How to Check Your Backlink Profile and Make Sure Your Website Stays Healthy
With all the talk about social signals and leveraging the latest bits of information that Google is looking for when ranking, it’s easy to forget that Google fundamentally runs off of back links. Even those savvy SEO practitioners who can get tons of back links may forget that the quality of past links may change or degrade over time. Knowing how to check your backlink profile is crucial for long-term SEO success.
The Quality of Your Backlink Profile Can Change Degrade Over Time
Companies that learn this lesson in a hurry are generally those who hired a black-hat SEO practitioner and got punished by Google. In order to get out of Google-jail, they had to go back through each link and disavow it. It’s a long and painful process that can take months.
You Are Better to Check Your Backlink Profile Before Google Puts Your Site in “Jail.”
Why not do this before you get sand boxed? It’s much like pruning a tree. When you prune a tree, more nutrition goes into the remaining branches. Similarly, ditching bad backlinks will make the good backlinks stronger. Thankfully, finding out the quality of your backlink profile isn’t very difficult. A site like ahrefs.com or moz.com or majesticSEO will have link quality analyzers as part of their toolkits.
Here are 5 elements which can degrade your backlink profile:
* More than 50 links on a single page
* Foreign article directories, a common place for black-hat SEO practitioners to spam links
* Straight-up link farms
* Links back to other sites that aren’t related to your niche.
You have to be careful of the last one. A high quality site that’s not related to your niche can still be valuable. Let the tools explain why they don’t like a backlink and decide on your own.
Once Your Find Bad Backlinks You Can Either Ask The Site Owner To Remove Them or Use a Disavow Service
Once you have a list of backlinks that aren’t useful, there are two main ways for eliminating the bad backlink. The first is to contact the site owner and ask them to drop the backlink. This is the surest way to remove a link, but it can take a long time and a site owner may not be very cooperative or responsive.
The second way is to use disavow services offered by the major search engines. This lets the search engines know that you don’t claim those links. However, it is not a guaranteed removal and it can take quite a long time before the search engine will ignore the backlink. The links to the disavow tools for the engines are:
Disavow is best used after manually trying to clean up a site. There are also companies that will help you clean up your backlink profile for you so you don’t have to go through the hassle.
While SEO is always changing, you should never forget your basics. Pruning your bad backlinks is part of healthy SEO practice. Run your site through one of the tools mentioned in this article and see what you can discover.