give a shit, and if they do then my guess is the spam team are pretty god damned stupid. I have been trying to reach the owner of the websites originally posted, but he wont answer me. I want to see if I can work with him and get some links from his network too.

Sources I found that are great to buy domain names from for those who are also sick and tired of getting their asses kicked in google…and especially for those trying to compete with the guys with huge networks that google wont and likely can never stop;

check out;

dropday.com – expired domains sorted by pagerank
payperpost.com – pay 5-10 dollars for a post on someone elses blog that already has pagerank.

After jumping 5 pages nearly overnight I decided fuck google, an fuck their bullshit guidelines. The bottom line is someone has to enforce the rules, and if no one does, then it comes down to survival of the fittest. and Im not going to starve over it. 3/29/10

TL;DR: A guy finds a competitor is using enormously big link farm, wants to report it to Google. He figures out Google doesn’t care and starts regularly updating his original post with data on how he’s building a link farm himself so that he could compete. He gives links to the domains he bought to use as a link farm since Google obviously doesn’t care anyways.

Now here comes the punchline: The day after his last update, 3/30/10 Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team answers:

I just say thanks for this report. We got a lot of useful data from it–in addition to (just recently) taking action on things that violate our quality guidelines.

Lesson learned?

Be patient and play by Google’s rules.

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About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

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  1. Currently I searching for good domain authority chinese directories.
    Will my website hurt if I get backlinks from other language websites?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Hii Toni,

    Your article was awesome,,
    But I am stuck up in a problem if you can help,,

    Some hacker have hacked my server and added 2-3 files with I frame on my website and create around 3.5 k back links to it from some Chinese websites ,,I have deleted thoes files and cleaned my server but any suggestions what I can do with that backlinks,,,As my website is new so is there any risk out of this

    your suggestion will be valuable,,,,

  3. Hey, for the last few years one of my competitors has been building bad back links to my website. how can I erase these????

  4. I recently hired someone to do SEO for me and as part of the package deal he was to add a blog. Problem is when he added the blog he added it to our child sponsorship page. We are a non-profit organization helping destitute kids in Kenya. So when he did that all the kids pictures appeared on the blog instead of on the sponsorship page. He has completely denied what he did and has refused to fix it now for a month. He took the blog page off and put up a completely different child sponsorship page that is from 2009! What can I do? I need someone to fix this problem. I dont know how to fix it since the files are now gone from my hosting server. Can anyone help me?

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      This sounds pretty bad… If you use a CMS such as WordPress you may be able to view changes you’ve made to the page and “roll back” to an earlier version. Alternatively I’ve had some luck before using https://archive.org/ as you can see “snapshots” of your website and can view a cached version from an earlier point – you could potentially use it to see how it is meant to be and restore it.

      Hope that helps!

  5. If you do it regularly, and keep track of it, you can easily compare your records and see which ones are new. It also enables you to see which links went missing.

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