Backlinks can go a long way toward adding credibility to your brand and website. However, when backlinks are “bad” they can do more harm than good. A bad backlink is an inbound link that is no longer active, from a source not relevant to your business, or generated for the purpose of fooling search engines. Even backlinks that were originally valid could become troublesome, which is why it’s important to discover and monitor bad backlinks. The experts at Saba SEO, a leading San Diego web development company, share a few tips on discovering and monitoring low-quality inbound links.
Look for Google Penalties
If Google hits you with a manual penalty, you’ll get a “detection of unnatural links” message. However, the penalty notification doesn’t necessarily mean all of your backlinks are bad. It just means there are signs suggesting questionable link sources or patterns.
Gather Your Backlink Data
A backlink checker like Ahrefs provides a variety of info you can use to create a current backlinks profile. A convenient way to gather backlink data is to create a spreadsheet and update it on a regular basis. Keep track of backlink stats such as:
• Number of backlinks
• The sites the backlinks are from
• Rank and authority of backlink sources
• The content attracting the most backlinks
Pay Attention to Unusual Backlink Patterns
Once you have a system for keeping up with your backlinks, look for anything out of the ordinary. For instance, a common sign your site’s backlinks may not be reputable is a sudden uptick in links for no apparent reason.
Periodically Check for Dead/Broken Links
Websites often make changes over time, which results in links that are dead or broken. Backlink checker tools can be used to quickly identify links that are no longer active. If you have links from trusted sites that are suddenly inactive, contact webmasters for those sites to ask for a new backlink.
Be Suspicious of Unindexed Sources
If you notice some of your backlinks are from websites not being indexed by Google or any other search engine, check out the site yourself. Unindexed websites aren’t necessarily bad, but they tend to be viewed as less reliable.
Zero In on Clearly Irrelevant Links
In some cases, you can spot potential sources of bad backlinks just by looking at the link and the URL or domain associated with it. Signs of questionable backlinks may include:
• Domains suggesting website content not remotely related to what you offer or do
• Links from locations or countries you are not actively targeting
• Links associated with domains that are a jumble of characters/numbers (suggests they were created in a hurry)
Check Spam Scores
Moz has a handy spam checker tool that can be used to check a website’s odds of being penalized for “spammy” content. Using spam checking tools is a good way to get a better understanding of source websites you aren’t sure of. Questionable sources of backlinks tend to have:
• Little or no social media activity
• Obvious signs of keyword overuse
• Webpages with very little content
Google uses several factors to determine what constitutes a high-quality backlink. Some of these factors include the age of the domain, keyword relevance, consistency of link patterns, and exact-match anchor text instead of links associated with generic phrases like “click here.” You can’t always control who links back to your site. However, be diligent about making sure your backlinks are beneficial.
If you’re looking for a reliable digital marketing agency to regularly monitor your backlinks and increase your online visibility, turn to Saba SEO. We are among the best marketing companies San Diego has to offer. Our experts can identify and eliminate low-quality inbound links from your website, and our content writers can create fresh content for your business. Whether you need minor fixes in your existing website or a new website altogether, we are here to help. Call us at 858-951-1717 to schedule an appointment with one of our web design experts.