Getting other sites to link to yours is one of the best things you can do to help your site rank better, and spammers take full advantage of it. For better or worse, Google says they’re already aware of those shady links.
For more on this, check out these two posts from Search Engine Roundtable:
Subscribe! You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, and a variety of other places. Be sure to rate the podcast wherever you choose to listen!
If you want your site to rank well in Google, getting other sites to link to yours is an important piece of the puzzle. Google focuses much of their attention on filtering out spammy links, and this week they pointed out two pieces of that.
First, Google made it clear that they can easily detect automated link dropping. If you use a tool that creates links to your site around the internet, using things like directories and forums, Google can spot those pretty easily. A user asked Google’s John Mueller a question related to this, and John said “I think you’re kinda asking if automated link-dropping has any effect, right? Those scripts are pretty old-school; if you can automate a link-drop somewhere, chances are we’ve seen that a lot of times there already.”
John also pointed out that these days those kinds of link dropping attempts might be used to try to get your site in trouble (so Google could think that you’re a spammer), but he said it’s not something to worry about.
The second part of this revolves around site owners that are diligent about watching for spamming links coming to their site and trying to sort them out. There are tools that webmasters can use to disavow links to Google and help avoid issues, but Google says that’s largely unnecessary.
A user asked John if using a tool such as Link Detox could help or hinder a site, and John said: “Yeah, most sites don’t need to do anything like this. Ultimately, if some random tool can tell you which ones to disavow, they’re probably already being ignored.”
At the end of the day, Google is pretty good at determining whether a link is legit or not. Focus on earning solid links to your site (often from great content that others want to share) and Google will take care of the rest.