Ranking high for your chosen keywords in today’s web search engine results pages has never been more important for small and medium-sized enterprises. By going digital, competition has grown fierce with many businesses hiring the best SEO and SEM experts they can find.
However, while a lot focus on the active part of SEO campaigns by creating original, relevant content and building a good online presence through social media, the passive part – that of ensuring only high-quality inbound links point to their website – may be overlooked. If you have hired some professionals and they do not employ toxic links removal as part of their standard operating procedure, then you may be paying them more than they deserve because links from malicious web pages may already be causing your website to rank low in SERPs.
First things first. Where do these rank-lowering links come from and why would anyone want to publish your URL on a “spammy” website? Here are a few possible explanations:
These can be part of an old SEO campaign. SEO techniques have evolved through the years and if your business has been around for a decade or more, then chances are these links are remnants of a very old marketing initiative.
New, Low-Content Pages. These web pages may not be malicious in nature but have low content owing to the fact that they may just have been recently published. These may be new online business directories, portals, or even search engines. Links to your site coming from these may be machine-generated and therefore probably not meant to specifically harm your site.
Negative SEO. While we cannot fully know the motivations why spammers do what they do, the most probable reason is that they want their pages/sites to appear legitimate. To do this they cite resources (if not blatantly plagiarize them) from good, reputable sites like yours.
If an inbound toxic link analysis shows that there are indeed some links coming from undesirable pages, you and/or your team should follow these two simple steps:
1. Disavow the links from Google and Bing/Yahoo.
2. If you can find the website owner’s email or a contact form is available, send a request to have your link deleted
While the first step would suffice, it is best to do the second step as well. Regardless of site owner’s response or lack thereof, trying to establish a contact makes it formal and sending an email provides you good documentation in case the major search engines ask for it.
By regularly performing backlink audits and disavowing toxic links when found, you ensure you get accurate search statistics that will help you in all your online marketing endeavors.