What are the Backlinks That Are Harmful to Your Website?

According to a Google Webmasters video on YouTube, Matt Cutts revealed that there are more than 400,000 penalties sanctioned by Google on a monthly basis. Without a doubt, numerous websites are affected with the algorithmic updates like Penguin and Panda.

Sadly, there were only 20,000 websites that were sending a reconsideration request. So, that would only amount 5% of 400,000. Most of the website admins won’t even try to recover the lost rankings.

Warning Sign

Before you take action, you need to know the bad links.

How about you? Did your website get manual actions or algorithmic penalties? Don’t fret; there are ways to regain what was lost.

Knowing the “Bad” Backlinks

Before I proceed to going into details, let me make it clear on how to identify low-quality links. These links main reason why your website will be penalized. So, knowing these shady backlinks will lessen the dangers of getting penalized:

  • Hidden texts

    • Adding sneaky texts to your line of code. Google will definitely know if you are hiding texts in your CSS so don’t even try.
  • Unrelated content

    • If you aim to be an authoritative website, there’s no need to boost your traffic from providing links to any adult or gambling websites. These links will just damage your reputation.
  • Advertisements

    • If you are promoting your website on other places, don’t forget to use the nofollow attribute to safeguard your rankings from shady websites.
    • Speaking of other websites, if you notice that you have backlinks from websites that are banned or have been violating Google’s guidelines, you need to remove it immediately. Because if you don’t, your website will be affected when Google runs after these shady websites.
  • Duplicate content

    • As much as possible, do not post duplicates. Always check if there are instances of content duplication because Google won’t like this.
  • Spammy comments

    • No likes spam, and Google hates them too! So, moderate comments that are posted on your website just for the sake of advertising a link.
  • Thin content

    • Aside from duplicate content, Google does not like thin content. Don’t post something that does not have substance. Google values relevancy so all your content should be useful. Publishing content just to fill the white space is a huge NO.

Remember, more than 95% of the penalties are related to suspicious backlinks. So, this is Google’s way of reiterating the importance of strengthening the backlink profile of your website. If there are more low-quality backlinks than the good ones, then, don’t expect your rankings will skyrocket. Google will surely penalized your site!

3 Major Steps on Regaining Your Rankings

Whether we are talking about a manual or algorithmic penalty, you will have to analyze your website’s backlinks and identify the ones that caused your rankings to drop.

  1. Find All of Your Backlinks – Before anything else, you need to find the backlinks pointing to your website. To do this, you need to go to the Google Search Console. On the left panel, go to the search traffic section, and you find the “Links to Your Site.”
  2. Identifying the Nature of Your Backlinks – There are tools you can use to verify the links; you can refer to the Backlink Tools You Can Use to Check Link Quality.
  3. Disavow the Links – Next, you need to remove all the unnatural links you found. If you need help, you can read the disavow guidelines here.

When you are done identifying the links, it is important to remove these links, and to dissociate with these links. More details on how to regain lost rankings will be posted on “What to Do after Being Penalized by Google?