In-Depth Guide to Bad Quality Backlinks and What to Do About Them
While adding backlinks is considered a cornerstone of effective online marketing, not all backlinks are alike.
Understanding what types of backlinks work will help you narrow down the choices and eliminate existing backlinks that are not serving your website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the most popular, passive marketing form on the internet. Of the many requirements that effective SEO needs is good backlinks. But while many authors will tell you that having backlinks is important, it’s really about having high quality backlinks that make a difference in getting people to find you.
Understanding the difference between high-quality and low-quality backlinks will help you make the best-informed decision about how to choose the right ones for your site.
Hiring the professionals at SEO Reading will help you maintain and monitor your backlinks to ensure that they are in good working order. By managing and cleaning the SEO profile of your site regularly, your can rest assured that your backlinks are maintained properly thanks to the services of SEO Reading.
Types of Bad Quality Backlinks
While bad backlinks can be of any type, there are some which are more prevalent that others. Knowing this will help you stay away from the types that are more likely to become bad in the near future. You can start by not including backlinks that have an automatic “No Follow” in an attempt to fool Google. Google has gotten pretty smart over the past several years, so such a spammy trick will not work.
Other types of backlinks to avoid include but are not necessarily limited to the following.
Blog Comments: This is an oldie, but no longer a goodie. In other words, blog comments have become one of the main sources of spam that Google seeks to eliminate in terms of backlinking. There are exceptions of course, such as leaving comments that are relevant to the topic and of good quality. However, this does take time to properly build.
Directory Services: This used to be a place to get backlinks, but no more. Mostly because low-quality directory sites will actually pull down your own website. Do not be fooled by advertising that advises how directory sites are an essential part of SEO backlinks. About the only exception is when you use proper targeted directories to naturally build up your content, especially for local SEO efforts.
Discussion Forums: It’s not that all forums are bad, but you will need to find a good site, an established user, and the link itself better not be spammy. This means that you will need to double and triple-check before using links from any discussion forum.
Foreign Guestbooks: These are pretty easy to manipulate which is why Google tends to frown on them as backlink material. So, the best course of action is to simply never to use them as they may not be trustworthy even if you know the source.
Private Block Networks: PBNs were all the rage several years ago. Many who built their backlinks would often include PBNs to boost their rankings. That is no longer true as Google has developed programs to detect almost all PBNs and punish those who use them. So, avoid these all together.
Press Release: Over a decade ago press release backlinks were easy to get and syndicating them would often result in having hundreds of backlinks quickly. However, Google was quick to catch on to this trick of building hundreds of backlinks quickly despite their quality and quickly instituted a new policy which regulated them to a link scheme.
In other words, do not expect that adding such links through a press release will get you same results as over a decade ago. This is especially true for links that have an overly optimized anchor text that is associated with your main keyword. That will have a negative effect on your rankings.
Identifying back quality links is not always easy. That’s why eare here to help.
How to Identify Bad Quality Links
Now that you know what to look for, the next step is cleaning away the bad backlinks from your site. This usually means going to the source of the link and judging its quality. If you are ready to review, you can start by looking for the following sites.
Comments from Other Sites: This is a common one where you see comments from other sites praising your article, encouraging you to follow up, and enjoying the information. Whether they love your work or not, their goal is usually to establish backlinks. This will hurt your backlink profile, so set your comment filters to stop all such links to your site.
Duplicate Content: While many black hat tactics have fallen out of favor in recent years, there are still websites set up to contain duplicate content that when viewed all at once makes little sense. When Google Panda hits such sites, your site will suffer if there is a backlink. You’ll need to look for duplicate content which is an obvious sign of something wrong.
Obvious Backlink Havens: If the website has a lot of articles that have no cohesion in terms of topics, then it’s reason for existence is probably just for backlinks. The site itself will probably not look very good and will often use default themes from WordPress that were set up in minutes. You’ll want to remove all backlinks from such sites.
Suspicious Anchor Text: Most backlinks to websites are connected using the name of the website itself or URL as the anchor text. If you see a large number of websites linking to yours through the use of exact keywords, that is a big red flag that something is wrong. Many spammy companies will use such tactics to help boost their own site. What you want are natural profile links with a simple word, not a specific keyword.
How to Clean Bad Links Away
Here are a few tips that will help you clean away bad links to your site.
- Ask the Owner to Remove the Link: Be nice about it
- Disavow the Links: If you have way too many backlinks to remove, tell Google that you disavow them.
- Remove the Low-Quality Pages on Your Site: This should only be used rarely as it affects your site.
- Get Rid of Your Domain: You are burning everything down, but if you plan on starting over this may be the best tactic. Otherwise, it’s probably too drastic.
You can speed up the process by using a backlink identification tool that does the searching for you. This means that it will identify potential backlinks for you to check out. Such tools can range from free to quite expensive, so keep that in mind.
Keep in mind that getting rid of backlinks, even really bad ones will probably reduce your web traffic. Perhaps by a little, perhaps by a lot depending on how many of them are on your site.
You can certainly do the work yourself, but if you want to spend more time building up your site we are here for you. Offering high-quality services at low, competitive prices, SEO Reading covers all aspects of your site. This includes identifying and removing bad quality backlinks that may be hindering your online business.