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I created a subdomain forum.example.com I opened the forum and went on holiday for a month, and when I came back to my shock I found 100 (1000's) of spam links posted to my subdomain's forum.

My site has quite a good reputation and a solid link profile. I get about 50k visitors per month of which 30% is from organic.

What worries me now is when I do a search in google like site:example.com many of those subdomain forum spam posts show up!

I have since deleted the subdomain and made a 410 for forum.example.com

Am I likely to face a penalty for this slip up...? Any idea if this will effect my main domain's ranking?

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Generally as a rule Google and other search engines will only reward or punish sites and pages that are indexed. Since you have now deleted the sub domain there is nothing for Google to reward or punish.

  • Google only knocks a site with a history. Google realizes that stuff happens and therefore understands temporary issues well enough. Since any sub-domain can effect the parent, there could be some effect even though it has been deleted simply for the fact that no SE is real-time and lags a bit. So in short, there should be little effect short term, no effect long term. And even then, who says Google even noticed? There may be almost no effect because Google was not looking hard. ;-) Cheers!! – closetnoc Mar 22 '17 at 16:04

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