Backlinks are one of the main tools utilized by SEO companies to help boost a website’s ranking in Google. While most backlinks can be highly beneficial, certain ones can actually do more harm than good, and some can even get you in trouble with Google. This article will better explain what exactly bad backlinks are and how you can effectively recover from them with minimal repercussions.
Bad backlinks are oftentimes created by questionable SEO companies in order to try and trick the Google algorithm and have their website climb in rankings. However, Google is aware of bad backlinks and will place your website under manual action if they discover your website has been utilizing them. Once you are placed under manual action, your website will either be demoted in the rankings or removed completely from search results.
They want the best information available to users to appear at the top of Google, so if they find out that you are using bad backlinks in order to promote your website, they will automatically penalize you. Unfortunately, some SEO experts will use bad backlinks in an effort to hinder opponents’ websites. They will connect bad backlinks to the websites of their competitors so that Google will notice and place them under manual action. This can happen to anyone, and we want you to know what actions to take if it happens to you!
To find out if your site is under manual review all you need to do is go to your Google Console and click on “Search Traffic” then “Manual Actions”. Remember, there are a variety of types of manual actions, and the one we are focusing on is entitled “unnatural links to your site—impact links”.
Although this type of action Google takes against the links themselves, not your website you still need to get rid of all of the bad backlinks connected to your site. We’ve provided a few steps you can take to get rid of all of the bad backlinks.
First, you must compile a list of all the backlinks connected to your website. If you used an SEO company, make sure you inform them that you are collecting links, as they can help you during this process. Now you must sort through the links to determine which ones are hindering your website. Bad links can be characterized by a number of different qualities. They include websites that have no reason to link to you, that are off topic, or in another language.
To get rid of these links you must either take them down yourself (if you can), hire someone to take them down for you, or contact the webmaster responsible for the bad backlinks. If you are able to get all of the bad links removed, great! Google will recognize this and should remove any manual action. However, if you are unable to get them all down, it may take a while for Google to remove you from manual review. My best advice is to keep trying to get all the links removed if you can. Google will see that you’ve been working on removing the bad links and will oftentimes remove the manual action.
Being put under manual review when you’ve done nothing wrong can be frustrating, but with a little work on your end you can hopefully get any manual action removed!