Posted by Paris Paraskeva | Posted in seo | Posted on 23-02-2013
Links have always paid a vital role in SEO. After Google rolled out its Penguin updates, site owners with shady or low quality backlinks profile were badly hit. Soon after this update was released, many SEO companies started to offer ‘link removal’ services. Those who received unnatural links warnings began to remove bad links pointing back to their domain. But they felt helpless as they couldn’t remove those low quality links over which they had little or no control.
That’s exactly why Google came up with the ‘disavow links’ tool.
Though you may feel quite happy with the announcement, Google ‘disavow links’ tool must be used with plenty of care. Matt Cutts (web spam team head at Google) himself warned that webmasters should use this new tool with caution.
The disavow links tool doesn’t work for everyone. If your site was badly hit by Google’s Penguin update, this tool can prove to be of help. However, you don’t need to use this tool if you didn’t receive an unnatural link warning from Google. One important thing to remember in this regard is that you shouldn’t see the disavow links tool as a complete alternative to removing bad links. Even if you use this tool, you should first of all approach the third party site to get the bad links removed.
After you have ensured that the disavow links tool is something you really need (to get back your lost rankings), you need to make a list of all those bad or poor quality links that you want disavowed.
Good vs Bad Links
In order to identify the bad links pointing back to your domain, you should first understand the difference between good and bad links. Well, those links that help your site’s SEO are definitely good ones. On the other hand, those links that hurt your SEO are the bad ones. Since there are many different types of links (anchor text, directory links, reciprocal links, blog network links, article site links, blog rolls, text links, press release links), it can be a tedious task to identify those links that are actually doing harm to your site’s search engine rankings.
Only knowing that your site’s backlinks profile contains bad links isn’t enough. You should be able to discover which links are actually bad. The sad part of the story is that many of the low-value links still support your site’s search rankings.
Therefore, you need to tread with utmost care.
First, Collect the Backlinks Data
First and foremost, you need to create an inventory of all your backlinks. You can use tools like Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO to collect this essential data. By using the aforementioned tools, you can collect backlinks information including link type, domain name, domain authority, anchor text, linked page, ease of removal, harm and priority among others.
Gathering all this data is easy. What’s actually tough is to identify those links that are hurting your site’s SEO.
Finally, It’s Time to Analyze
This is where the task becomes tedious. Now, you need to manually detect those links that are really terrible. Not to worry, there are many alarming signs that you can use to find out how outrageously bad a link is.
Here’re a couple of those signs –
No contact information
Links that belong outside your industry or niche
Links inserted into content out of context
Links under sections like partners or sponsors
Disavowing links in bulk is quite tempting. Be careful while creating the list of URLs that you want to disavow. You need to disavow only those links that you really need to. If you start to include every questionable link in your list, you might run the risk of harming your SEO than benefiting it.
Therefore, I repeat – ‘tread with care’.
How to: make a list of your bad links to disavow to Google – This guest post is by Steve Tasker, a part time blogger and SEO Marketing Specialist at Higher Click. Steve works to provide a more efficient and effective guest posting service . In his sparetime, Steve loves to read and to travel.