Spam-o-Meter





A scale from 0 - 10 measuring the quality of a link page.
Enter the URL of the links page you would like to check:

This process can take a few minutes while it visits the link - please be patient

About the Spam-o-Meter

I maintain Link Exchange pages for several websites. I use a form on each site where potential link partners can submit their link - I get an email, take a look at the site and either approve or reject the link. I suspect many webmasters do something similar.
Lately, link requests have been getting worse and worse, so I changed the text on my pages specifying what sort of links I want - preferably related sites with well optimised pages, and not too many other links on the page where my link is going.
But this doesn't work. I'm still getting hundreds of requests for link swaps with crappy sites pedalling viagra, home loans, online casinos and romanian penis enlargement. Looking at the pages, they are just link farms - going to get banned by Google sooner or later.

Something must be done

This is where the Spam-o-Meter steps in. An automated check that looks at the basic properties of a links page, and returns a number that reflects the quality of the link, similar to PageRank. While many webmasters consider Google Pagerank to be the only important factor in getting links, smart webmasters (and Spam-o-Meters) know better. A PR0 link on a good site can become a very powerful link, because the PR we see is not always the actual PR. A link on a PR6 page with 1000 other links is worth very little, in terms of clickthroughs and PR juice. A site that isn't cached by Google is either very badly optimised, too new to be useful, or banned for spamming. Either way, not something you want to be associated with.

4 uses of Spam-o-Meter

  • Use the Spam-o-Meter as part of your link swapping process - When your link request comes in, use the Spam-o-Meter to decide if it's worth visiting the site or just deleting the email.
  • Inexperienced webmasters can use the Spam-o-Meter as a simple quality check, until you are experienced enough to spot the difference yourself
  • Use Spam-o-Meter to improve the quality of you own links pages - test your own pages, and follow the suggestions to improve your pages for your link partners.

How it works - ranking factors

Spam-o-Meter looks at several parts of the page, and assigns + and - points against the ranking. After all checks have been completed, a final ranking is given, between 0 and 10. Checks are done by spidering the links page that you specify and homepage, then doing some calculations. It also checks Google PR and whether the page is indexed (only if PR is zero).
  • Does the page exist? - no points if it doesn't
  • How's that HTTP response code? - 200 is good, 301 is not so good, 302 is bad and 404 is worse (don't worry if you have no idea what I'm on about)
  • Does the page have any PageRank? - More points for high PR. This algo gives a relatively low weighting to PR, because there are so many other factors that are improtant too. High PR pages are penalised less for bad stuff in this algo, because most people would be happy with a PR8 link even if it had 100 others on the page (this wouldn't be the case with a PR2).
  • Is the page indexed? - If the page has PR0, we need to check if it's indexed to make sure it's not banned
  • Is the site indexed? - If the page isn't indexed, make sure at least the homepage is, or it's bad news
  • How many links on this page? - Bonus points for few links, lose points for too many links. Google says Max 100, I say max 20 links to external sites.
  • Is the page called "links.htm" or "links.php"? - This is a dead giveaway to the SE's that it's a link farm. I prefer the page to be called something else (I use "lx.php", but "dir.php" or "res18.htm" is good too)
  • Is the page dynamic looking? - Search Engines hate dynamic URLs on small sites (big sites can do what they like). Dynamic URLs (a URL containing a ?) generally are harder to get indexed, and don't seem to get such a good PR. Besides this, it's a wasted opportunity to include a couple of keywords in your URL, and it looks ugly to your visitor. Spam-o-Meter rates static looking URLs higher than Dynamic URLs.
  • META Tags - nofollow, noindex? - Dirty pirates trying to rip you off. If it has nofollow, we don't want to know.
  • Coming Soon: Page blocked via robots.txt? - A sneaky way of preventing Google from ever seeing this page - you don't want to be swapping links with sites who do this.
  • Are the links on this page quality or spammy? - I don't like my link showing up next to viagra, casino, penis pills or dodgy looking links. If the page contains any of these terms, it's not as good as a page that doesn't.
  • Coming Soon: How many clicks from the homepage? - I like homepage links because they get better foot traffic than a link buried 5 clicks into the site. This algo gives bonus points for pages that are the homepage, or are only one click from home.
  • Rounding - Anything with less than 0 points is rounded up, anything with more than 10 is rounded down - this gives you an easy scale to work with.