Moz has been a popular communications and learning resource for all things SEO and search engine orientated for some time. Their tools have become synonymous with quality when analysing data from your website, including links. Now that they have announced a new feature for their Open Site Explorer link analysis tool called Spam Score, to lay down their flag in the competitive area of software generated link analysis.
The tool is designed to help webmasters uncover the links pointing to their site that are more risky and therefore more likely to see you penalised by Google in a later algorithm update. It does this by analysing your links and highlighting the spammier ones so that you can get rid of them, either by contacting the blogs directly or by using Google’s disavow tool. In fact, one of the features of the new Spam Analysis tool is to help you to build a Disavow File to upload straight to Google via Webmaster Tools.
The tool has 17 different classifications for what qualifies as spam flags, and they are spelled out directly for users by Moz so that they will (hopefully) be more careful regarding who they allow to link to them, or the links they pursue as part of their link building strategies.
Here are the 17 points:
- Low mozTrust to mozRank ratio: Sites with low mozTrust compared to mozRank are likely to be spam.
- Large site with few links: Large sites with many pages tend to also have many links and large sites without a corresponding large number of links are likely to be spam.
- Site link diversity is low: If a large percentage of links to a site are from a few domains it is likely to be spam.
- Ratio of followed to nofollowed subdomains/domains (two separate flags): Sites with a large number of followed links relative to nofollowed are likely to be spam.
- Small proportion of branded links (anchor text): Organically occurring links tend to contain a disproportionate amount of banded keywords. If a site does not have a lot of branded anchor text, it’s a signal the links are not organic.
- Thin content: If a site has a relatively small ratio of content to navigation chrome it’s likely to be spam.
- Accordingly, a large ratio of text to mark-up is a spam signal.
Large number of external links: A site with a large number of external links may look spammy.
- Low number of internal links: Real sites tend to link heavily to themselves via internal navigation and a relative lack of internal links is a spam signal.
- Anchor text-heavy page: Sites with a lot of anchor text are more likely to be spam then those with more content and less links.
- External links in navigation: Spam sites may hide external links in the sidebar or footer.
- No contact info: Real sites prominently display their social and other contact information.
- Low number of pages found: A site with only one or a few pages is more likely to be spam than one with many pages.
- Top level domains connected to spam domains: Certain TLDs are spammier than others
- Domain name length: A long subdomain name like “pleasegivememoney.overseascharities.com” will almost certainly indicate keyword stuffing.
- Domain name contains numerals: domain names with numerals are likely to be auto-generated spam websites.
- Below is a pic of what it takes to get on the risky list. To find out where your site is currently listed in the spam-o-meter, head to Open Site Explorer, pop in your domain, and look for your Spam Score. You’ll find it underneath your Domain Authority and Page Authority.
If you find that your score is anything above a 4, it might be time to check your links, make a list of the ones you can do without, and start thinking about getting rid of them. Also, go through the 17 points on the list and think of ways that you could better your situation, including tackling the posts and pages of your website – are they thin on the content front? – and more.
However bad management in a link analysis can lead to even bigger problems and in many cases can cause even more problems. At RAD SEO we use a number of tools to scan for backlinks as well as working directly with webmaster tools as part of our penalty recovery service. We then manually review every link to get a deep analysis so that we can be absolutely sure before adding a backlink to a disavow list.
If you would like to talk to RAD SEO about ways that you can iron out any spam issues with your backlinks or search visibility issues with your site, then contact us on 01223 969373.