Want to reduce your website spam score but need help figuring out where to get started?
This blog is for you.

Below, we have discussed what the spam score is, how to calculate it, and whether it impacts your search ranking. More importantly, we have listed 27 spam signals Moz considers when analyzing domains for spam links, along with some practical tips on how to reduce your spam score.

By the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to reduce your spam score.

So, read in full.

What Is Website Spam Score?

Spam score is a metric created by Moz. It represents the percentage of websites linking to your domain with the same or similar characteristics to those penalized or banned by Google.

A high spam score doesn’t necessarily mean your website is spam; it tells you the percentage of links to your site that could potentially be spam. Moz gives you a score between 1-100% based on the percentage of spam links linked to your domain. Here’s what a low, medium, and high spam score looks like:

  • 1%-30% is a Low Spam Score: Your backlink profile is clean.
  • 31%-60% is a Medium Spam Score: Your backlink profile needs attention.
  • 61-100% is a High Spam Score: you must deal with the situation immediately.

But how do you calculate this spam score?

Let’s find out!

How do you Check the Spam Score of your Domain?

It’s easy. Signup on Moz, and under the Free SEO Tools menu option, select Link Explorer:

Moz free seo tools

Once you open the Link Explorer, click the “Spam Score” button in the left sidebar:

Moz link exlporer tool

Now, enter the domain of your liking. We’re using https://www.walmart.com/ for this example. Hit analyze, and you’ll have the Score ready:

wallmart website analysis moz

If you scroll down a little, you’ll see a list of inbound links and their Spam Score and DA:

Wallmart website spam score analysis moz

Now, Walmart has a pretty clean backlinks profile. However, their backlink profile has tons of shady inbound links, which they can be disavow using the Google disavowing tool.

What is the Impact of Spam Score on SEO?

Although Moz’s spam score is an important indicator of potential issues in your backlink profile, it’s not a ranking factor for search ranking algorithms. Google’s algorithms are a complex system that considers numerous factors when deciding search ranking for websites, including:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Backlink Authority
  • Use Experience
  • Content Relevance
  • Content Quality
  • And more

Google understands the value of backlinks & a strong backlink profile and has its own approach to assessing backlink quality. But that does not mean Moz’s spam score is completely useless. The spam score is crucial for website owners and SEO professionals and indicates potential issues in the website’s backlink profile.

While it may not be a direct ranking factor, spam score does help you identify spam backlinks that could be ruining your site’s backlink profile. As your backlinks are an important ranking factor for Google, fixing your backlinks would help improve your search ranking.

So, Moz’s Spam Score indirectly helps you improve your search ranking by identifying issues with your backlink profile.

Top 27 Spam Score Signals Moz Uses to Identify a Spammy Domain

Moz found these signals in websites that were penalized or banned. So, finding these signals on your website could potentially increase your spam score.

Let’s check what these spam signals are, along with general recommendations on how to reduce spam score:

1. Low Number of Web Pages

While this is not always the case, domains with a limited number of pages are often associated with spam. You may not have to do anything in this case, but progressively increasing pages on your website could help.

2. Certain Top-Level Domains

Some TLDs such as .biz, .stream, .win, .download, and .xyz are commonly linked to spammy websites. Try purchasing reputed TLDs such as .com, .in, .net, etc.

3. Length of Domain Name

If the length of your domain name is similar to that used by spam sites, it could add to your spam score. Again, this factor alone doesn’t make your domain spam, but it does contribute.

4. Numerals in Domain Name

Spammers use generic or randomly generated numerals in their domain names. Examples include cheapmeds123.com or technews248.

You must always prefer using descriptive URLs that are relevant to your site’s purpose, preferably without numerals.

5. Google Font API

Spam sites don’t use special fonts like Google Font API. If your site also does not use any special fonts, it could be likely considered a spam signal.

6. Google Tag Manager

Almost no site has a Google Tag Manager present. By installing Google Tag Manager on your site, you can stay away from spam.

7. DoubleClick Ad Tag

The DoubleClick ad tag always allows website owners to serve ads from the reputed DoubleClick ad network. This is a legitimate ad network that spammy websites often stay away from.

8. Real Phone Numbers

Make sure your website has genuine phone numbers that are in working condition. This is an important differentiator, as spam websites rarely use real contact numbers on their pages.

9. Email IDs

Make sure your website has official addresses. This is important as spam websites almost never mention emails.

Having no links to LinkedIn on your website might be considered a spam signal. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile, and you’re good to go.

11. HTTPS Protocol

Not many spam sites invest in an SSL certificate. So, install an SSL certificate and equip your website with the HTTPS protocol.

12. Meta Keywords Tag

Spam sites try to exploit meta keyword tags to stuff repetitive keywords. If you’re not using a meta keyword, you’re immune to this signal.

13. Rel Canonical tags

Spam sites are associated with the use of a non-local rel=canonical tag. Not using this tag would be a great decision.

14. Visit Rank

Websites with a low visit rank or very few visits from users in clickstream panels are linked to spam compared to the ones that get regular visitors.

15. Length of Title

Try to use descriptive titles that accurately tell the search engines and users what the page is all about. Pages with titles that are too short or too long are often linked to spam.

16. Length of Meta Description

Meta descriptions that are too short or too long, similar to titles, are signs of a spam site. Keep the length in mind when creating meta titles and descriptions.

17. Length of Meta Keywords

If your meta keyword tags are very long, they can be associated with spam.

18. Browser Icons

Most spam don’t use favicons. Original sites, on the other hand, use these icons.

19. Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is code you add to your website to collect and send data to Facebook for analysis. It’s crucial for ad campaigns on Instagram and Facebook. And this code is almost never available on spam sites.

Having a respectable number of outbound links to external websites is encouraged. However, abnormally high or low external outlines are associated with spam.

21. Total Domains Linked-To

Often, spam sites have either too high or too low the number of domains they link to. Genuine sites link to varied reputable domains.

If there are too many links with respect to the content or vice versa, it might indicate spam behavior. Maintaining a natural ratio of external links to content should be promoted.

23. Consonants or Vowels in Domain Name

If the domain name has multiple consonants or vowels, such as cheeaaaapmedss.com, it’s likely spam.

24. Hyphens in Domain Name

Multiple hyphens in domain names indicate spam. Genuine domains are short, concise, and follow balanced patterns.

25. URL Length:

Spam pages have either very short or very long URLs. Ideally, URLs should be relevant and concise.

26. Presence of Poison Words

Content the spam websites post often includes words linked with webspam topics, including gaming, adult content, pharmaceuticals, etc. Avoid using such words, and you will have one less reason to worry about.

27. Use of High CPC Anchor Text

Spam websites use words such as “Viagra,” “casino,” or “cheap”. Try to avoid these terms and use contextual anchor texts to avoid spam detection.

How to Reduce Spam Score?

To reduce spam scores, you can thoroughly scan the above spam signals and create a checklist. You can then check mark the signals individually and gradually improve your spam score. To learn how to investigate these signals with Moz Pro, check this article out.

In addition to the above, here’s what you can do to reduce spam score in SEO:

Use tools like Moz or Ahrefs to analyze your backlink profile and determine where the links are coming from. You can also evaluate the quality of these backlinks and identify if there’s something shady.

For instance, you may find several backlinks from sites that don’t work or have a high spam score and poor DA during your analysis. In such a situation, you can remove or disavow those backlinks and improve the website spam score.

Often, marketers think they must focus on the number of links to reap the benefits. However, quality matters more.

So, when building links, make sure you opt for natural link-building processes and avoid black hat link building techniques such as link schemes, poor-quality paid links, and link farms.

Buying guest posts is perfectly legal and effective for building backlinks, as long as you choose reliable sources such as Link Publishers.

Guest posting marketplaces such as Link Publishers have 60,000+ guest posting websites in every niche you can think of. And the best part? All these websites have a Spam Score of 1%-30%. This means you can expect to build high-quality backlinks only.

So, sign up with Link Publishers, choose from the massive pool of guest posting websites, upload the content (or get it written from Link Publishers), make the payment, and get your guest post published within 30-32 hours.

Using this method, you can build a reputed backlink profile while keeping your Spam Score low.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know what Spam Score is and how to reduce spam score, it’s time to analyze your domain. Once you do, you can check your domain against the 27 spam signals mentioned above and remove the potential spam backlinks linking to your domain.

Also, make sure you follow only white-hat link-building tactics. This will help you consistently maintain a low spam score and a high search ranking.


Does Spam Score Affect SEO?

There is an indirect link between the Spam Score and SEO. A high Spam Score means a poor backlink profile that has multiple spammy backlinks. As Google considers backlinks for ranking websites, a poor backlink profile translates to poor ranking. So, indirectly, a poor spam score means poor SEO ranking and a higher risk of penalties.

How do I Find my Domain Spam Score?

One of the most reliable tools for finding the domain Spam Score is Moz. Visit Moz’s website, open the Link Explorer, select Spam Score, enter your domain, and hit analyze. Within seconds, you can check your detailed Spam Score.

What Spam Score is Bad?

A spam Score of 0-30% is considered low, and a score of 31-61% is considered medium. So, anything in this range is safe. However, if your domain Spam Score comes out to be 61-100%, it’s bad and needs immediate attention.

    Don't miss a thing!

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get access to exclusive tips, tricks, and resources.