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Link Spam

Last updated: Dec 21, 2022

What is Link Spam?

Link spam is the technique of using backlinks or anchor text that is irrelevant to the content and usually has the goal of increasing site traffic.

Spam links are also commonly referred to as "toxic backlinks," because every link that is posted must be relevant to the content that is written. This indirectly forces users to visit the site in question, even though the link or site being promoted does not match the content at all.

Even though it seems to be a powerful solution for promoting a site, using toxic backlinks can actually make your site's ranking drop. In this case, Google has prepared several penalties for those who use toxic backlinks, also known as spam links, on purpose.

In addition, the incompatibility between the content and the links that are posted can have an impact on the value and comfort of users when visiting your site.

Types of Link Spam

The following are the types of link spam or toxic backlinks that you must know:

1. Hidden Link

Hidden links are the first type of spam link. Hidden links are a technique where links embedded in content cannot be seen by users. These links are typically hidden behind images and given a background color until they are hidden in the site's code and are completely invisible to users.

If you've ever visited a website only to be redirected to another, you've probably been a victim of this hidden link. This is because hidden links are tactics that allow you to be redirected to other sites without knowing what you have clicked on before.

2. Nofollow Link

Some nofollow links on a site can be detected as spam links. Nofollow links are a tactic that is claimed to be a technique that can increase the profile of these backlinks and trick Google's spam detectors.

In fact, since Google released the Penguin algorithm, the nofollow link technique is considered not to be a spam link. However, even if it's not considered spam, nofollow links won't have much impact on your site's ranking in the SERPs.

3. Spam Posting

Post spam is an act in which someone consistently shares a link in public forums, comments, or other inappropriate places. This technique is widely used by link spammers because it is considered the easiest way to do link spamming.

Link spammers can easily create new accounts, then share links in places that don't fit the context of the site being promoted. Even though this is the easiest way, you shouldn't post spam, because this can be detected as spam and can actually be fatal for your site.

Consequences of Using Toxic Backlinks

The use of toxic backlinks should not be done as an effort to promote your site. This is because link spamming is an activity that can affect user comfort and is considered an act that manipulates search engines.

When the use of toxic backlinks is detected by Google, these algorithms can reduce your site's position in the SERP as well as its visibility. In some cases, Google has even deleted many sites manually, so they really can't be found in search engines.

How to Recover from a Google Penalty Due to Link Spam

If your site was penalized by Google due to spamming, here are some ways to recover it:

  • Stop performing link-spamming activities. Google is able to "forgive" your mistakes about spam links.
  • Do an SEO audit to find out what things have actually harmed you so you can promote your site organically without needing to use toxic backlinks again in the future.
  • Recognize the distinction between link building and link spam. That way, your site can increase its visibility without worrying about getting penalized by Google.


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