One thing that is great about the online world is the constantly changing landscape! Enough has been written about Matt Cutts “stick a fork in it” post on low value Guest Posting over the last week I wont address it. But, to be clear, I 100% still believe high quality guest posting is highly effective and my strategy here has not changed as a result of his post.
In this post I want to tie together several pieces of information that have gotten my attention over the last month which has resulted in a change to the way that me and my team register domains names in 2014.Continue reading
Whenever purchasing a website or an expired domain there are a lot of risks that need to be considered. One of the biggest is the exposure to a Google Penalty based on the sites backlink profile (penguin or manual un-natural link penalty).
In this article I will show you the 9 common kinds of backlink SPAM and how to quickly spot them.
With both my expired domain finding service and my recent focus on purchasing a couple of websites I have been deep diving into analyzing backlinks.
What is the Risk?
Several months ago I purchased a website which I knew had paid for a few links. I believe as a result of those links the site went from making close to $1,000 in the first month I purchased it(after making monetization changes) down to $250/month due to a penalty!
I was aware of the links and believed I priced the risk fairly into the purchase ($4k to buy the site)…unfortunately for me the site got hit pretty quickly after purchasing.
What Happened When I Purchased a Website With a Few BAD Backlinks
The 9 Types of Backlink Spam
I use MajesticSEO(not an affiliate link) to analyze backlinks because of the graphic representation of the link profile which makes it incredibly easy to quickly see the quality of the backlink profile.
PART 1 – ANCHOR TEXT
Anchor Text manipulation is pretty easy to spot in Majestic SEO. Using the Anchor Text section there are 2 key things to look for..
- First unnatural anchor text density
- Secondly obvious SPAM in anchor text keywords (porn/poker/pharmaceutical or completely un-relevant keywords)
- Unnatural Anchor Text Density
- bedandbreakfastparksville.ca – Not as obvious an example but with the large number of links and only 3 different anchor texts this site shows clear signs of manipulation.
- naturesgoldspecialties.ca – This one is very obvious, 95% all with the same keyword – avoid!
- Obvious SPAM in Anchor Text
- classic-purse.com – This example is subtle! Often the spam is far more obvious with Porn/Pharmaceutical/Poker or other highly SPAMMED niches like PayDay loan anchor text. Whenever there are obvious signs of anchor text manipulation avoid it! In cases like the one below we need to ask ourselves if the anchor text could naturally occur in the way that it is being shown?
PART 2 – LINK METRICS
- Large difference Trust Flow to Citation Flow – Links build naturally should be balanced between citation flow and trust flow (or for MOZ PA/DA should not show a large (~3x or more) difference between them)
- bushybride.ca – Here there is an obvious mis-match with Trust Flow = 2 and Citation Flow = 15. Ideally we want that ratio to be close to 1:1 but anywhere up to 1:3 can naturally occur but be cautious whenever you get below 1:2 Trust:Citation.
- Root to URL completely different – This one is often miss-understood. When there are good metrics for one domain and then none for another it often means that links were intentionally built to one URL and then none to another. This represents link manipulation!
- goteamintraining.com – Here the metrics on the Root Domain are ok but then the metrics at URL are non-existent!
- Concentration of Links on the TF vs CF Map – This is one of the reasons why Majestic is so great. A quick look at the TF vs CF graph can tell a lot about the backlink profile. The ideal graph is a series of domains spread along the line moving 1:1 from the origin. Two indications of a SPAMMY backlink profile is when there is an unreasonable concentration of links all in one location or when all the links are low trust. On the graph each dot represents a single link and the Trust and Citation score of that link.
- whoswhere.ca – In this example shown below there are 2 concentration and another grouping along the bottom representing Trust Flow on each of those links of ZERO. Typically what occurs is when a link building service is purchased a lot of the links will come from similar sites with the same CF/TF which results in concentrations on the TF vs CF graph.
- bedandbreakfastparksville.ca – Here there is one single high density concentration of links, there is a chance with this link profile that it could occur naturally but this is a warning flag. Whenever there is a single concentration of links on the TF vs CF graph there is a reasonable expectation that the links are artificially created.
PART 3 – TYPE OF LINKS
- Non-Relevant Link Pages/Directories/Blog Network Pages
- legal-professionals.net (non-relevant links) – Non-relevant backlinks like the ones to this site provide no value.
- trendier-diaper-bags.com (directory) – Here is an example of a site that only uses directory links. Relevant human-reviewed directories are good but having only non-relevant free directories are bad!
- nadafhospitality.com (directory) – Here is another example of too many low value link/directory pages.
- howtotreatkidneystones.net (PBN & Hacked Sites) – Sometimes most metrics can look good but when you visit the pages linking to it it becomes obvious the links are all blog network links or sites that have been hacked.
- kitchenexhaust.info (SPAM sites) – When the sites linking to the URL are only SPAM sites then it is obvious the site provides no value and should be avoided.
- theweddingdiamonds.info (non-relevant directories) – Again relevant directories and link pages can be natural however, low value directories as shown by these links are bad.
- whoswhere.ca (Blog Network) – There is the famous quote from Judge Potter Stewart stating in regards to Porn vs art “I know it when I see it” and this applies to most of us who look at websites and can quickly determine if the site is built only for links or not. When the majority of the links pointing to a domain was clearly built for the purposes of providing a link, like in this example, we should avoid it.
- Blog Comment or Forum SPAM
- allhandbags.info (Forum) – Blog comments and forum SPAM are old low value black-hat tactics that still many domains have links from. In these cases it is important to look at the comment and forum post and just think if it is reasonable. Blog comments and forum links that are real are fine, blog comments and forum links that are only left for the purpose of the link are bad! Another fast way to tell is to see if there are A LOT of useless comments on the post…if that is the case then the site likely has auto-approve comments on and has been hammered by low-value black hat SEOs.
- Foreign Language Links
- fantastic-bags.com – Here is an example of english links on foreign language websites. This is almost always a sign of link manipulation and if spotted should be avoided.
Most of the instructions above are pretty obvious. The intent of this post with the videos was to hopefully show a nice effective way to quickly determine the quality of the backlinks pointing to a site. Using MajesticSEO daily is a huge time saver for me and I wanted to share some of the tricks I have learned analyzing thousands of domains and dozens of sites over the last few months.
What other tools do you use to analyze a sites backlink quality? Ahrefs? OpenSiteExplorer? other?
For all my talk about the effectiveness of expired domains and private blog networks there is little in the way of quantifiable proof showing just how effective it is.
Not just if it is effective but by how much can a private blog network improve your search engine rankings?
I will break this post into 2 parts…
- Part 1 – By the numbers – We will deep dive looking at the search ranking movement of 13 sites who all had quality private blog networks built linking to them using this service.Continue reading
NOTE – I no longer recommend IXWebHosting and much prefer either DreamHost (you can get multiple IPs) or my current favourite HostNine reseller.
HostNine is faster, easier to install wordpress and offers multiple geographic datacenters for even greater IP diversity – See the benefits here.
After people purchased some of the expired domains I was selling (if interested you can purchase relevant authority domains that meet my metrics here) they had questions regarding how to install WordPress on IXWebHosting – which is not the easiest!
For hosting a large portion of my expired domains which I use as either feeder sites or part of my private blog network I use a couple accounts at IXWebHosting for their multiple C Class IP’s for a very reasonable price. In this article there will be several links to them which are affiliate links. Continue reading
UPDATE – Every strategy originally listed still works but there have been a few changes. To ensure this resource continues to be THE BEST resource on finding expired domains and building private blog networks I have edited it with the latest tips and tricks.
In addition to this post I created the ultimate guide to building your own PBN
DONE FOR YOU SERVICES – Since the creation of this post I have started offering 3 highly requested services. If you are interested please check out the sales pages (often sold out but sign up to be notified when they re-open)
2016 CHANGES – For people who have already read this 8,000 words here is the summary of the changes….
- I no longer recommend IXWebHosting, instead either HostNine or this list of inexpensive hosts I use
- I no longer recommend DomainSpoon, I know strongly recommend PBNLab
- Relevant 301 redirects does not mean the domain should not be purchased
- DomCop.com added as a reasonable free alternative
IMPORTANT – This post took me one month to create something special for you – the readers of authoritywebsiteincome.com. Although I do not consider myself a Guru at all I have over the last 3 years built up a pretty large amount of knowledge on how to use expired domains to boost search engine rankings! After receiving a lot of emails from people incorrectly using expired domains and my last post causing a lot of great question I decided to create this the Ultimate Expired Domain and Private Blog Network Guide!
But I wanted to provide value to you beyond just 8000 words….so I have decided to give away a custom in house tool that I had developed to make the process of finding valuable expired domains much much easier! As well as another very valuable bonus to anyone interested…
Thank you, the reader, for motivating me to create this guide…I really hope you get value from it, my extra’s and I look forward to hearing from you!
jonhaver11 (at) gmail