Taking Action on Bad Links

Nancy Lambert

Google and other leading search engines have recently been getting a lot more strict on sites with multiple bad links pointing to them.

In some cases this results in manual actions, dramatically lowering a site’s ranking and therefore the amount of business it can expect to do.

Many small business people feel helpless when this happens to them. Other people’s links can feel entirely outside their control; in fact, there are a number of things they can and should be doing.

Google Webmaster Tools

The best place to start is with Google’s Webmaster Tools, where the links to your site report makes it easy to review inbound links and work out which ones are causing the problem. For those inexperienced in search engine optimization, this is a good opportunity to think through what sort of links are worth chasing and which should be avoided.

It is important to get rid of paid links, even if search engines had no problem with them when they were originally set up, and those from link farms and links sharing schemes. Links from sites that have a bad reputation, such as most gambling or porn sites, are also bad news.

With No Direct Way to Control Content on Other People’s Sites, What Should Webmasters Do?

The first thing to do is to write to the webmasters at problem sites and ask for links to be removed. Many will comply. There are always some who won’t, but search engines are aware of this problem – all they really want is to see that action is being taken. If it is not possible to get rid of a link then it can be formally disavowed, which means it should no longer affect search engine rankings.

When webmasters do comply, removing links can still take time. It is best to wait until some bad links have gone before contacting the search engines to ask for the situation to be re-evaluated. Manual actions taken by search engines are time limited and will eventually expire anyway; however, simply waiting is a bad idea. Properly fixing the problem removes the risk of being subject to further penalties in future.

Contact Xcellimark for advice on how to deal with these and other issues in web development. To learn more about Xcellimark, visit us online at (888) 318-3950 ext.211.

Topics: SEO