What Is Spam? – Definition
In SEO, spam involves creating irrelevant pages with low-quality content, as well as applying black hat practices to the SEO process. When hackers take over a website, they usually change its content to be unethical or even illegal. This very often concerns sites that rank high in search results and have been building their visibility for a long time.
Types of SEO Spam
The most common SEO spam practices include:
- Spam links – links pointing to your site from high-quality and trustworthy sites help improve your site’s ranking. Hackers are aware of it, that’s why they build malicious low-quality backlinks that redirect users to a hacked website.
- Spam keywords – SEO spammers want to rank their services or products. For this purpose, they use black hat SEO techniques and put their keywords on the entire site. They usually place them in sections that might go unnoticed by the site owner or users. However, when someone searches for those keywords in Google, your site will appear in the ranking.
- Spam content and pages – hackers also very often add entire SEO-optimized blog posts or create new pages to manipulate search engines. Usually, you will not notice such blog posts or pages in the menu.
- Mail spam – often, apart from the website, business e-mail is also being hacked and used for other spam activities. This is very harmful because if spam recipients begin to flag your emails, the entire domain may be blacklisted. This way, messages sent from your email account will automatically be marked as spam by most of your recipients, which may result in losing your clients.
- Spammy ads – your banners, pop-ups, ads, call to action (CTA) elements may also be hacked and replaced by hackers to promote their products and content. Because of this, users won’t trust your site and the content you publish anymore.
Best Ways to Fight Spam and Protect Yourself
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely avoid cyberattacks. However, there are some ways to help you protect yourself from most of them. Here are some well-proven ways:
Remember to update your CMS, as well as any plugins and site themes. After all, software defects are the most common cause of cyberattacks, so regular updates will improve your website security.
ReCAPTCHA used e.g. on pages where users need to register or sign in help to prevent bots from accessing your website.
Use Strong Passwords
It is a well-known fact that when creating an account on any website, you should use strong passwords that are difficult to crack. It’s recommended to use password managers that help you create and manage strong passwords.
WAF (Web Application Firewall) is used to protect websites. It is worth using as it helps to protect your site from various cyberattacks.