One SEO professional asked John Mueller about spammy backlinks during a hangout.
Their question was: what can they do if they have thousands of spammy links that were continuously placed as bad backlinks on malicious domains?
They contain spammy keywords and cause 404s on their domain. They saw a strong correlation between these spammy links and a penalty they got after a spam update in 2021.
They disavowed all the spammy links, and they reported the domain, which is listed as a source of links spam.
What else can they do?
John answered that he agrees that this can be very frustrating. There are two things he thinks that are important to mention, in this particular case.
On one hand, if these links are pointing to pages on your website that are returning 404s: So they’re essentially linking to pages that don’t exist, therefore Google won’t take those links into account.
Because there’s nothing to associate them with on your website.
Essentially, people are linking to a missing location. So when Google comes across them, they ask “how can we deal with this link?” If Google can’t connect it to anything, then they’ll drop it.
So this is the first part that–a lot of those links are probably already dropped.
The second part is, they mentioned they disavowed those spammy backlinks. Especially if you mentioned that these are from a handful of domains, then you can do that with a domain entry in the disavow backlinks tool.
That essentially takes them out of their system also.
Google will still list them in Search Console. And you may still find them there and be a bit confused about that.
But they don’t have any effect at all.
If they’re being disavowed, then it tells Google that links should not be taken into account – neither in a positive or negative way.
This happens at approximately the 20:54 mark in the video.