Outside Consultant: Taking on website spam attacks

  • Updated: August 24, 2014 - 2:00 PM

question

Due to the strength of our Resume Genius (http://resumegenius.com) website, we’re continually inundated by spam attacks from competitors. We monitor and disavow all spam that comes our way, every day.

The problem is that it still has an effect on ranking — losing thousands of “dofollow” links at a time when these spam websites vanish from the Web still has a negative effect. Are there some other strategies that we’re missing to combat this issue?

Mark Slack http://resumegenius.com

answer

To best address your question, I reached out to a graduate of the Master of Business Communication program at the University of St. Thomas. Brad Canham serves as vice president of sales and marketing at Dotcom-Monitor, a website and Web application monitoring service based in Spring Park. (www.dotcom-monitor.com)

His team did some cursory investigative work and saw that the site appears to have been blasted with a negative SEO spam attack. As a result, the site’s rankings did take a slight dip, but appear to have rebounded since. Here are four tips for handling spam.

First, make sure that you’re reaching out to webmasters for link removal before disavowing. Google states that the disavow tool should be a last resort for links that can’t be removed through other means. Use a tool like Ahrefs to collect the spam link URLs, then gather the webmaster e-mail addresses for those sites and send a nice e-mail to each site owner requesting removal.

Second, don’t submit a disavow file on a daily basis. Each time you submit a new disavow file it supersedes the old file, causing Googlebot to re-crawl/reprocess all of the URLs. This may slow down the processing of the spam links. Also, use the “domain:” operator to disavow entire domains where there may be multiple instances of spam links.

Third, don’t pick fights in the SEO/webmaster community. Making certain types of comments about competitors can spur attacks.

Finally, the long-term strategy would be to continue to build out great content.

About the author

Mike Porter is director of the Master of Business Communication Program at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

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