As well as Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA), Spam Score is a metric provided by MOZ. Rather than measuring authority, it aims to determine the likelihood that a site will be penalised by Google. It measures 17 factors and gives a numerical score out of 17. Using the MOZ tool bar, you can quickly check the SPAM score value, and using Open Site Explorer you can see exactly which flags have been raised against a website.
Although MOZ Spam Score doesn’t directly influence anything, it does have its uses:
- Avoid Google Penalties – MOZ says that no individual flag is correlated to a Google penalty, but that once a subdomain has amassed a large number, it is likely to be subject to a penalty in the future. Google penalties are a lot simpler to attract than to recover from, so prevention is much better than cure. Using SPAM score you can eliminiate some or all of the spam flags associated with a site.
- Clean Up Your Site – Web users have an inherent spam detection system. They see links out to spammy and irrelevant sites as a negative factor. They see excessively long domains as a warning sign. Cleaning up your site not only avoids a potential Google penalty, but it also cleans up a site so that it is more appealing for human visitors.
- Improve Your Site For Publishers And Advertisers – If you sell advertising, sell sponsored posts, or publish guest posts, then MOZ Spam Score is one metric that your advertisers use to measure the quality and value of a link or ad on your site. Reducing your Spam Score will make your website a more appealing prospect.
- Identify Good Quality Ad Sources – It isn’t just used to measure your own site’s value, either. If you’re looking to advertise on a site, you want to ensure that you will get optimal results and a strong return on your advertising investment. Use Spam score to help determine the overall value of an ad on a site.
- Eliminate Spammy Sites From Your Guest Blogging – Similarly, if you embark on a guest blogging campaign, you can use this simple numerical representation as a quick guide of the quality of a guest blogging opportunity. Spam score is one of the metrics that we use when looking for high quality guest posting opportunities.
- Propagate A Disavow List – If you subscriber to MOZ Pro, there are functional uses of the Spam analysis tool. You can create a list of sites that link to your own site and that have a high spam score. You can export the list and use it as a disavow list for submitting to Google.
What Influences Spam Score?
There are 17 flags that MOZ uses to calculate Spam Score. It looks at factors like the length of your domain and whether it contains numbers. It analyses a link profile and looks at the ratio of dofollow and nofollow links. It also compares the number and ratio of internal and external links.
You can see a full list of the flags that Moz tracks on their own website, here – https://moz.com/help/guides/research-tools/open-site-explorer/spam-analysis. It is worth knowing of the different flags so that you can help avoid them, but if you are looking to reduce your own score, you only really need to know which flags have been raised against your own site.
What’s My Spam Score?
To determine your Spam Score, install the MOZ Bar or use Open Site Explorer. The MOZ Bar is quick, and we use it as part of our guest blogging service to quickly measure the value of a blog. MOZ themselves say that a SPAM score as high as 5 is acceptable, although we tend to steer clear of sites with a score of 4 or 5, unless they carry a lot of domain authority.
Open Site Explorer is more beneficial for using on your own site. Search OSE using your domain name, and it not only gives you a numerical value but if you hover over the Spam Score number, you can see exactly which flags have been raised. This enables you to take any action possible to reduce the score.
How To Reduce Spam Score?
Moz Spam Score is just a numerical count of the number of spam flags that have been raised by MOZ. It takes into account 17 different factors, and you can see a list of the offending flags by using OSE. Identify which flags have been raised against your site, and then follow the instruction or alter your marketing efforts to reduce the score.
Some are impossible to change on a specific URL, for example if your domain is flagged as too long you can’t change this without a new website. If you have an unnatural ratio of anchor text links, you should build some citations or blog comment links that are branded or use generic hyperlink text.
What Is A Good Spam Score?
According to MOZ, a Spam Score of 5 is still acceptable and means that a site is unlikely to suffer a Google penalty. A score of 7 or higher should be considered dangerously high.
Some discretion is required when using Spam Score, but if we are looking for guest posting sites, we usually use a score of 3 as the upper limit. We may consider a score of 4 or even 5 if the site is a very high quality site with a lot of genuine traffic and a high domain authority.