Let us forget about what the internet is saying about how to reduce spam score of website and let’s talk about what I did to lower spam score of my website from 11% to 1%.
There are a lot of things on the web, and one of them is, it is not possible to reduce spam score of a website, some say it will take time for Moz to updates the spam score of your website, some say that Moz spam score of a website is not equivalent to that of Google.
Forget about all the things you have read about how to reduce spam score of website, when you read this article till the end you will find out how I lower the spam score of my daring website.
Let me not jump straight to telling you how to lower spam score without breaking down and letting you know the things that increases spam score.
What is spam score of website?
Spam score is a metric developed by Moz. Spam score is the percentage of spammy websites, spammy links and websites penalized by Google that are linking to your website.
According to Moz, Spam score is the percentage of sites with similar features we’ve found to be penalized or banned by Google that are linking to your website.
Moreover, spam score is just a metric developed by Moz, it is not use in Google Algorithm. The way Google calculate spam score for a website is different from that of Moz.
Because you have a high spam score doesn’t mean your site is spammy. What Moz does is to alert you that the spam score of your website is increasing. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, it is better to have a low spam score that for you to be in the headache of reducing a high spam score.
Before looking at how to reduce spam score of website, let us look at how to check the spam score of your website.
How to check website spam score?
To check a website spam score;
- Visit this link
- Insert your website url
- Check the Robot box and finally click on Submit.
After you have submitted, scroll downwards to check your website analysis.
What is the spam score your website must have?
It is advisable to keep a very low website spam score. A spam score of 0 to 11% is okay. However, according to Moz,
- A score of 1% to 30% is considered a Low Spam Score.
- A score of 31% to 60% is considered a Medium Spam Score.
- A score of 61% to 100% is considered a High Spam Score.
As I have said earlier, your website having a high spam score or a website that is linking to yours having a high spam score doesn’t mean the website is spammy. This signal by Moz is to give you a heads up that you need to lower your spam score by doing thorough investigation on your website.
What is the Importance of Spam Score for SEO
Spam Score is crucial because it provides you with two important pieces of information:
- How spammy your own website’s subdomains can be perceived
- How spammy the subdomains of links pointing to your website can be perceived
In terms of your link profile, it shows that simply having a lot of spammy backlinks can actually do more harm than good.
Spam Score is Good, but it’s Not Everything
While Spam Score is a great metric to measure whether a link is spammy or not, it doesn’t provide a complete picture. It’s worth considering:
- The number of external links from the page that links to yours
- The top-level domain of the website that links to yours
- Other scores like MozTrust, MozRank, etc.
As I have mentioned earlier, none of the metrics from Moz are used in Google’s algorithm (including Spam Score). Moz has tried to intimate what spam signals Google’s secret sauce algorithm may be looking for. For SEO, it serves as an important metric that can help you make better-informed decisions.
Let’s look at the causes of high spam score before talking about how to reduce spam score of website.
What causes high spam score?
When the spam score metric was first created, Moz began using an aggregate of 17 ‘spam flags’ to indicate whether a website was spammy or not. However, over the years, using machine learning and big data sets of penalized/banned domains, they now rely on a total of 27 different factors that causes high spam score, which they now refer to as Spam Score Signals. Let us look at the 27 different spam score signals by Moz;
1. Low MozTrust to MozRank Score
MozTrust and MozRank scores are two of the most important metrics used by Moz to determine how trustworthy a site is. If a website has a lower MozTrust score in comparison to its MozRank score, there is a high chance of it being spammy. Moz uses a scoring scale between 1 and 10, with a higher score indicating a better chance the site is trustworthy. Gaining links from relevant and authoritative websites can offset this problem. This is easier said than done. However, as acquiring such links in a natural and sustainable manner can be difficult and requires a robust strategy.
2. Large Site with few links
Any website that has a lot of pages with very few links throughout indicates that the content of those pages have no real value in them. This tells search engines that these pages are not worth linking to, and thus considered spam.
3. Low link diversity
This indicates that the majority of inbound links are from a handful of domains. For example, if a site has 500 inbound links but only 5 linking domains, then it is generally considered to have low link diversity. In other words, if those 500 links came only from 5 sites, then this flag would be applicable.
4. Ratio of dofollow and nofollow links
If a link is dofollow, it means you are telling search engine to crawl that link while a nofollow link is telling search engine to ignore the link. Although, it may not appear that important, you should pay attention to the ratio between dofollow and nofollow links. If the number of inbound dofollow links of a site are much higher than nofollow links, it indicates the site may not be earning those links naturally.
5. Minimal branded anchor texts in inbound links
Today, simply making specific keywords as anchor texts is not going to do too much for your page ranking. We recommend a balanced ratio of different types of anchor texts to ensure your links are optimized well. Sites that are organically linked tend to have lots of links with branded anchor texts.
6. Thin content
After the release of Google’s BERT algorithm, websites need to step up their game in providing top-quality content. The search engine is making sure it helps users get the best results for their queries. Moreover, with so much content out there these days, visitors are also looking for something in-depth and reliable.
7. Small site markup
8. Low number of internal links
Websites that have a lot of valuable pages and content will be more likely to have internal links. In addition, internal links help users stay longer on a website, indicating a meaningful experience for a user. Sites that have a low number of internal links may be marked as spam.
9. External links in navigation
Often times, sites that are built for a user do not have external links on their navigation menus. If there are a lot of external links in those areas, it can often be mistaken that they are those places indicating pure advertising.
10. No contact info
Reputable sites always have contact information, no matter what type of site it is. This can be included in a header or menu, and visitors should always feel like they can correspond with the administrator.
11. Low number of pages
In general, sites with too few pages are considered spam. You don’t have to create hundreds of pages, but ensuring that each page is filled with meaningful, valuable content is important.
12. Length of domain name
There was a time when people used to put their whole keyword inside the domain. While it is certainly okay to do this, it is not recommended if the keywords are long tail, and it causes the domain name to be too long. People want domain names that are short, simple, and straightforward, otherwise, it can be considered spammy. The maximum limit of characters for domains to be considered spammy is 63 characters, you definitely should not choose a name that comes close to this number. According to a study by Gaebler back in 2009, it was reported that of the most popular 1 million websites ranked by Alexa, the average domain name length was about 10 characters, with the top 50 websites possessing 6 characters. These stats can give you an idea of what range to stay within.
13. Domain names with numbers
While it may feel unique and somewhat cool, a domain name that includes numbers (for example; 123makers.com, makera123us.com, etc.) is not something that search engines like Google look highly on. It is better to avoid the risk of being considered spammy and keep your domain name limited to the English alphabet.
14. Domain names with hyphens
Examples of domains with hyphens are; makers-olx.com, exam-ox.com. Not only is it more difficult for visitors to pronounce or type out your URL, but spammy sites tend to be more likely to use multiple hyphens.
15. Top-level domain (TLD) correlated with spam domains
Any top-level domains that have a reputation for creating spam sites can send a red flag and may indicate a potentially spammy site.
16. No Google Font API
Domains that do not use special fonts such as the Google Font API, are perceived to be similar to other spam sites.
17. Lacking Google Tag Manager
Oftentimes, spam sites tend not to have Google Tag Manager on them. This is important when setting up a website, as it is a free tool offered by Google that helps you manage marketing tags. It helps to future-proof your site and improves security and flexibility.
18. Lacking Doubleclick
Similar to the above, sites without the Doubleclick ad tag tend to be considered spam sites. This is Google’s way of managing online advertising, as it helps you control time and location where ads appear.
19. Lack of LinkedIn link
Sites that have an associated LinkedIn link were far from being tied to spam. Therefore, on the flip side, sites lacking a LinkedIn page have a higher likeliness to be correlated with spam.
20. SSL Certified
If a site is HTTPS, it means that it has been SSL certified. This certification refers to data files that act as a padlock on the web, allowing secure connections from the server to a browser. It is used to keep sensitive information encrypted, indicating a safe, secure website.
21. Too many meta keywords
Web pages that possess too many meta keyword tags tend to be tied closer to spam than those that do not, so a site that possesses a lot of them could be marked as spammy.
22. Meta keywords that are too long or too short
If a site does choose to have meta keywords, those that are either too long or too short tend to be correlated with spam.
23. Long meta descriptions
While adding meta descriptions is encouraged for better SEO, Google generally cuts them off at 155-160 characters. Spammy sites often take this overboard, by writing out long meta descriptions. We recommend keeping them limited to 50-160.
24. Non-local rel=canonical tags
A rel=canonical tag helps search engines know that the specified URL is the master version of the page. Sites that use a non-local rel=canonical tag pointing to an external URL are often associated with being spammy.
25. Facebook Pixel
According to Moz’s research, sites that have Facebook Pixel – a code added to your website to measure user behavior and actions – are almost never considered spammy. Those that don’t have more likeliness to be marked as spam.
26. Webspam topic words
Sites that are considered spam tend to be sprinkled with words that are closely associated with webspam topics like adult content, casino sites, gaming, etc. It is best to avoid the use of these specific words.
27. Lack of browser icon
High-quality websites that are well-optimized tends to have favicons (favicons are small website icon at the top of your browser tab). Spam sites rarely use favicons, please take note.
Let us delve into the main matter which is how to reduce spam score of website.
How to reduce spam score of website?
The spam score of your website is high. Now, let’s discuss how to reduce spam sore of website. Before you can reduce the spam score of your website, you need to analyze your website using keyword research tools like Moz, Ahrefs etc. These tools will give you the breakdown of the type of links pointing to your domain.
1. Spammy subdomain
With Spam Score, you can determine whether your subdomain is spammy or not, and if it is, you should immediately take action to identify and rectify any spam signals. Having a spammy subdomain may deter your site from being optimally ranked on search engines.
2. Quality backlinks
You need to determine whether the backlinks pointing to your website are of high quality or not. Amateurs in SEO immediately presume that having more backlinks is better, but as the old adage goes ‘quality beats quantity.’ You want to ensure that sites linking to yours are authority pages that search engines deem as trustworthy.
3. Using a Disavow Tool
Sometimes, you may have no control over whether a spammy site backlinks to you. In some circumstances, this can negatively impact your rankings. For those who do not have control over spammy links, you can use Google’s Disavow Tool.
The disavow tool tells Google to disregard certain links as specified by you, which can help prevent your site from being penalized by Google.
While this is a very useful tool to improve your rankings, we do not recommend using it whenever and however you wish. Google itself suggests to only use the tool when your site has a lot of low quality backlinks and you are very certain that they are causing problems. Before you decide to use Google’s Disavow Tool, first try to remove the link yourself by sending an email to the source. This action should be done with care, as it can be seen as malicious and does not come with a good reputation, but there are always ways to go about it politely.
Now that you have known how to reduce spam score of website, let’s look at how to identify spammy sites.
Also Read: How to fix AdSense Ad limit
How to identify a spammy site?
Even if a Spam Score is great, it is not everything. There are a ton of other indicators to denote that a website is spammy. To ensure the utmost safety of your website, it is always better to go deeper into your research, and look at the following:
1. Thin Content
While it may be difficult to determine the exact quality of content, and there are no specific tools that indicate this, it is best practice to create content that has depth.
In general, high quality contents are contents with at least 1500 words and they do contain a lot of images, while also being written in a concise, easily-readable way. Using a lot of visual elements like images, infographics, videos, etc. can help beef up your content, making it more valuable. However, there are some websites that have high quality contents of at least 600 words.
Google values high quality content and detests any content that does not contain any depth. Not only do they not create any value for users, it prevents engagement. Considering Google tries to provide searchers with the best results, it makes sense that it prioritizes pages with in-depth content.
2. Excessive External Links
One way that many websites look to get backlinks is by listing themselves on directories. While there are a handful of trustworthy directories out there, many of them are flooded with an abundance of external links that search engines likely deem as not valuable. This is not a good sign.
Websites like Wikipedia, however, are excluded from pages that consist of a lot of external links but signal danger, as every single link on Wikipedia has its own unique purpose. As a fully informational site with millions of well curated pages, external links on Wikipedia provide real value to readers.
Generally speaking, besides informational sites and publications that hold some weight to them, it’s recommended to stay away from overloaded sites with more than 100 external links per page.
3. Pages Loaded with Exact-Match Keywords
There was a time when people over-optimized their pages with exact-match keyword and received results immediately. However, those days are long gone. These days, Google’s algorithms will carefully examine whether the content is relevant to the keywords used, and determines if it is beneficial to the reader.
4. Avoid Certain TLDs
While we did mention that subdomains are where Spam Scores are taken into consideration, looking at top-level domains can help to see whether your website may be seen as potential spam.
Any website that is based in the USA that has a foreign TLD runs the risk of being suspicious to search engines. With so many options for domain names these days, it might seem interesting to choose a TLD that is unique and different from the typical .com, .org, or .net. However, we recommend keeping it to the standard, because that is what works.
The following TLD’s are risky to use:
Conclusion on how to reduce spam score of website
In this article, I have explain how to reduce spam score of website. For you to reduce the spam score of website, you need to analyze your domain using tools like Moz, Ahrefs in order to get the links that are linking to your domain. check out the spam scores of each link. Links with high spam score should be noted and assessed. After determining the links that are spammy, send a mail to the owner of the website telling them to remove your website url that is associated with the link, if that doesn’t work, make use of the Google disavow tool with caution. Once you have made use of Google disavow tool, ensure you do the following:
- Create high quality contents
- Internal linking should be ensured
- Build high quality backlinks
- Then wait for your spam score to reduce
According to Moz, spam score of a website is updated quarterly. So, any changes you make on your site, it will take some days for it to be effective. if you follow this steps, the spam score of your website will reduce. Spam Score is a simple and straightforward concept, but one that a lot of professionals may look past it in their SEO strategy. This is unfortunate, as even the slightest mishap can cause problems in your overall ranking. With the knowledge from this article, I hope you have known how to reduce spam score of website in order to improve your overall SEO strategy.
If you require advice on how to reduce spam score of website, please feel free to contact me via this email, I will reply ASAP.
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