The New MOZ Spam Score – How Accurate is It?

Every Search Engine Optimiser (SEO) is raising their eyebrows at a new online tool created by the company Moz. Moz claims to have a new analysis tool called Spam Score and it promises to help webmasters clear their domains of unnatural links. It looks good on paper, but many are uncertain of whether or not Moz’s new tool is accurate.

The Spam Score is broken down on the company’s website like this:

  • A URL is entered in to an address bar at the top of the app’s page
  • After clicking “show metrics” a list of links and pages connected to the site’s sub domain are listed down the page
  • A spam score will appear next to each listed item, which users can click on to find which specific flags were raised by this link or page. A score higher than 8 is considered negative while 7 or lower is seen as a normal score.
  • Users are given a chance to export disavow what are called unnatural links, or links meant to up a website’s score. These are links with a spam score of 8 or above. Natural links or links that come from articles, similar sites, etc. are meant to score a 7 or lower. Moz subscribers can choose to disavow any high-scoring links.

Moz warns users not to be too quick to throw out spam heavy links. They are encouraging users to take a moment and really investigate each link that comes up on their site’s analysis and make sure they know what it is before kicking it out the door. Moz hopes that this new spam score tool will soon be a part of their Moz webmaster toolbar for easier access.

So, does this thing work? Moz claims to know exactly what traits Google looks for to label a site as spam. Specifics such as No Contact Info or Site Diversity is Low are two stipulations that set a site back. When too many sites with lots of spam flags link to a site that is legit, it gives the impression that the one useful site is spam as well. Many webmasters want a tool like this, but they need it to be accurate.

SEO professional and former veterinarian Marie Haynes used Spam Score to see how it fared up against her very first web creation – a site that allowed users to post questions to vets. Haynes claims that Spam Score did a good job finding some links that should be gotten rid of, but it also raised flags on good links that she wanted on her site.

Haynes wrote about her test on her website and points out “… the spam score 8 link that Moz suggested disavowing is a completely natural mention. Someone wrote a news article and linked to me. I played no part in obtaining this link. It was not self-made for SEO purposes. There’s no need to disavow this link.”

Keep in mind, Moz does not have any special access to Google or its determinations for what makes a link spam. The two work independently of one another and Moz is simply using the 17 factors it sees as in a pattern of a year’s worth of analysis. Every SEO wants to know how to artfully build links and of course this information is precious. Many SEO message boards and online reviews of the app are tipping their hat at Moz’s good idea, but at the same time the people of the web are advising caution.

The general consensus about this new metric seems to be it’s worth a try, but don’t trust an app to do your job for you. Moz even admits on their website that they have left the app “Not wholly ready” for upload to Google after seeing a couple of users blindly trust every ranking the analytic gave each of their links, disavowing tons of natural links. Users should tread lightly – this new tool is still finding its legs and its first steps will be wobbly.