What is MOZ Spam Score and How to reduce it?
Last Updated on 19th September 2023 by Ajmer Singh
Do you want to know “What is MOZ Spam Score”?
Moz is a website that provides tools and resources for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professionals and businesses.
One of the tools they offer is the Spam Score, which is a metric that measures the likelihood of a website being penalized by search engines for spammy or low-quality content.
In this guide, we will discuss how to reduce your website’s Moz Spam Score and improve your website’s SEO.
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MOZ spam score Overview
Moz spam score is an indicator of the quality and reputation of your site, which can affect how well Google ranks you in search engine results pages.
The spam score of a domain name is based on various parameters that are calculated by Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE) tool.
The spam score is an indication of the likelihood that the page’s domain you’re checking out may be sending out spammy link building tactics, either now or in the past.
The idea behind this algorithm is that a spam score below 40 is a good indication that the site has little to no spammy links pointing to it.
In general, you want your spam score as low as possible!
You should aim to keep your spam score as low as possible (ideally <40) and pay attention to it changing over time.
A spam score that suddenly rises to 50+ could mean that the domain is engaging in manipulative linking practices.
Such as buying links, participating in link schemes or building dodgy blog networks.
In order to reduce your spam score, you should focus on removing any spammy links pointing to your site.
And disavowing any bad links using the ‘disavow backlinks‘ tool found within Google Search Console.
In the past, there were some cases where MOZ tracked a negative spam score (i.e., for some types of “negative SEO”).
Given that such cases could be abused by spammers (because negative scores can sometimes help with link-building efforts), they have decided to change the spam score calculation for negative SEO.
The new spam score works as follows:
– For example, if you have 5 links pointing to your domain with a ‘negative’ value, this will not affect the spam score.
– If you have 10 links pointing to your domain with a ‘positive’ value and 1 link pointing to your domain with a ‘negative’ value,
then the spam score will increase by more than if you had 10 links pointing to your domain with a ‘positive’ value and 0 links pointing to your domain with a ‘negative’ value.
– The spam score is only affected when the total weight of the good links minus the total weight of bad links exceeds 1.
How is Moz Spam Score Calculated?
Moz uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate the Spam Score of a website based on a variety of factors.
While the exact formula is not publicized, some of the key factors considered include:
Backlink Profile Quality: Moz examines the quality and relevancy of the websites linking to your site.
If you have a high number of low-quality or spammy backlinks, it can negatively impact your Spam Score.
Content Quality and Relevance: Moz evaluates the content on your website for originality, coherence, and usefulness.
Websites with thin or duplicate content are more likely to receive a higher Spam Score.
Domain Authority of Linking Sites: If your website receives links from domains with low authority or known spammy websites, it can increase your Spam Score.
User Signals: Moz might also consider user engagement signals, such as high bounce rates or low time spent on site, as potential indicators of spammy practices.
Blocklist Check: Moz checks if your website domain or IP address is listed on any spam or blocklist databases.
Importance of Reducing Moz Spam Score
Improved Search Engine Rankings: A lower Spam Score indicates to search engines that your website follows ethical and best SEO practices, increasing the chances of better rankings in search results.
Higher Credibility: Websites with lower Spam Scores are generally seen as more trustworthy and reliable by users and potential customers.
Preventing Penalties: Websites with high Spam Scores are at risk of search engine penalties, which can result in significant drops in organic traffic and online visibility.
Enhanced User Experience: By addressing spammy elements on your website, you can provide a better user experience, which in turn leads to higher engagement and increased conversions.
Better Brand Reputation: A clean and credible online presence contributes to building a positive brand reputation.
Website’s Current Spam Score
Analyzing your website’s current Moz Spam Score is the first step in understanding its health and potential for improvement.
To do this, you’ll need a Moz Pro account, where you can access the Spam Score tool and gain insights into the spam-related issues on your site.
Log in to Moz Pro: Access your Moz Pro account and navigate to the “Link Explorer” tool.
Enter Your Website URL: Enter your website’s URL in the search bar and click on “Search.”
View Spam Score: In the results, you’ll find the Spam Score for your website on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the score, the better.
A score of 1% is ideal, indicating minimal spam risk.
Interpret the Results: Below the Spam Score, you’ll see a breakdown of the spam flags and potential issues impacting your score.
These flags will help you identify the areas that require improvement.
Explore Specific Spam Flags: Click on the individual spam flags to gain a deeper understanding of each issue.
Moz will provide explanations and recommendations for resolving them.
Prioritize Fixes: Focus on addressing the spam flags with the highest impact first. Work your way down the list to improve your overall Spam Score.
Common Spam Score Factors
Low-Quality Backlinks: One of the most common factors affecting Spam Score is a backlink profile with low-quality or spammy links.
These can come from link farms, irrelevant websites, or directories with no editorial control. Identify and disavow such links to improve your score.
Example: You notice that your website has several backlinks coming from websites that have no relation to your niche or industry.
These links are likely impacting your Spam Score, and disavowing them could lead to improvements.
Duplicate Content: Having duplicate content across multiple pages or using content copied from other sources can trigger spam signals.
Ensure your content is original and valuable to users.
Example: Moz flags multiple pages on your website for having the same content. This indicates that you need to rewrite or consolidate the content to avoid duplication.
Over-Optimized Anchor Texts: Overusing exact-match anchor texts (anchor texts that match a target keyword precisely) in your backlink profile can raise red flags.
Aim for a natural distribution of anchor texts.
Example: Your website has a disproportionately high number of backlinks with the anchor text “best smartphones” pointing to your homepage.
Diversifying the anchor texts will be beneficial.
Unnatural Link Velocity: A sudden spike in the number of backlinks or a significant drop in link activity can appear unnatural and might be flagged as spam.
Example: Your website has gained thousands of backlinks in a short period. While some growth is normal, an unnatural surge might need investigation and rectification.
Thin Content Pages: Pages with very little content, often referred to as “thin content,” may be seen as low-quality and can impact your Spam Score.
Example: You have several product pages with only a few lines of text and little information. Expanding and enriching these pages will be beneficial.
Best Practices to Reduce Moz Spam Score
Reducing your Moz Spam Score requires a comprehensive approach to improving the overall quality and trustworthiness of your website.
Let’s discuss the five best practices that can help you achieve a lower Spam Score:
1. Content Quality and Relevance
High-quality and relevant content is essential for building a credible online presence.
Focus on creating original, valuable, and informative content that meets the needs of your target audience.
Avoid duplicate content and ensure that each page on your website serves a specific purpose.
Content that engages users and encourages them to spend more time on your site can positively impact your Spam Score.
Example: If you run a travel blog, publishing well-researched articles on various destinations, travel tips, and local experiences will enhance your content quality and relevance, leading to a lower Spam Score.
Cleaning up your backlink profile is vital for reducing Moz Spam Score.
Identify and disavow low-quality, spammy, or irrelevant backlinks that may be pointing to your website.
Aim for a diverse and natural link profile that includes authoritative and relevant sources.
Example: Use tools like Moz’s Link Explorer to analyze your backlink profile.
If you find links from suspicious websites or unrelated sources, disavow them through Google’s Disavow Tool or by reaching out to the website owners for removal.
3. Avoiding Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing, the excessive use of target keywords in your content or meta tags, is a black hat SEO tactic that can trigger spam signals.
Instead, focus on creating content that reads naturally and provides value to readers. Use keywords strategically and in moderation.
Example: If you are writing a blog post about “healthy smoothie recipes,” use variations of the keyword throughout the content instead of repeating the exact phrase unnaturally.
4. Identifying and Removing Toxic Links
Toxic links, also known as bad or harmful links, can negatively impact your website’s credibility and Spam Score.
Conduct regular link audits to identify toxic links and take necessary actions to remove or disavow them.
Example: If you have links coming from websites flagged as malware or participating in link schemes, these are considered toxic links that should be removed or disavowed.
5. Quality Link Building
Instead of focusing on the quantity of backlinks, prioritize quality link building.
Seek links from authoritative and relevant websites within your industry.
Guest posting on reputable blogs, earning natural editorial links, and fostering relationships with other website owners can lead to high-quality backlinks.
Example: If you manage an e-commerce website selling fitness equipment, collaborating with fitness bloggers and influencers to review your products and link back to your site can result in quality links.
Moz Tools for Spam Score Reduction
Moz offers several powerful tools that can assist you in reducing your website’s Spam Score effectively.
These tools provide valuable insights and data to identify potential spam-related issues and guide you in implementing the necessary changes.
Let’s explore some of the key Moz tools and how they can be utilized for Spam Score reduction:
Link Explorer (Backlink Analysis)
This tool allows you to analyze your website’s backlink profile thoroughly.
You can view all the backlinks pointing to your site, identify spammy or low-quality links, and assess the overall quality of your link profile.
It helps you understand which links might be contributing to your high Spam Score.
Utilization Example: By using Link Explorer, you discover that your website has several backlinks from irrelevant directories and link farms.
You can disavow these links or reach out to the webmasters for removal to improve your link profile and reduce Spam Score.
Moz Pro Campaigns
Setting up a Moz Pro campaign for your website enables you to monitor various SEO metrics, including Spam Score.
The campaign provides ongoing tracking and analysis of your website’s performance, giving you actionable insights to address issues over time.
Utilization Example: After starting a Moz Pro campaign, you notice that your Spam Score has decreased from 35% to 13% within the first month.
This progress indicates that your SEO efforts are yielding positive results.
This tool helps you optimize individual pages on your website for specific keywords.
By analyzing your content and providing optimization suggestions, it ensures your content is valuable and relevant to users and search engines.
Utilization Example: You use the On-Page Grader to optimize your landing page for a target keyword.
By addressing content quality and keyword usage, you create a more user-friendly page, leading to improved SEO performance and potential Spam Score reduction.
Spam Score Checker
This tool allows you to check the Spam Score of multiple URLs at once.
It can be especially helpful when conducting competitor analysis to understand how your website compares to others in your industry.
Utilization Example: You analyze the Spam Scores of your main competitors using the Spam Score Checker and find that your website’s Spam Score is higher than theirs.
This motivates you to focus on the identified spam factors and reduce your own Spam Score.
Case Study: Reducing Moz Spam Score from X% to 1%
Let’s consider a hypothetical case study of a website that initially had a Moz Spam Score of 37%.
The website owner implemented various strategies to reduce the Spam Score to the desired 1% over a period of six months:
Link Profile Cleanup: The website conducted a thorough backlink audit using Link Explorer and identified numerous low-quality and spammy backlinks.
They disavowed these links through Google’s Disavow Tool and contacted some webmasters to remove the harmful links.
Content Optimization: The website reviewed its content to eliminate any instances of keyword stuffing and improved the overall quality of the articles.
They focused on creating valuable, informative, and relevant content for their audience.
Toxic Link Removal: The website identified and removed links from websites that were flagged as toxic, such as link farms and spam directories.
Quality Link Building: The website focused on building high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within their niche.
They collaborated with industry influencers, participated in relevant guest posting, and earned editorial links through valuable content.
After consistent efforts, the website’s Moz Spam Score gradually decreased from 37% to 24%, then to 12%, and finally reached the desired goal of 1% within the six-month timeframe.
This case study highlights how utilizing Moz tools, coupled with effective SEO strategies, can lead to significant Spam Score reduction and improved website performance.
Wrapping Up – Moz Spam Score
|Aspect||High Moz Spam Score Website||Low Moz Spam Score Website|
|Definition||Likely engaging in spammy practices that can harm search engine rankings and credibility.||Adheres to ethical SEO practices and is considered credible and trustworthy.|
|Spam Score Range||Typically above 1%||Ideally at 1% or as close to it as possible|
|Backlink Profile||Contains low-quality, spammy, and irrelevant links from link farms and directories.||Consists of high-quality, relevant, and authoritative links from reputable sources.|
|Content Quality||May have duplicate, thin, or irrelevant content lacking value for users.||Offers original, valuable, and relevant content that meets users' needs and interests.|
|Keyword Usage||Exhibits keyword stuffing, overusing exact-match anchor texts, and poor keyword distribution.||Employs keywords strategically and naturally in content and anchor texts.|
|Link Velocity||Often experiences sudden spikes or drops in link activity, appearing unnatural.||Demonstrates gradual and organic link growth, appearing more natural.|
|User Signals||Users may have a subpar experience, leading to high bounce rates and low time spent on site.||Users are engaged, leading to lower bounce rates and longer time spent on site.|
|Search Engine Ranking||Likely experiencing lower search engine rankings and visibility due to potential penalties.||Enjoys higher search engine rankings and visibility due to adherence to best practices.|
|Credibility & Trust||May be perceived as less trustworthy and reputable by users and search engines.||Seen as credible and trustworthy, building a positive brand reputation.|
Really, it’s all about the numbers.
Moz Spam Score (MozSS) is a third-party metric that measures how likely your website content might be considered spam on search engine results pages.
It serves as an essential warning system, indicating potential issues that might harm your website’s search engine rankings and overall SEO performance.
It can help you determine if there are elements of your site or marketing strategy which could potentially lead to penalties from Google and other search engines.
With this in mind, I hope you have a better understanding of what Moz Spam score is and how to reduce it.
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