Although you do your best to manage who is linking to your content, you can’t control what websites decide to link to you. If a less legitimate page places a backlink to your website, it can easily harm your website’s credibility and page ranking on Google and other search engines. In addition, link practices that are deemed to be manipulative can be punished with a Google penalty, which can damage site performance very quickly and can be hard to recover from.
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Detoxing your backlink profile is the process of identifying and evaluating the domains that are linking to your website. Online tools like Link Research Tools or moz can help to easily identify these ‘bad links’ that harm search rankings at a glance. After identifying these links, you can take one of three steps:
Disavowing a link will inform Google or other search engines that you do not want it to be considered related to your website. This is a good way to protect yourself from potentially harmful links, without the process of actually deleting it from another website.
This can be the most difficult option, but it’s necessary when recovering from, or avoiding a Google penalty. Simply put, you must contact the domain’s webmaster and request that your link is removed from their site. When faced with hundreds or even thousands of backlinks with a ‘bad neighbourhood,’ this can be an extremely time-consuming process.
If you’ve evaluated the backlink and decided that it’s beneficial for your website, you can always keep it. This is the easiest option, as it takes no action on your part after you determine the domain’s quality.
Although there are only three courses of action to take when evaluating a backlink, this can quickly become a huge job when faced with hundreds or thousands of domains linking to your webpage. Because internet growth is often exponential, this task will only become larger – eventually, it simply cannot be done manually. We can use our knowledge and suite of link analysis tools to determine which links are helping your SEO and which are hurting it.