But how can you identify what dodgy links are? Here are some pointers of where you don’t want links from:
1. Websites which are fully of adverts and pop ups with not a lot of content. These will be poor quality and may well be targeted by Google and Bing.
2. Websites which have the domain parked i.e. it is ownerless. There is the potential for the domain to be bought by someone less reputable.
3. Low quality guest blogging sites. Matt Cutts (former Head of Spam at Google) has indicated that guest blogging is a poor way to get links and may be penalised. If you find that you have a lot of low quality links from guest blogging sites, try to ask for them to be removed. Particularly if the guest post has absolutely nothing to do with your website but includes a link to it.
4. A website where the Home page is a 404.
5. A website which looks like is no longer being updated.
6. A website which is selling links!
8. Websites which are in a language which you don’t understand – how do you know what the website is about?
9. Websites where you are redirected to another even spammier website.
10. Blogs which are just full of comments allowing anyone to drop a link in the text.
You can view your link profile using the webmaster tools. Download the list and scrutinise each one. It’s a good idea to keep a weekly check on your links and where they are coming from with webmaster tools.
Recently it has been argued that it is now easier than ever to do negative SEO. Basically, because Google is clamping down on websites with dodgy links i.e. they penalise them hard, it means your potential competitors could instigate a campaign to add low quality links to your website unbeknown to you. This will have the effect that Google may penalise your site, drop your rank and take you out of the market altogether.
If you need help getting your website to rank, then please get in touch and we can see how we can help.