Suddenly, I am DA 50 wtf

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So I started my blog in May and got a couple of backlinks from haro and stuff. I noticed that i was getting spammy links to some of my pages according to GSC.

I’m talking close to a hundred spammy links. I was wondering whether I should disavow the domains or not but I have read conflicting info everywhere. Some people think that google just ignores those links.

Today, I randomly checked my site on Ahrefs and it shows a DA of 50. However, it doesn’t show any of these problematic links.

I don’t give a rats furry rear about the DA, just don’t want to be penalized because of negative seo or something.

What do you think I should do?

TIA
 

EyesExist

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What are your google rankings looking like?

If it ain't broke, dont fix it.
 
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What are your google rankings looking like?

If it ain't broke, dont fix it.
I have not seen any drop in rankings as a result of the links which is why I have not disavowed it yet.

My question is - is it not better to prevent any dramas later by disavowing it now rather than worry about it?

The pages to which the links are directed were ranking #1 for their keywords even before these links. So logically, even if I disavow those links, the rankings shouldn't be affected, no?

Thanks!
 

Ryuzaki

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I’m talking close to a hundred spammy links. I was wondering whether I should disavow the domains or not but I have read conflicting info everywhere. Some people think that google just ignores those links.
I was spending a chunk of time once a month disavowing all this trash. The better you rank, the more trash you get. So I had to start doing it twice a month. Finally I said "I can't do this any more" and trusted Google that they have it under control. I've had no problems with that and I think it's been about a year now.

I truly believe Google is past handing out penalties for anything but the most "atrocious" stuff like PBN's. There's some things they have to be punitive about because it's "malicious" on an intelligent level. But random crap like low-level Fiverr spam links, they'll just ignore and let people waste their time.

The one place I can tell you that "penalties" (algorithmic de-ranking) occurs is with Technical SEO, like page speed and indexation bloat, mainly. Panda is still out there kicking asses and taking names.

Today, I randomly checked my site on Ahrefs and it shows a DA of 50. However, it doesn’t show any of these problematic links.
Small correction. DA (Domain Authority) is Moz. DR (Domain Rating) is Ahrefs. I'm only typing that for the readers trying to learn. I'm sure you know that and mistyped it. I do it all the time.

If you scooped up some powerful HARO links, it's not outrageous that you'd have a DR of 50. I mean, it is outrageous to a degree. It might be that at the time Ahrefs crawled the links, the posts were on the homepages of these sites and thus your site was only 2 clicks away from their homepage. You might check again next month and drop back down once they recrawl and recalculate.

To give you a frame of reference, I have a 5 or 6 year old site I spent nearly a full year manually building links to. I paid for guest post outreach. I've hit #1 on Reddit multiple times and gotten some of the best links out there. I've got links on international corporate brand websites, and so forth. That site is now just above DR50.

So yeah, I'd say it's a fluke and may have to do with when they crawled the links. I'd expect it to drop and I definitely wouldn't expect it to be a reflection of how strong your site now is and how well it can rank for competitive terms.
 
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Thank you @Ryuzaki

So the idea is that unless it is intelligently executed, Google is very good at ignoring it. These are not intelligently executed like a pbn or something. These are trash links on Chinese sites that barely load and sometimes do not even load.

You are absolutely right that my site has nowhere close to that authority. I think it must be a DA 4-5 for all I know.
 

Cash Builder

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I wouldn’t worry too much about the spammy links. If you check every site in the top 10 for a bunch of keywords, it’s guaranteed they will all have some level of spam pointing to them.

The more traffic you get, the more spam you get. Life’s too short to disavow every spammy link, just focus on getting good links as they are the ones that matter.

The DR 50 is a bit strange though, do you have a lot of high DR do follow links? As @Ryuzaki says, a few high authority HARO links could push your DR up, but I was under the impression it was a volume metric as well as quality. Meaning, 3 DR 90 links won’t do much but 50 DR 90 links would.
 
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I know. It is strange af that the DR shot upto 50. It makes it look like I built links to manipulate the DR. My hope is that Google is smarter than Ahrefs and knows how to disregard it.

I have a few high DR backlinks but nothing that would get me to 50. Very very strange.

My competitors on the other hand will be scratching their heads lol.
 

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So I had to start doing it twice a month. Finally I said "I can't do this any more" and trusted Google that they have it under control. I've had no problems with that and I think it's been about a year now.
Not all spam is created the same. There is a big difference between the low quality sites that get caught up in those GSA lists and low quality links built with a more custom solution. In the last 12 months, I've dealt with 2 instances of negative SEO where automated tools were being used to slowly tip sites anchor text ratios into a negative space.

The keyword there being slowly, perhaps 4-8 targeted links per day hitting the same 15 inner pages of a national UK site with mostly partials and exacts. It confused me at first and I didn't act, I just tracked things. Then rankings fell off a cliff.

When the bulk of these links were disavowed things started to recover again. The links were built on a range of different forum engines, some not covered by GSA and at a very low velocity.

I know some folks here, I'm thinking of @shaunm, believe anchor texts have little importance in recent years. That's not my experience.

I would suggest to the OP that if your site is less than a DR30, you would ignore these shitty links at your peril. The more authoritative you get, the less of a worry it should be.
 

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I know some folks here, I'm thinking of @shaunm, believe anchor texts have little importance in recent years.
WTF. I really hope people don’t believe this nonsense. I can’t even believe I have to step in and state this is completely wrong.

Anybody that has ever bought links from any link seller in recent days, weeks, months can tell you this is inaccurate, yet some noob is going to believe this and never get traction on their SEO project cause “A blogger said so.”

Wild. Mates. Wild.

This is like the white hat bloggers saying you don’t need backlinks to rank. WTF.

I wonder if people realize ANYONE can blog or upload videos, doesn’t mean what they say on it is accurate, true, or backed by data.

“Never believe anyone, only believe data which you caused to occur.”
 

Ryuzaki

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Not all spam is created the same.
Yeah, I was specifically talking about the automated stuff:
  • Alexa Rank Listers
  • Image Scrapers
  • Keyword Research Sites
  • Wikipedia Copies
  • Coupon Sites
  • Etc.
There's certain stuff that, if I see, I'll still take action on. Like people's crappy web 2.0 PBNs. Anything that fits the pattern of "purposeful intelligent maliciousness" should be disavowed, like I mentioned above. I don't think the things in the bullet list fit the "intelligent" part and are easily footprintable and ignorable.
 
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But random crap like low-level Fiverr spam links, they'll just ignore and let people waste their time.
Totally agree with this, if this resulted in a penalty for the target website then black hat guys would just buy a bunch of $100 servers and build millions of links to their competition each day and destroy them.
 
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I'm lucky enough to have never have had a penalty, but I believe Google will always let you know when they apply a penalty to you.

When it comes to the spam links, they're likely well in the know about which links to trust and which to automatically disavow.

If I were you, I'd have a little celebration and see if the rankings change. Have you had a similar increase on the Moz DA?
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm lucky enough to have never have had a penalty, but I believe Google will always let you know when they apply a penalty to you.
They don't always let you know. They're moving as many penalties as they can from being manual and requiring human intervention to being algorithmic where nobody lets you know about it and you have to figure it out yourself.

With link penalties they usually let you know because they can ignore most spam and the rest is malicious on our ends, like PBNs, etc. But with technical SEO problems, Panda will hurt you and you'll never be told about it. I know because one of my sites came under this problem due to an indexing issue (nearly 1000 blank pages indexed). I had to discover the issue and solve it, and about 6 months later once they recalculated everything, I popped out and recovered and grew very well. But before that I was stuck at a lower plateau. Took a while to realize something was amiss. They def don't tell you all the time.
 
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They don't always let you know. They're moving as many penalties as they can from being manual and requiring human intervention to being algorithmic where nobody lets you know about it and you have to figure it out yourself.

With link penalties they usually let you know because they can ignore most spam and the rest is malicious on our ends, like PBNs, etc. But with technical SEO problems, Panda will hurt you and you'll never be told about it. I know because one of my sites came under this problem due to an indexing issue (nearly 1000 blank pages indexed). I had to discover the issue and solve it, and about 6 months later once they recalculated everything, I popped out and recovered and grew very well. But before that I was stuck at a lower plateau. Took a while to realize something was amiss. They def don't tell you all the time.
Wow - that's eye opening, and pretty scary.

Thanks for sharing. Glad you found the issue!

Have a friend who's been hit recently and has no idea where to even begin.
 

CCarter

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Holly Starks shows how she manipulates DR and UR:


If you have to ask who Holly is... Shame.
 
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Its gone back to 50 after going back to the original number. No clue whats happening especially since i disavowed those links. I guess I’m gonna leave it for now.
 

Ryuzaki

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Its gone back to 50 after going back to the original number. No clue whats happening especially since i disavowed those links. I guess I’m gonna leave it for now.
Can you disavow with Moz themselves? Otherwise, they have no clue what you've disavowed with Google. I know you can do this with Ahrefs but not sure about Moz. Moz only knows about what they've crawled on the web, you know.
 
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Can you disavow with Moz themselves? Otherwise, they have no clue what you've disavowed with Google. I know you can do this with Ahrefs but not sure about Moz. Moz only knows about what they've crawled on the web, you know.
I could try wiping it but I’d rather not at this point. Interestingly, its only the DR getting inflated, not the DA. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.
 
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Btw, one thing I've noticed with having a higher DR is when I hit the DR 50 threshold my conversion rate for link building improves noticeably.

The reason, I believe, is some people will check a website in ahrefs to see whether it is a legit site before they link to it. A good DR is a quick indicator that this site is not a newbie site - which means people will more likely link to it. This particularly applies when you are reaching out to more authoritative websites.

Might be worth doing some outreach to capitalise on this boost in DR - particularly if you think it might be a temporary thing.
 
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Btw, one thing I've noticed with having a higher DR is when I hit the DR 50 threshold my conversion rate for link building improves noticeably.

The reason, I believe, is some people will check a website in ahrefs to see whether it is a legit site before they link to it. A good DR is a quick indicator that this site is not a newbie site - which means people will more likely link to it. This particularly applies when you are reaching out to more authoritative websites.

Might be worth doing some outreach to capitalise on this boost in DR - particularly if you think it might be a temporary thing.
Wow, had not thought of this. Thank you so much. Off I go to execute this. I don't have any experience with outreach in that way but let me give it a go. Let's see what happens.