Warning – Potential Link Attack Incoming.
It’s not the end of the world, but it can feel like that when you notice all the incoming spammy links directed at your website. It’s a whole lot worse when this is the first time it happens when all you are doing is just building your website up from scratch. All that hard work could be potentially damaged from a directed link attack on your website.
What is a link attack?
Just as I was about to write this article, I got distracted by my partner, and I foolishly deleted the trackbacks in my spam folder of the results of a direct link attack on this website. Fail.
Update: I have a screenshot of the links in WordPress and a screenshot of one of the originating pages. See below.
Here is a screenshot of the link attacks shown up in the comments section. WordPress to the rescue.
Here is a screenshot of one of the pages linking to this website. As you can see – spammy – but looks legit as a page link.
I had in total 98 spam links from 98 different websites (at last count).
All these websites were created in the last week and contained filler content that was gibberish except for one page on each of these 98 websites. This page was well written, with an optimised title which was carefully tailored to reflect my website’s overall theme – internet marketing. The content of each of these pages was detailed and it contained one link with a perfectly over-optimised anchor text. Suspect eh.
A link attack is simply someone creating spammy backlinks to your website.
Was this a directed link attack personal?
This was my first personal experience of a what is considered a direct link attack. From what I have read over at Moz, it seems it was a directed link attack. But was it personal?
Yes, I think it was. This is a relatively new blog with a relatively okay standing so for someone to target 98 (so far) links from 98 websites all with perfectly created pages, deep links and anchor text then it can only be personal. Lucky for me this isn’t a bread and butter earning website and more of just a hobby site.
It seems someone wants to knock me out of the SERP results by mimicking black hat paid link building from Elect New Media. They want Google to think I bought these links – that looks personal to me.
The reasons I have come up with as to why they would start a link attack on my blog is to damage its rankings on Google. By damaging its reputation on Google, the person who instigated the link attack could leapfrog my blog. This would increase their own standing and potential revenues.
So, someone reading this is attacking my website. If it is you then please stop and remove those links. Karma will come bite you in the ass.
What did I do with all these links?
There are two options for me at this point – from what I understand. One of them I did and the other I will leave for later.
1) I collated all the links I could find and them submitted them in a text file using the Disavow Tool in Google Webmaster Tools.
This should show Google that I am proactively taking steps to remove spammy links while helping Google to remove those links from my link profile.
2) I was going to submit a spam report to Google, but found the interface too confusing as to which option to select. Ill leave that one for it I get penalised by Google for those links.
So who do I think attacked this site?
From the anchor texts its looks like they were trying to target my revenue generating content. They also must be well versed in SEO, to understand Negative SEO, black hat and link attacks.
This points to a few different parties. Maybe a bigger online organisation, a SEO or digital marketer, or someone looking to have a bit of ‘fun’.
This attacked started soon after beginning using Google+ ‘properly’ and following lots of internet marketing related people. This is probably the source. As from there. I am not sure. So much for starting to build relationships lol.