Links are an integral part of your Search Engine Optimization. However, not all links can help you rank higher in search engine page results and bring in more traffic to your website. But how can you get rid of what we can consider “bad links”? And how do you determine which links are bad and which ones need to stay?
This guide will help you determine which links you need to start disavowing using Google’s Disavow Link Tool. But first, let’s talk about this useful tool by the search engine giant.
What is a Disavow Link Tool, and what does it do?
The Disavow Link Tool by Google is an excellent tool that can help you clean your backlinks. After identifying the links that no longer add much value to your site, you can use this tool to tell Google to ignore such backlinks. We use this tool since backlinks are the types of links you have no control over. All you need to do is to enter the unwanted backlinks URL on the Disavow Link Tool. This is one of your good options besides hiring a citation audit and cleanup service.
Which Links Are Worth Disavowing?
Here are some of the links you can start disavowing.
Shady 404 Links
Have you ever come across links that show an HTTP 404 Not Found error? It means that the particular page you’re trying to access is either moved or removed from the website. These are the types of the link you’ll need to disavow since they are often spammy links. Such links were there at a time, trying to rank for a specific keyword. However, for some reason, the site owner deemed it necessary to remove the domain or domain registrar. With the site gone, there are no reasons for you to keep the links.
Comment Spam/Forum Spam
It is true that commenting on sites related to your industry can help you gain traffic. However, comment and forum spamming is not the way to go. All it does is leave bad links linking to your website. Google sees this as a desperate attempt to rank as you’re leaving links on unrelated websites. Throw this in the disavow link tool and move on.
Everyone knows that hacking is illegal. If you ever find any of your backlinks on a hacked website, start disavowing them. Keeping them won’t help you much with your Google ranking. You can even get a link penalty for keeping links from hacked domains.
If there is another bad SEO habit you need to quit, that would be harboring link schemes. Link schemes are those links you purchased as well as those you got from link generators. Such links intend on manipulating a website’s page rank and is a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. So, make it to a point to disavow links that are part of such schemes.
Website owners sometimes pay Private Blogging Networks to boost their website’s Google rank. While PBN domains already expired, Google still considers such sites as highly-authoritative. It means the links in those webpages can help you increase your rank. However, once Google catches you using backlinks from PBNs, you can get hit with link penalties.
Earning quality backlinks from authoritative websites is what you need to earn to give your search engine ranking a boost. However, some site owners become desperate in getting all the links they can get, that they will take any backlinks they can get – even from those low-quality websites. You can expect links from such sites to also be of low-quality. Instead of getting penalized for low-quality links, get your head on the game and start disavowing them.
Non-editorial links are the kinds of links that are paid for, traded for, or asked for. While you can control such links, these are still worth disavowing since these are not natural links you acquired organically. Some examples of non-editorial links are signature spams, widgets and any shady links with suspicious anchor texts.
Low-Quality Article Directories
We use directories to market goods and services. While this may be useful in giving your clients and target customers your contact information, the links in article directories are often low-quality backlinks. The same goes for its contents. With low-quality links embedded in bad content and low-quality article directories, it is only a recipe for poor link-building which won’t give much value to your website.
Disavowing Alternatives For A Better Link-Building Strategy
Aside from Google’s Disavow Link Tool, another excellent way of ensuring you have quality backlinks for your site is through Local citations services. Such services work by improving your local citations through consistent and accurate business listings. SEO companies who offer such services make use of citations checker to check all sites where your business is listed. After checking, you can choose to avail citation building service and cleanup services to ensure you link profiles are in tip-top shape.
By having a solid local citation building strategy, you get clean and accurate link profiles. You’ll also get to ensure all your backlinks are of good-quality and are from authoritative websites. This step is crucial in promoting your page, in boosting your Google rank, helping increased traffic, and eventually, turn that traffic into conversions.
While we need links to increase our rank in search engines, we must take into consideration the type and quality of the links and sites our backlinks are located at. It is not enough that you have tons of links linking to your website. What you need are quality links from good content. Not only will such a link help boost your rankings, but it will also help you prevent link penalties from Google. Keep in mind that earning good-quality links is what matters the most than achieving a high number of links that are bad, spammy, and low in quality. Google’s Disavow Link Tool, as well as a good citation, can help you achieve this goal.