Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Be The Sucker That Buys The Spammy Domain

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam in response to a question asked about buying a domain that had spam on it and still rank it, and he advised against it. While it is very possible to do, for certain reasons, you would rather considering starting a fresh and build from there. You can expect two types of penalties one to get from acquiring such a site, one on the manual side or on the algorithm side. If it is a manual penalty you can fix it and submit a reconsideration request, if its an algorithm penalty you will have to be patient and wait for the algorithm to pick up the changes. Do not forget, depending on how aggressive the spam was the harder it will be to recover from it.


The process that it takes for this reconsideration to be done is a gruesome and quite frankly one that need not be so. If it were up to Matt he would pass the domain by and rather start a clean slate. You need to be careful with spammed sites, like Matt says some have been run down to the point of no return and sell them on forums to try get something out of it. You don’t need that!


Google’s Disavow Tool

The new tool was announced by head of Google’s web spam Matt Cutts during his keynote speech at the Pubcon conference in Las Vegas. It has been tested for a number of weeks by selected SEOs and is now live and ready to use.

The introduction of the disavow links tool aims to help webmasters that believe their Google search ranking to have been affected by low quality links from spam sites. Google are quick to suggest that the tool should only be used after alternative methods have been tried, “If you know of bad link-building done on your behalf (e.g., paid posts or paid links that pass PageRank), we recommend that you contact the sites that link to you and try to get links taken off the public web first,” says the updated Google help section. “You’re also helping to protect your site’s image, since people will no longer find spammy links and jump to conclusions about your website or business.”

If your efforts of trying to have a link taken down are unsuccessful you can then go ahead and use the disavow links tool. But be warned, if you disavow a good link in error, it could be a long wait for that link to be reinstated – if ever.

Webmasters will be able to disavow individual URLs, or entire domains in a text file uploaded to Google’s Webmaster Tools. Cutts said that the tool uses the “nofollow” attribute, which allows sites to link to other sites without passing ranking credit to those sites.

If you want to learn more about the tool, there is a video of Matt Cutts talking about Disavow Links here.