Link building can be viewed as a work of art. Do it successfully and you will reap the benefits. However, take the easy way out and you will pay the consequences.
High-quality links are the golden ticket. These are hard-earned links that bring value to the consumer aimed toward certain keywords. High-quality links fit in the topic and flow within the topic discussed. High quality links when used effectively support your claim. Google views backlinks as a positive aspect of a page and will rank a site higher with backlinks versus their lacking competitor
Low-quality links or link schemes are any links that take advantage of Google’s algorithms. In other words, any attempt to play the system and get links in order to rank and not have value to the consumer. Not abiding by Google’s set of regulations will cause your site to see a negative result on the results page.
How Do you know if a Link is Low-Quality?
Google determines if a low quality if they deem the link was borrowed or not organically created. By creating the link and the structure Google awards you. If this is not the case then your site and page are probably being penalized.
Types of Bad Links
- Bought links: If you have bought or sold links in the past this would be a good place to revisit when trying to optimize your link building. It is against Google’s policy to exchange money for good links. A solution to this problem would be to stop buying links and work on replacing them with organically created links.
- Link Exchanges: While some link exchanges are ok and are bound to happen, try and avoid excessive use. This means that if you are constantly sharing links to a certain website and they share it back you could be penalized in the search rankings. This would also come in to effect if you have any partner pages sharing links. A recommendation is to be aware of where you are getting your links and not use it on a specific site. Don’t let this discourage you from using links just be advised of the consequence of link sharing
- Using Link Farms or Automated Link Websites: One idea that will be repeated is Google penalizes pages that use easy links that are meant to manipulate the system. Link farms and automated websites are no different. This is just a fancy way of saying a set of web pages created with the sole aim of linking to a target page, in an attempt to improve that page’s search engine ranking. Doing this will cause your site to be penalized and a decrease in the search engine result page.
- Anchor Text Deception: Anchor text is the text that the link is linked to. If you were to create a backlink about sunglasses but links it to a page about best bathing suits Google would penalize your site for a deceptive use of anchor text. Its is key to use anchor text best practices to ensure the best opportunity to rank high in the searches
- Spam websites: It may seem obvious compared to some other regulations, but it is critical to link to credible sources to maximize backlink capabilities. To be safe try to link to an editorial site, credible blog, or news source.
Bad Backlinks: Non-credible websites that link to your page can actually cause you to drop in rankings. You need to be aware of the sites that are linking to you
What Are The Penalties Low-Quality Back Links Can Cause
Over the years Google has cracked down on the quality of links and how there are taken into account when determining page rank
Before people could just link to any given page, whether it was relevant to the user or not. The idea of this seems obvious and that sites should be given credit for following the restrictions and providing the user with the best possible experience.
Google finally made a change in 2012 by launching Google Penguin which filtered out low-quality and spammy links. Google has updated Penguin content since 2012 to make it more effective in catching low-quality links.
Penguin can rank your pages down which will effectively hide your page from being seen. So it is important that you are aware of Google’s regulations and follow them
Types of Penalties From Low-Quality Backlinks
Penalties can be broken down into two separate categories:
- Manual Penalties: These penalties are distributed by a member of Google’s webmaster team. The individual looks over your site because of a complaint, report, or just because. If they find any of the regulations being violated they will tack on a penalty resulting in a drop in the search results.
- Algorithmic penalty: This penalty is given automatically by Google’s Penguin algorithm (The 2012 update). The algorithm applies the penalties in real-time as it scans your site for low-quality links.
- It should be easy to tell once you have been hit with an algorithmic penalty. Although you won’t get an alert, you will see a dramatic drop-off in traffic if you go into Google analytics. So it is great to constantly check Google analytics frequently for this reason in addition to the other value it provides.
How To Recover from Low-Quality Link Penalties
If you have seen a recent decline in your rankings, it may have been a result of using low-quality backlinks.
If you are looking to take the next steps and fixing your links, here are a few tools that you can use to maximize the full potential of your links.
- Google webmaster: Google’s free tool that lets you know of any penalties, both manual and algorithmic. Very useful in order to correct recent violations right away. Also, it allows the business owner to track traffic on certain keywords and track links coming into your site
- Google Disavow: This is a useful tool when dealing with bad backlinks. You can report links to a webmaster to get them removed. When making the claim that the link should be removed you need to create a list of links to be disavowed.
- Ahrefs: Another helpful tool other than one’s Google provides is using Ahrefs site explorer tool. It allows you to spot low- quality links both inbound and outbound. Once spotting the links you can upload them to the Google Disavow tool.
- Google Analytics: As mentioned with algorithmic penalties, Google analytics is great to monitor traffic and pinpoint dramatic decreases in traffic which could be a sign that a penalty has been issued.
Why Take Action
Your ultimate goal is to put yourself in the best opportunity to be seen by a prospective customer. After all your hard work in PPC and SEO, it could all be in jeopardy by using bad links or being linked to low-quality websites.
By using credible links it enhances your visibility in Google searches and ultimately increases your ROI.
Simply following Google’s best practices and gaining hard-earned links, you should be at the top in no time.
For more assistance in building a quality backlink profile, contact WebFX today!