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Lots of links to forum registration page

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:13 am
by cone1983
Hi all,

I just had a look at our Google search console, and realized that there are a lot of links to our forum registration pages. It's 28500 links in total, from just 3 domains! All three domains host themselves phpBB discussion forums. The number of links is very unevenly distributed. The first site has 28000 links, the second one 500 and the last one only 3. I could not find a link to our form on any site that google lists.

I'm not sure what's going on here. I am suspecting that these sites might load some malicious external content that tries to break our captcha.

Also I have found that there are 480 links to our first forum post (which only contains a welcome message). Again, all links are from other phpBB installations. Has anyone a clue what's going on?

Regards,
Konstantin

Re: Lots of links to forum registration page

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:29 pm
by Forex Station
cone1983 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:13 am
Hi all,

I just had a look at our Google search console, and realized that there are a lot of links to our forum registration pages. It's 28500 links in total, from just 3 domains!
That happens to us too. One spammy site linked to our "FAQ" 30,000 times and was running their own phpbb forum, but for some reason cloned and used our site's "FAQ" page. Weird.

After years of noticing this we've established that these shitty domains are temporary, spammy sites and will disappear after a while.

If you want, just disavow their domain in Google Search Console but I wouldn't worry too much about it as it happens here and there.

Re: Lots of links to forum registration page

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:55 pm
by EA117
Wonder if it's someone trying to get you to purchase their SEO service or something like that. Like there was an accompanying email we would all ignore that says "See, without even asking, we already improved your Google position by X" by creating links to your site on another site being crawled by Google. Since otherwise yeah, what the heck purpose would a bunch of links in the remote site achieve.

i.e. If I'm trying to "break in", I can do that as simply a client. Setting up a complete site seems like something different than "trying to break in."

Re: Lots of links to forum registration page

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:47 am
by cone1983
Actually the two sites with the large number of links seem to be legit forums, which are much bigger than mine. I couldn't find any links on them to our site. I've reached out to the webmaster of the site where the 28000 links should come form and he can't explain that either. It's really strange. In the webmaster console it also shows targets URLs that belongs to the other site, but as target page it lists a page on mine.

I'm starting to think that something funny is going on at Google.
Screenshot from 2019-08-16 08-39-29.png