What is Link Spam? What You Need to Know (+ Examples & Tips)

What are Link Spam
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Link spam is an ever-increasing problem that can have a negative impact on your website ranking and reputation.

Recent studies have found that as much as over 60% of all websites experience link spam, making it incredibly important to understand what it is, how to spot it, and what to do about it.

In this blog post, we will explain what link spam is, and provide examples and tips on how to identify and avoid it, so you can ensure that your website’s backlinks are natural, high-quality, and in line with search engine guidelines.

Quality over quantity is better when it comes to building links.

Zakaria Githae

What is link spam?

Link spam is a type of black hat SEO technique that refers to artificially increasing the number of backlinks to a website through deceitful or unethical methods. These tactics are employed to improve search engine rankings, but they often result in penalties or even a ban from the search engine.

What are Link Spam according to Spam Policies

Types of link spam

There are many different types of link spam, but some common examples include:

  • Buying or trading links: This involves paying for or exchanging links with other websites in order to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your site. This is a violation of search engine guidelines, and search engines can detect this easily.
  • Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  • Participating in link schemes: This involves participating in a scheme or network designed to artificially boost the number of backlinks to a website. This can include using automated link building software or participating in link exchange schemes.
  • Creating fake reviews or testimonials: This involves creating fake or misleading reviews or testimonials in order to get links from other websites.
  • Creating fake blogs or sites for link building: This involves creating fake or misleading blogs or sites in order to get links from other websites.
  • Article spinning: It is the practice of taking a single piece of content and creating multiple variations of it by slightly altering the wording or structure. This is done in order to create multiple backlinks from article directories or other websites.
  • Creating ‘throwaway’ domains for link building: It is creating temporary, useless websites for the purpose of linking to the main site and then shutting them down.
  • Creating “private blog networks” (PBNs): This involves creating a network of fake or low-quality blogs that all link to a specific website in an attempt to artificially boost its search engine rankings.

All of these techniques are considered to be link spam and can lead to penalties or being banned from search engines. Learn more

Suggested: What are Paid/Manipulative Links? How to Identify and Avoid Paid/Manipulative Links

Examples of link spam

For example, imagine a company X selling links on their website, and website owner Y who wants to increase their backlinks buy links from company X. This type of link acquisition is against the guidelines of search engines, as the links are not based on merit but rather on a financial transaction.

Another example would be participating in a link exchange scheme. This could involve creating a network of websites that all link to each other in order to artificially inflate the number of backlinks to each site. This can include automated link building software or participation in link exchange schemes. It’s a violation of search engine guidelines and can lead to penalties for the websites involved.

So then, what do you need to do?

7 Strategies for Avoiding Link Spam

1. Create High-Quality Content

One of the best ways to avoid link spam is to focus on creating high-quality, relevant, and valuable content. This will attract natural backlinks from people who find your content valuable and want to share it with others. Creating informative blog posts, infographics, videos, research studies, and other types of content that are useful and informative, can help in building valuable backlinks.

Suggested: How to Write “easy to rank” Content? (With Examples)

2. Participate in Online Communities

Joining and actively participating in online communities related to your niche can help in acquiring natural backlinks. By participating in forums, social media groups, and other online communities, you can share your valuable content, start a conversation or help someone, which can lead to backlinks.

3. Reach Out to Other Website Owners

One of the best ways to acquire natural backlinks is to reach out to other website owners and ask them to link to your website. This can be a great way to acquire natural backlinks if you have a valuable resource or piece of content that would be relevant to their audience.

4. Monitor Your Backlinks

Keep an eye on the backlinks pointing to your site, and take action if you notice anything suspicious. If you notice any links that you think might be spammy or low-quality [learn more], consider reaching out to the website owner and asking them to remove the link.

5. Avoid Link Farms or Link Networks

Link farms and link networks are collections of low-quality websites that exist solely to artificially inflate the number of backlinks to a website. Stay away from those and avoid link exchange schemes, as they are considered link spam.

6. Avoid Automated Tools

Avoid using any automated tools for link building, as these can often result in low-quality or spammy backlinks.

7. Follow Search Engine Guidelines

Make sure that you are following the search engine guidelines for building backlinks. If a tactic seems too good to be true, it probably is, thus it’s important to stay away from it. Additionally, keep yourself updated with the latest search engine guidelines, as they might change over time.

Suggested: 10 Proven Link Building Strategies That Are Simple Yet Effective

People Also Ask?

What is the difference between link spam and link building?

Link spam is the practice of creating low-quality or irrelevant backlinks to a website with the intent of manipulating search engine rankings, while link building is the practice of creating high-quality, relevant backlinks to a website through legitimate methods such as creating great content and participating in relevant communities. The main difference is the intent and the value of the links.

Does having too many backlinks considered as link spam?

Not necessarily, having a high number of backlinks by itself is not a sign of link spam, but the quality and relevance of those links are important. A high number of low-quality or irrelevant backlinks can be a sign of link spam.

How does Google detect link spam?

Google uses a combination of automated algorithms and manual reviews to detect link spam. They analyze the quality and relevance of links, as well as the behavior of the linking website and the linking patterns.

How can I report link spam?

If you suspect that a website is engaging in link spam, you can report it to Google using the spam report feature in the Search Console. You can also contact the webmaster of the linking website and request that the link be removed.

How can I protect my website from link spam?

To protect your website from link spam, it’s important to regularly monitor your backlinks and use the “disavow” tool if necessary. Also, try to avoid shady link building practices and focus on creating high-quality, relevant content.

What are the consequences of link spam?

The consequences of link spam can include penalties or de-indexing by search engines, a decrease in search engine rankings, and damage to the reputation of the website and business.

What is link Scraping?

Link scraping is a method used to collect a large number of links from websites automatically, for the purpose of building links to your site. This is considered link spam as well and can get the website penalized by search engine

What are the best link building practices?

The best link building practices include creating high-quality, relevant content, actively participating in relevant online communities, reaching out to websites in your niche and asking for links, writing guest posts for relevant websites, and earning links through social media promotion


In summary, link spam is a tactic used by certain website owners to falsely boost their search engine rankings by creating a large number of links to their site. It is crucial to be aware of this tactic, as it can have a negative impact on your website’s search engine results.

To avoid link spam, focus on acquiring legitimate, high-quality links to your site. Utilizing tools such as Google Search Console can assist in monitoring your website’s backlinks and identifying any potential link spam.

As always, remember that it’s better to have a small number of high-quality links than a large number of low-quality ones.

Quality over quantity is better when it comes to building links.

Zakaria Githae

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. And if you found this article helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you for reading.

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