Undesirable Website Links: Link Mills, Spam Sites

August 8, 2023

There are a few concepts that play a major role in SEO and online marketing in general, and links are definitely on this list. There are a number of things to be considering within the world of website backlinks, and one of the most important is steering clear of spammy or otherwise undesirable links that, rather than contributing positively to your site's visibility and popularity, actually do the opposite.

At Be Locally, we're proud to assist with a huge range of SEO services for clients across numerous industries, and link-building and management are key elements of these programs. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over what backlinks are and why they matter, why staying away from spammy links is so important, and some specific types of spammy or otherwise poor links to stay away from.

undesirable website links spam

Basics on Backlinks - And Why Spam is Undesirable

For those who are just learning about SEO, backlinks are links from another page pointing back to a page on your website. These can be incredibly powerful when it comes to increasing the visibility and popularity of your site online, as they allow for other websites and sources to point towards you.

Despite this power, there's one thing that you must never do in the world of backlinks: accept spam. Generally speaking, "spam" is defined as any link that has been forged or created with the sole purpose of increasing artificial page rank in search engine results. This can include links on foreign websites and other sites that are not related to your content, links with overly-optimized anchor text, and more.

Our next several sections, and on into part two of our series, will go over specific forms of undesirable links, plus why they're problematic and how to steer clear of them.

Link-Mill Links

While they're less common in recent years as Google has cracked down on them, link-mill websites are still out there. These sites are designed to create a web of backlinks between pages, all for the purpose of increasing SEO rank. The vast majority of these links will do nothing beneficial for your site - in fact, some could even have negative impacts on your online visibility.

Be sure that any backlinks you accept come from respected, authoritative sources. Never accept links on link-mill sites - or any other type of spammy website, for that matter.

Links From Spam Websites

This is a bit of a more nuanced problem - but it's still problematic. Whereas link-mill links are obviously created for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings, some websites may offer backlinks with seemingly good intentions.

The problem is that these "good intentions" don't factor in the potential harm they could do to your online visibility - and even if you can get traffic from them, it won't be of the same quality as from respected, authoritative sources.

It's best to steer clear of any website that looks like it might have been created for the purpose of spamming - this includes sites with long urls, ones with a large number of outbound links, and those that are obviously selling backlinks or other SEO services.

In part two of our series, we'll cover a few more types of spammy links, plus methods you can use to check whether or not a link has the potential to help - or hurt - your website's SEO rank. Stay tuned! In the meantime, contact us today at Be Locally for any assistance with backlinks and other SEO-related services. We're here to help you take your online visibility to the next level!

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