Bad links are what we refer to as links which aren’t enhancing your SEO value. They’re actively working against you. Perhaps you’ve accidentally used poor linking practices in the past, or you might have fallen victim to the Google Dance?
Whatever happened to your site, you need to come up with a way to deal with these links and make sure these problems never happen again in the future.
Grey Hat SEO
We have three types of SEO. They’re white hat (good), black hat (bad), and grey hat (questionable). Grey hat SEO is dangerous. It yields positive results in the short-term, but the Google Dance makes sites which deal in grey hat SEO fall first. If they’re dancing on the line between legal and illegal these are the first sites to go.
Always stick to white hat linking practices. Google has plenty of resources on how you should install anchor links and where you should post them. Listen to them and stick to what they say. If you adhere to white hat SEO its unlikely minor algorithm changes will impact your links.
If you’ve received a warning email from Google, or your site has mysteriously fallen down in the rankings, you have to find all the links you’ve posted. This is very difficult if you’ve been opting for quantity over quality. If you have thousands of links posted everywhere it’s easier to simply get a new domain and start from scratch. It would take longer to find the links than to start again.
To avoid this problem, you should maintain a spreadsheet of where you’ve left backlinks. This way you can find them in the future and remove them, if necessary.
I’ve Found Them, Now What?
Once you’ve found your bad links the next step is to find the problem. If you’ve simply linked them in the wrong way you can change them. Ask the webmaster kindly if they’ll make a minor change for you. Since you’ve obviously dealt with them in the past this shouldn’t be an issue.
In event of a bad link on a website with a poor PageRank (PR) and reputation, it’s best to simply remove the link completely. Again, most webmasters will have no issues doing this for you. If they refuse to, now you have a problem. Your best option is to dilute the value of this bad link with guest posts on websites with high PRs.
Starting from the Beginning
We touched upon this issue earlier. You should restart if the damage is already too great. A lot of websites had to do this following Google Panda and Penguin. On average, the results of good SEO take between three and six months to become visible. Now imagine how long it will take to remove hundreds, if not thousands, of bad links from around the Internet. It’s going to take much longer.
You can still retain your content and design if you want to start again. All you need to do is establish a new domain. You might even be able to change the direction of your good links, if the webmaster is willing to do this.
The author, Kenneth Adams, is a software engineer and a SEO expert. He shares SEO tip and tricks through his articles. He suggests his readers to try out Adelaide SEO services to improve their websites page rank.