What Are Spammy Websites & Backlinks and How Can They Hurt My Website?

The internet is full of spammy backlinks, and they can have a detrimental effect on your website and your search engine rankings. As an SEO agency specialising in technical on-page and off-page SEO, our team at ACERO knows all too well the damage that spammy backlinks can have on your website.

In this article, we’ll explain what spammy backlinks are, how to identify them, and what to do if you find them.

What are Spammy Websites/Backlinks?

Spammy backlinks are any links that have been created with the sole purpose of manipulating a website’s search engine ranking. These links are known to be unreliable, untrustworthy, and often originate from websites with low domain authority ratings or from low-quality websites that are not relevant to your own website and its niche.

They often may be paid for by someone who wants to increase their own visibility in the search results (a quick SEO hack not worth taking). Such links are typically created for the sole purpose of increasing a website’s rankings in search engines such as Google. Spammy backlinks can come from link farms, link networks, or even from websites that have been hacked and are now linking to malicious content.

Why are Spammy Backlinks Bad?

Spammy backlinks are websites which can negatively affect your website’s credibility and search engine rankings. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo use algorithms and crawlers to understand website structure and the quality of its content. They also scan the web to see what other websites are pointing back to your website with a backlink and assess the relevance of such websites in relation to your brand or niche. If a website has a lot of low-quality backlinks, it can be seen as an attempt to manipulate the search engine rankings.

Having spammy backlinks pointing to your website can have an adverse effect on your search engine rankings, as Google and other major search engines can penalise websites for having links from unreliable sources if their algorithms pick this up. Having too many of these kinds of backlinks pointing to your website can lead to being blacklisted, which could make your SEO goals much harder in the long run as you would need to recover your website from the penalty first.

Besides damaging your search engine rankings, spammy backlinks can also hurt the reputation of your website, as search engines can view them as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms. This could lead to Google displaying a warning next to your website when someone searches for it, which is certainly something you want to avoid.

How to Identify Spammy Backlinks

There are a number of ways to identify spammy backlinks, but the most reliable method is to use a tool such as Ahrefs, SEMRush or Majestic. These tools will allow you to get a closer look at your website and acquire detailed information about the backlinks that are pointing to it so you may identify suspicious activities. 

At ACERO, we understand that it can be difficult to identify spammy backlinks if you are not SEO expert. Here are some tips and tell-tale signs that you can look out for.

First, you should look at the websites that are linking to your website. Are they reputable websites, or are they low-quality websites? If you’re unsure, you can view the link in Majestic or Ahrefs and check the website’s domain authority and trust flow. A website with a low domain authority and trust flow is likely to be a low-quality website. Secondly, by using such a tool you will be able to see how much traffic is coming to this website that has provide you with a backlink. 

Spammy links generally have very little or 0 traffic so this is another sign to watch for.  Thirdly, if you click the link itself and it leads you to a random half built website with suspicious content, this is also a key indication that the website is spammy.

You should also look at the anchor text of the backlinks. Is it relevant to your website, or is it generic or unrelated? If the anchor text is unrelated or generic, it could be a sign of a spammy backlink. Anchor texts are a way for websites to let search engines know what the link is about. If the anchor text does not accurately reflect what the page or article is about, then this could be flagged as spam by a search engine crawler.

Finally, you should look at the content of the website that is linking to you. Is it relevant to your website? If it’s not, then it’s likely to be a spammy backlink which could harm your SEO efforts.

How do I Locate Spammy Website Links on my Website? – A Step by Step Guide

  1. Visit webmaster tools also known as Google Search Console and search for links coming to your website by scrolling down and clicking on Links and the “Top Linking Sites”.
  1. Check the backlinks reported in webmaster tools – manually check each one by going to the page and looking at the content and anchor text of that link.
  2. If you find any links that are suspicious, mark them as “spam” in webmaster tools so that Google can review the link and take action if it deems necessary.
  1. Use backlink analysis tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic and SEMRush to identify any links from low-quality websites.
  1. Once you have identified any potentially spammy links, you can contact the website owners and ask them to remove the links or simply Disavow all of the suspicious links yourself using the disavow function in Google webmaster tools.

How can ACERO help remove Spammy Links from my Website?

At ACERO, we understand how difficult it can be to identify and remove spammy backlinks from your website. That’s why we offer a range of services to help you do this quickly and efficiently.

Our team of experienced SEO professionals can analyse your website for any suspicious backlinks and take action if necessary, such as contacting the websites that are linking to your website, asking them to remove the link or disavow it in Google Search Console. Here are more details about our Link Audit and Removal service, which helps you identify, monitor, and remove spammy backlinks from your website.

Our Link Audit and Removal service includes:

  • A detailed analysis of your website’s backlink profile
  • A report of any spammy backlinks found
  • A plan of action to remove the spammy backlinks
  • Assistance with disavowing any spammy backlinks
  • Ongoing monitoring of your website’s backlink profile

Our Link Audit and Removal service will help to ensure that your website is free from spammy backlinks, which will help to improve your overall SEO strategy. 


Spammy backlinks can have a severe effect on your website and your search engine rankings. Therefore, it is important to always monitor your website using some industry standard tools outlined in this article to stay on top of potentially suspicious or spammy backlinks. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to easily identify and remove any spammy links from your website.

At ACERO, we understand the importance of identifying and removing spammy backlinks from your website. Our Link Audit and Removal service is fully aimed at improving your websites performance and overall health and will ensure that your site is free from spammy backlinks. By working with professional such as our technical SEO specialists we are confident that your website’s credibility will improve alongside its search engine rankings.

We also provide a powerful link building strategy that can help your website scale faster. This strategy involves identifying high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche or industry and creating valuable content that will attract natural links. We can also help you reach out to other website owners and influencers in your industry to request that they link to your content.

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