Recently Barry Schwartz, executive editor of Search Engine Roundtable, published an article titled: “When You Have Bad Links Impacting Your Google Rankings, Which Do You Remove?” While no one but the Gods of Google know the perfect answer to this question, there have been enough hints dropped and enough research performed to make educated decisions.
So here are 15 indicators to get you started:
Here is an example. A site titled “The Mathews Family Website” with a section labeled “Favorite Links”, which contains your backlink, as well as links to cheap tires, a hairdresser, used cars, Pokemon cards, SEO assistance, Forex trading, and shovels.
Yes, you might see a lot of these.
This is especially true when the backlink uses exact match anchor text (keywords) pointing to the home page.
Directories titled “Free Directory” with listings that contain anchor texts like “Cheap Loans, Buffalo New York” should be removed immediately.
Note: Niche directories are okay (i.e local, professional).
This is a code red! do everything in your power to remove.
Take this with a grain of salt. If your business is Forex trading than obviously you should not remove it.
Forum spam are comments in a forum with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Note: naturally created comments are very good backlinks and should not be removed.
Social profile spam are fake profiles set up for the sole purpose of creating a backlink in one’s profile and then using the profile to spam individuals.
Note: if the profile name is an anchor text to the website, but comments made by the user are relevant then this is okay.
The reason this is true is because this usual indicates a penalty on the site.
A PR of “N/A” or “?” likely indicates a penalty on the site.
You should never be paying for backlinks. This is a bad road to go down.
Visitor’s to this page: 2,145
Trucks St Louis
There are many of these out there and while you may have written a high quality piece for one of these site, you should take it down. Google, doesn’t like them.
Note: sites that have a screening process, have high page rank, and contain high quality material can be a great backlink. Also, PDF and E-book websites are okay.
This also includes backlinks to websites that contain SEO advertisements or posts made by SEO professionals.
Note: Often you may find, however, that a backlink to your website was automatically generated by an SEO site. If this is the case, it is okay. Same is true for “whois” type websites.
If the last post on the domain was made 5 years ago and the information on the site is no longer relevant, the backlink is not helping you and more likely hurting you.
Note: if the backlink to your site is also old and returns a 404 on your site, that is okay.
Note: if they are within your niche they are okay.
Often you will see something like a link to “Hair dressers California” on a site that sells Cars. This backlink is spam and should be removed.
Note: if the domain is high quality, just remove the backlink and not the whole domain.
If it looks like spam, tastes like spam, and smells like spam, get rid of it! Even if the spam is hidden in sushi 🙂
Please feel free to leave feedback and comments you have and check back weekly for more great blog posts by J-town Internet Services.
***Special thanks to Mark Ginsberg from DriveHill Media, who taught me everything I know about backlink analysis. The man is an SEO giant.***
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