Matt Cutts Video: What happens if I link to a good page that later becomes spammy?

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Interesting question. Do you think the answer is correct?

Melissa Fach

Melissa Fach

Melissa is the owner of SEO Aware, LLC. She is a consultant and trainer helping companies make the most of their content marketing and SEO. She specializes is the Psychology behind blogging and content marketing. Melissa is also an associate on the Community team at Moz, an associate and writer at CopyPress and an editor at Authority Labs. She is a self-proclaimed Star Wars and Internet geek and volunteers with big cats at
Melissa Fach

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  • James

    When was this video made?

    I think there has been some interesting recent reports on the amount of 404 links on a site and how Google believes that if you don’t care enough about your site to fix 404 links then why should anyone care about your site.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Obviously you can’t control what another site owner does to their content, but you should be aware of where you are sending your visitors. That link is like a vote for that page, both the search engine and the person you are directing. If it takes either to a bad neighborhood your reputation might suffer because of it.

  • Felipe Veiga

    Matts answer was succinct but enough to clarify that if you have a few sites linked that are doing spammy and nasty things, that should be no problem, if that quantity of links falls between the standard deviation of errors for websites. The same goes for 404 links. But if you have way too much, maybe you should be penalized.

  • Brian from

    Yes Felipe, you are right as we can’t control what the other site owners are going to do with their own site and there is one step that we can check while creating the link, to check how old is the domain name and if we had the link from sites which were let’s say 5 years old and today they got shut down, Google won’t be penalizing for that. Obviously the number of such link counts.

  • matt

    With the changes Google has made it makes it easier for negative SEO. Say you link to a site, a competitor could buy it up and steal some link juice from you or make the page spammy so you get penalized.