With the mass blog network de-indexing, we’ve seen a wave of panic sweep over the world of SEO. Although Panda showed us Google was taking a new direction, since they hadn’t come straight out and wiped out blog networks, people figured they were still a good source of backlinks.
Well, now Google has wiped out the blog networks. And many, many SEO’s and online business owners are getting nervous. Because now, not only is all the authority gained from blog networks gone completely, any website that has a profile of “bad links” from these types of directories is likely to be penalized or—worst case scenario—de-indexed altogether.
So today’s article is going to be about fighting the fires. Getting into the trenches and cleaning up that link profile. Panda is advanced and quick to anger. Eliminating bad backlinks and beginning to use “New SEO” tactics immediately is the best way to prevent a big Google penalty.
Although blog directories were hit hard, we’re going to be hitting on all types of bad links. Folks now is the time to clean up your link profile. Now is the time to switch over to “New SEO.” No more ordering “100,000 backlinks for $50.” These links are harming your website… period.
The first question you need to ask yourself is, “who built the bad links?” In most cases, the links were either built by you or by an SEO company you hired.
If you built the links yourself, great news – you can go in and manually remove them one by one. Yes, it’s a hassle. However, by getting rid of all these links, you remove the red flag Google has likely placed next to your website. Remember – even if you still have your rankings thanks to bad backlinks, it’s a ticking time bomb. Sooner or later, Google’s going to take action.
Did you use blog comments? Use Google Webmaster tools to find all the blog comments you made. Now go in and delete them. Forum posts? Delete the signatures. Low-quality articles on low-quality article directories? Go in and delete them!
Yes, this will likely have a huge impact on your rankings – especially if these bad links are pushing you to page #1. This is what most webmasters don’t want to deal with. So they don’t. And then Google comes along and tosses their website in the trash.
Be willing to take the short-term hit. Delete all the backlinks and watch as your rankings disappear. But don’t stress out about it – you’re well on your way to improving your rankings in a way Google likes. And when Google likes your website, your spot on page #1 is all but guaranteed.
Now, if you bought links, or if hired a shady SEO company, things get a little more complicated. This is especially true if you’ve ordered thousands and thousands of low-quality links.
The first step is still the same: identify the bad links with Google Webmaster tools. However, unlike with self-built links, you can’t just go in and delete them – you don’t own the website. Therefore, it’s a matter of contacting the person who does own the website and asking them to remove the links.
Yes, this can be time-consuming and yield spotty results. However, this is the only way you can get rid of these bad links. What would you rather do? Spend a few weeks getting rid of all your bad backlinks, or have your site thrown into the Google sandbox forever?
Now, while you’re getting rid of your bad backlinks, you should also begin to build very high-quality backlinks. This will help to offset all the links you’re removing. Additionally, it will show Google that your website is an authority and provides value. With enough of these good links coming in, you can begin to counteract the negative links.
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