Link spam has run rampant in recent years.
When we’re trying to get the news out about our latest product or service or even just our more recent blog post, it’s tempting to post it anywhere and everywhere relevant that we possibly can. And some people succumb to that temptation, trying to get results fast.
In other cases, people are trying to aggressively use link spam in order to build backlinks. Even though Google identified this problem and adjusted the algorithm accordingly several years ago, that isn’t stopping some people.
So the link spam keeps coming, showing up on our website pages, blog comments, discussion forums, and anywhere else that allows the public to submit messages for publication. There are tools you can use to block it from showing up, but sometimes there are repeat offenders and you need to do something about it.
When you choose to, there are methods that you can use in order to report link spam, and in this post, we’ll show you how.
Why Bother Reporting Link Spam?
This is a question that I see popping up a lot. Most websites, platforms, and discussion boards have options available to block certain users. You can manually block other posters who frustrate you, and utilize tools like Akismet to filter out the comments from appearing in your notification on your site.
So why bother reporting link spam if you can just block the individual users?
Unfortunately, blocking alone isn’t always enough. Sometimes you’ll see multiple users or bots showing up, continually posting the same content even after you’ve blocked one. In other cases, you may be concerned about the safety of the links in questioned, or just tired and annoyed of seeing the same thing.
Other instances can be more sinister, and involve your own site. You may see spammed links to your own site or somehow in association with you, putting your SEO and reputation at risk. You could, for example, write an affiliate post that the merchant than spams everywhere, making you look bad. Someone may also send out phishing scams connected to your business. In these cases, it’s time to start reporting immediately.
Blocking, after all, only removes them link spam from your site, your view. It does nothing else for everyone else on the internet.
How to Report Link Spam
Reporting link spam will typically require you to find the most effective channel to put a stop to it. In some cases, that will be Google. In others, it may mean contacting the web host or email provider of the offending spammer.
Most social media sites have easy “report users” or “report post” buttons that are easy to use. Other platforms can be a little harder.
How to Report Link Spam to Google
Good news: it’s easy to report link spam to Google. Get started here and then choose the type of spam that you’re reporting.
You’ll be asked to enter the domain names for any participating websites along with any additional relevant details. Once you do this, hit “submit” and you’re good to go.
How to Report Link Spam to Web Hosts
If you know that a certain site is creating link spam that’s harmful, you can take it straight to the web hosts themselves.
First, you’ll need to identify the web host that you need to get in touch with. You can do this by entering the offending site’s domain name in tools like Hosting Checker,, which will give you the information almost instantly and for free.
Once you do this, head over to web host’s site and look for information about reporting content. Different domains have different processes, though they typically involve the requirement of submitting proof and some forms, and most them typically take around three days on average to hear back from and it may take longer than that to see action.
Here’s where to go for some of the most popular web hosts:
It can be frustrating trying to get link spam stopped by going through web hosts, which may end up being unresponsive. Continue to follow up, and it also helps to report through Google at the same time.
How to Report Link Spam to Email Providers
When you’re receiving link spam in email form, sometimes reporting to the domain to their web host works, but going straight to the email provider can at least shut down that form of communication quickly.
All major email management and distribution software has processes in place to handle violators of their terms of service and help users (who do not have to be customers) report abuse.
The following links will get you started for some of the bigger email softwares:
- Constant Contact (the info here as at the very bottom of the doc)
- Get Response
If you get the occasional link spam and it’s filtered out with tools and plugins, you don’t need to go through the process of reporting if you don’t want to. Google already punishes sites that utilize link spamming and users can typically spot it a mile away, so they’re already not getting the results they want.
As long as your business hasn’t somehow been involved in the link spam, it’s your choice to make.
If you do decide to report link spam, however, go to the top as soon as possible. The highest level of the most relevant channel in question is the way to go. Follow up if necessary, and if it’s something urgent, get on the phone and call in addition to sending the forms; sometimes, depending on the company and the channel, a phone call can get you through to the right people a little faster even with a long hold time.
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