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Are junk /spam referrals hurting my SERP?

Posted on 2016-08-02
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Last Modified: 2016-08-03
Finding our website numbers just not what we think they should be for the effort we put into the site.
Curious about the possibility that unsolicited/spam referrals could be leading Google to knock down our ranking.
No manual penalties have been placed by Google of which we are aware.

Samples of such suspected referrals: site-auditor.online, monetizationking.net, ranking2017.ga, affportal.com, and asacopaco.tk.
These account for 15%, 9%, 2%, 1% and 1% respectively of our last 30 days of traffic.  

We understand how to block/filter them from our results and realize the are not actual hits.   Our real concern is if they are causing our SERP harm.

Thanks in advance,
Gale W.
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Question by:cqc1fenton
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Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 41739836
They can be hurting you, yes. Google does penalize link farms and the sites those sites link to as part of the Panda filter.

If you can, contact those site owners and ask them to remove links.  If not, you need to use Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) to disavow those links
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Author Comment

by:cqc1fenton
ID: 41739904
Thanks for the reply.  And this may be were our knowledge falls short.  Are they actually a link to us if they are showing up as a referral source?  Referral=Link?  And secondly, Google's Disavow tool instructions would make us think it's use to not be used with the few number of referrers(?) we are experiencing.  Or is it best to clean them out as you find them to prevent any negatives opportunities?
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Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 41739933
Referral=Link?

Yes.

Google's Disavow tool instructions would make us think it's use to not be used with the few number of referrers(?) we are experiencing.

Yeah, it's a balance issue.  Your original question wasn't too clear on how bad this problem is.  If the suspect inbounds are limited to three domains then this probably isn't a Panda issue or it's Panda/Penguin via some other flaw in your site.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cqc1fenton
ID: 41740670
Thanks Jason,  Think we'll experiment with the Disavow tool on the largest volume link.  Don't see how it can hurt to clean that up, and probably useful experience for the future.
Gale W.
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