Bad links can be detrimental to your site, causing you serious marketing headaches. These troublesome links can come from a number of sources, including spam or poor-quality sites, blog networks, paid posts, obsolete directories, irrelevant or untrustworthy sites, and disproportionate anchor text links. When your site suddenly acquires a lot of links that have nothing to do with you own actions for link building and are unrelated to your products or services, odds are that you have being Link Bombed!
Getting linked bombed is a real pain, because getting rid of these bad links is a time-consuming process that is easier said than done, but failure to locate and remove what Google calls “unnatural” backlinks can decrease your rankings and increase your chances of getting hit with a Penguin penalty.
To begin the process of removing bad links, you will need to perform a backlink audit to locate the source of the bad links and come up with a strategy to remove them. An effective way to do this is to compare your site with your competitors. Studying the differences between their link profiles and yours will give you a clearer picture of what a “good” link actually looks like, helping you pinpoint the trouble-making links. Here are some of the areas that you will need to explore:
You can use different tools to help you identify the links pointing to your site:
An effective and free backlinks checking tool will enable you to manually inspect your link profile by giving you a list of domains and pages referring links to your website as they are discovered by Google. Anchor Text and URL details are provided as well.
These sites can give you a free overview of your link profile which will be nicely summarized in graph and tables. Only the paid versions will provide you with a more detailed list of the links pointing to you, but paying for them may be worthwhile if your sites rankings and search engine visibility is at risk.
More and more tools and software will provide automated methods to identify which links should be kept in your profile and which are more likely to harm it. They are too many tools and too many parameters to really get to the bottom of it now, but we will cover more information about link profiles in an upcoming blog post so please subscribe to our newsletter if you want to be sure and get this info.
This is the technical part! You need to be able to differentiate a good link from a bad link in order to clean up your link profile. Your focus needs to be on the root domains linking to you and not each referring page individually. The “value” of the links will be determined by the page rank of the domain and other different factors such as the age of the domain, the number of backlinks recently acquired and the relevance to your site. If you are not an online drug store links to Viagra sites are not helping you!
You need to identify the low page rank domains and check their index status in the search engines, study their link profile as well as the anchor text used to link back to you. Ultimately, those links could disappear by themselves as Google “cleans up the internet” but don’t count on this as a safe means of dealing with them.
Once you have of list of the toxic links, you will need to contact the domain webmaster and request the removal of them. First, you can try reaching them through the contact page on their website. If that is not an option, using Domaintools.com type of websites will help you locate them.
After you have tracked down the domain webmaster, you can send them the removal request, and hopefully soon, you will get a response and the link will be removed. However, if you do not get an immediate response, wait about a week before you send your request again, allowing busy site owners enough time to get back to you.
It is important to contact the webmaster of each site before requesting the link to be disavowed by Google. As they say on their support page related to disavowing links:
” If you’ve done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, […], you can disavow the remaining links.”
Google offers a Disavow Tool, allowing website owners to quickly alert the search engine about backlinks they’ve found that they don’t trust. By logging into Google Webmaster Tools, and then visiting the Disavow Tool page, you can have Google disavow the links, eliminating its possible negative effect on your site’s position in the SERPs (search engine result pages). Here is a link to the Help Article related to the issue.
This may seem like a quick-fix solution to your bad link problem, however you should only use this disavow tool as a last resort. Researching and understanding quality content is not an easy procedure. Some of the links you think are unreliable may actually be beneficial to your site, and getting back disavowed links can be a lengthy and cost effectively impossible process. Additionally, Google may not honor your removal request, and often takes their own sweet time, so it is best to try to manually remove your bad links before you use the disavow tool option.
Dealing with bad links is a time-consuming ordeal that can be a challenge. Even with the number of growing online tools and services, there is still no guarantee of success.
Here at Guaranteed SEO, we are regrettably all too familiar with companies who have gotten into link problems and need help fixing their links. No matter whether the links are acquired via poor link building techniques or being Link bombed, Guaranteed SEO will provide the skill and speed you will need to effectively take on the process of removing your toxic links. Contact us today and find out how a clean link profile will improve your rankings.