Like other content creators, one of your goals is to rank at the top of search engines’ results for your targeted keywords. Getting quality backlinks is an important part of achieving that goal. However, your site may have some bad or low-quality backlinks out there.
Removing them is key to ensuring your content gets to the top of the SERP rankings and stays there. But what are bad backlinks, and how do you get rid of them? Let’s take a look below!
Bad backlinks are other sites that link back to yours that are questionable, spammy, or have low domain authority. It’s crucial to remove these since Google’s updated algorithm identifies and penalizes sites with a lot of questionable backlinks.
At best, Google will drop your site’s domain authority and search engine ranking. But you could also have your site banned or excluded from the search engine altogether. That means people won’t find or see your content. And your content marketing strategy won’t grow your business.
Google monitors your site, including backlink quality, in real-time. Your site could get lower rankings or be banned quickly. Unless, of course, you stay on top of removing low-quality backlinks.
Here’s a summary of the most common types of poor-quality backlinks:
Now let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.
Link networks are a bunch of connected websites. They look like blogs or discussion forums but don’t exist for the purpose of authentic and organic online conversations.
Instead, link networks often post duplicate content with links to various sites. The sole purpose is to give sites backlinks. Google considers this as suspicious or spam-like.
The same goes for spammy blog comments with links. You can catch some of this by using tools like CAPTCHA. You can also screen and delete these comments before they’re published.
Sitewide links are those that show up in multiple places on the same site, such as the header, footer, and sidebar. Over-optimized anchor text links happen when a lot of backlinks use identical keywords as anchor text.
High-quality directory links are okay. But links in random or low-quality directories? Not so much.
To remove bad backlinks, you’ll need to use some tools and reach out to the websites that linked your site or content. First, use backlink checker tools to find out where all your site’s backlinks are.
Then, you’ll need to go through that list and identify which ones are bad or of low quality. You’ll want to use tools to check spam scores and domain authorities of each site. Use indicators in the tools to determine which ones to flag.
The third step is to contact the webmasters of each flagged site. You’ll want to track when you reached out to them with your request. You might need to follow up with webmasters if they don’t get back to you at first.
But let’s say some of those webmasters never get back in touch. Google lets you disavow those links by using its Disavow Links tool. You’ll need to upload your list in an Excel spreadsheet, and Google will no longer consider them in your SERP rankings.
Backlinks are a critical part of your site’s search engine rankings. Gaining high-quality backlinks increases your ranking, but too many bad backlinks reduce your content’s credibility. Regularly finding, auditing, and removing poor quality backlinks helps you avoid losing your rank.