The 10 Worst Links You Can Have to Your Website

SEO Backlinks

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

January 20, 2022

Algorithmically and through a manual action, you can be fined for at least ten different kinds of poor links. Get a handle on what they are and how to escape them.

Links and content are the foundation of every SEO strategy worth it’s salt.

The importance of links has not diminished in recent years.

Is your site damaged in any way if you receive a large number of low-quality links?

Google may penalize your site algorithmically or humanly.

If you have a lot of bad links, Google may not be able to ignore them, and your site’s rating may suffer.

This post explains 10 sorts of poor links that can get you punished and how to fix them.

1.About a decade ago, press release links were a common trend.

Obtaining these links was a breeze. The following are links to press releases:

It was as simple as writing a news release and distributing it to many press release syndication service providers.

You’d quickly amass a large number of backlinks.

It was abused, as is the case with any successful SEO strategy.

Because press release links are easy to manipulate, Google now considers them a link scheme.

Your core keyword should not be over-optimized in the anchor text of any press release links.

As an anchor text, utilize naked URLs or branded URLs and only one link from the contact section of the press release if you must have a website link due to circumstances beyond your control.

2. Links to Discussion Forums.

Not every link in a forum conversation is inherently dangerous.

As long as the link isn’t manipulative or spammy and comes from a reputable source, you’ll probably want to preserve it.

But if you have thousands of low-quality spammy links pouring into your site from overseas discussion boards, you may want to disavow them.

Google will penalize you if you have links that appear to be spammy.

3. Guestbook Links from Other Countries

These types of links are also deceptive.

An automatic programme or a human being can insert links to other guestbooks.

On a large scale, this can hurt rankings.

Disavow is a good rule of thumb to remember.

4.Innumerable Links That Don’t Follow

Do you believe you can get away with spammy link building by making your footprint as unpredictable as possible?

You may want to rethink this.

When you think Google won’t see your randomized footprints, you’re wrong.

The likelihood that Google may discover the trace of automated software is increasing, even if you believe it to be random.

Why? The following link leaves a trail.

Having a large number of followed links from various sources is a sign of spamming.

5.Intimate Blogospheres (PBNs)

A popular strategy for obtaining high search engine rankings was to employ private blog networks (PBNs).

All would be well if your footprint was generated at random.

If you continue to use these methods, you could notice considerable results.

I’m not going to say it anymore.

Now, PBNs on a big scale can lead your site to lose organic traffic if you’re not careful.

Most PBNs can be detected and penalized by Google.

Google will catch on to some PBNs more quickly than others, but it will eventually do so.

6. NoFollowed Social Bookmark Links (and Followed Links)

Google also considers social bookmarking links to be manipulative.

If you do this a lot, you could get in trouble.

It’s worth pondering. Spammy as hell, they’re all personally inserted.

It’s understandable why Google sees this as a link-building strategy.

7.Submissions to Directories (or a Directory Submissions Service)

Many directory submission services claim that their links would bring in a lot of traffic.

Your Google rankings will improve thanks to our assistance!

However, this couldn’t be more incorrect.

Low-quality directory submissions may affect your search engine rankings.

There is always an exception in the world of SEO.

In local SEO, especially, it is acceptable to employ relevant and targeted directories for natural link creation.

There are, in reality, 21 Web Directories that are still relevant.

8.Commentary on Blog Posts

The usage of spammy blog comments has been around for a long time in SEO.

Comment spam is a strategy that should be avoided at all costs.

It’s a complete and utter failure.

The implementation of nofollowed links can be attributed to spamming blog comments.

The idea was to keep spammers from exploiting the comments section to improve search engine rankings.

However, there is a proper strategy to leave comments on blogs. The trick is to leave comments on websites relevant to your niche.

9.Other Low-Cost Link Services, such as Fiverr

One more SEO trick that’s been overused.

Although not being part of Google’s standards, these practices are so severe that their patterns and footprints are certainly visible to Google’s algorithms.

To investigate these services, Google may simply sign up for an account, posing as a search engine optimization (SEO) or another webmaster, and look at the most typical patterns employed by these services.

Keep in mind that the person you’re chatting with on the dark web forums could be a Google employee.

10.Links Created by Computerized Link-Building Software

Like GSA Search Engine Ranker (GSA), Scrape Box (ScrapBox), or XRumer?

Sure, you can get a lot of backlinks using these tools. However, these efforts have been less effective in recent years.

These tools should be avoided at all costs when it comes to SEO. This is especially true for money sites.

If an SEO can think of it, it’s likely that Google already has a pattern variation built into their algorithm many steps ahead of them.

Is it the links themselves or something else that is to blame?

We’ve already discussed links that hurt you.

However, may there be something else going on?

Multiple audits are required to uncover the truth.

Evaluate the current state of your website and proceed accordingly.

  • An SEO technical audit is performed to discover any potential crawl issues, technical problems, or other comparable issues affecting the site.
  • An audit of the site’s material to ascertain its current state.
  • An audit of the site’s total link profile to determine its current state.

You’ll be able to take the next steps to fix the site from here.

If you have a complicated site with problems in all three columns, you’ll need to get to work.

The Disavow File Must Be Prepared Through Manual Means

Nothing compares to Link Detox by Link Research Tools, in my opinion. More than twenty-five different tools, including Majestic, GSC, Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and many more, can be used to evaluate your links.

You’ll want to gather as many links as possible from as many sites as possible.

Make sure you follow Link Detox’s directions for uploading them.

Prepare the disavow file when you’ve done all of this, including using Link Detox’s link review and rating tools.

Google has discussed the disavow file in numerous fascinating ways, including the following:

John Muller from Google recently verified that poor connections could affect your search engine rankings in some situations, according to a post on Reddit.

And this was about links that you’d built yourself, not bad SEO, as John Mueller said.

According to Mueller, he’s also talked about

Someone asked on Twitter: Is it bad to have a “medium” sized website with many physical locations, a large number of backlinks, a 3-letter domain name, and a large number of connections from low-quality, low-ranking websites? “Should we renounce?”

Then, “Or does it not matter, and Google knows these websites connect to mine without any reason daily, and we do not seek these links out?” was asked in reply.

Google’s John Mueller responded:

“Random connections accumulated over the years aren’t inherently damaging; we’ve seen them for a long time, too, and can disregard all of those bizarre pieces of web graffiti from long ago. Don’t worry about the “cruft” of connections that were paid for or otherwise purposefully unnaturally placed.

The Most Common Questions We Get Regarding Link Audits

How Do You Tell if You’ve Been Penalized?

Have you received a notification that manual action is required?

Just go to Google Search Console’s manual actions section.

If Google has punished your site, you’ll know about it right away.

Is your site currently ranked lower than it used to be?

You can usually tell if you’ve been penalized by the algorithm by looking at your Google Analytics statistics.

There is often a 35-50% reduction in overall traffic. There are various ways this could be applied, from individual pages to entire sites.

Sometimes, other issues (e.g., technical or content) on a website might cause traffic reductions. A thorough investigation can uncover these difficulties.

The first step is to establish a multi-tiered audit implementation strategy addressing content and link concerns.

If a site that links to you has a link profile, should you look at it?

Even though a comprehensive audit isn’t required, it may be beneficial to check out the links that point to you.

In general, if you find a link with a lot of spam, it lowers its quality. Keep it if you don’t intend to use it.

Knowing what to do if you discover an SEO attack is important.

The attack must be stopped as swiftly as possible. It’s only a matter of time before you are penalized if you are under a large volume link attack.

As far as the actual method goes, it’s very straightforward:

  • Disallow the use of any bots.
  • Disavow all inbound links in one fell swoop. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the only major search engines.
  • It’s important to maintain ongoing link review and disavow processes until the link attack is eliminated.

Is There a Quick and Easy Way to Create a Strong Link Profile?

Adopt good habits:

  • Whenever possible, use branded anchor text.
  • Using URLs that are not encoded is preferable to using encoded URLs.
  • Exact-match keywords should never be used to link to anchor text.
  • Be wary about getting links from shady websites or areas.
  • Make sure you don’t manually or automatically place links with over-optimized anchor texts.
  • Verify that the owners of the websites involved back up your links.
  • Link to high-quality, authoritative websites in your industry.
  • Make eye contact and converse with others.

In general, your link profile should be well-balanced, and link types should not account for more than 20% of your overall link profile.

Disavow any links that are spammy or do not follow Google’s criteria.

Exactly how long does it take to undo an Algorithmic Downgrade?

If an algorithmic downgrading is severe, it might take anywhere from 6 months to more than a year to get it reversed.

Also, if it’s a manual process, it may take far over a year.

I’ve personally worked on a 200,000+ link profile in the law business that took over a year and seven submissions to Google to entirely reverse.

Don’t give up — even the poorest link profiles can be repaired.

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