How to Remove Harmful Links and Avoid Being Penalized by Google?

By December 31, 2015 SEO No Comments

Most webmasters do not take them time to evaluate their link profile until it is too late and they’ve been penalized by Google. Unfortunately, this occurrence takes places far too often and instead of avoiding the penalty all together web owners are forced to start from square one as they try to get the penalty removed from their site. My best advice for webmasters is to examine your link profile before you get penalized; you’ll save yourself a lot of time if you take the proper precautions before it’s too late.

Bad link for SEO

First, you need to go through your link profile to see if there are any harmful links included.  Even if you have never used spammy links in your SEO strategies, they can still be there without you knowing. There are multiple softwares available that will help you audit your link profile and remove any bad links that could get you penalized by Google. To help you get started, we’ve provided a short list of things you should look for when examining your link profile.

  • Double-check your links from homepages. Having too many links from homepages may be harmful to your website.
  • A large amount of links from foreign countries can also be a red flag. If your target audience is in the USA then so should the majority of your links. If you perform an audit and notice a lot of links coming from different countries, then some changes will need to be made.
  • Even though Google is no longer updating PageRank, it’s still a good idea to check the page rank of the sites you are receiving links from. The better the page ranking the more likely that the links are high quality ones.

Once you have determined the health of your link profile then you must decide what step you’d like to take next. If you have identified little to no bad links then your work is done! However, if you are concerned about some harmful links associated with your site then you will need to assess the potential damage they could cause. Again, you can use one of the many softwares available such as SEO SpyGlass to help you identify the risk of penalty. Generally speaking, a bad link that could penalize your website will have a 30% or higher penalty risk.

Once you have gone through your list of potentially dangerous backlinks and have selected the ones with high risk values you must then try to unlink them from your website. The two most effective ways to do this is to either contact the site owner directly or disavow the entire domain. Once you have completed this step with all of the bad links you must continue to monitor your link profile to ensure they are removed from your site and that no additional harmful links are added.