All Links Are Not Good Links

by Darcy Knapp, SEO Web Mechanics

If you have experienced a decrease in your rankings and traffic since the 2013 Google Hummingbird Algorithm shift – you may have spammy links to blame.

All the best SEO work can be undone today with bad links. If you have ever bought “50 links for $50″ or used a black hat SEO firm along the way, those links can now damage your site’s credibility. Bad back links need to be uncovered, removed or disavowed to restore your rankings.

You need to do your research and create a complete back link list that shows all the links that are directed to your site from 3rd party sites. There are free tools you can use to uncover all your in links like: http://backlinkwatch.com
Once you have your list the next step is to audit your list. This entails checking every back link to see where it is coming from. You should recognize a bad web page when you see one. These bad links will come from unrelated sites, link farms, poor quality or broken pages. If the domain is “spammy” or toxic you need to ask the webmaster of the site to remove your link. You may be able to email, in some cases call, and in harder-to-contact sites, you may have to snail mail a request for removal.

Removing all of your links from broken and bad listing pages is very important for your site’s rankings. If the site demands payment for removal, you should not pay, even if you pay they may never take your link down. Your best option will be to create a disavow list and submit to Google via your webmaster tools account. After the link removal process has been completed, you can do a link check again to see what links have been removed and which links remain tied to your website.
Bad links may include:
• Links coming in from poor quality/spammy sites
• Links from paid posts
• Links from dead & rotting directories
• Disproportionate anchor text links
• Links from blog networks
• Links from irrelevant and ‘untrustworthy’ sites
Expect that your scrubbing process takes 2-3 weeks to complete. There are services that offer link removal, but you may find that you only have a few bad links and can do the job effectively yourself.

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