It happens to all of us. It might have even happened to you. Well, even if it hasn’t, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Google is cracking down on businesses more than ever. Maybe you made some poor link building choices in the past. For one reason or another, our site sometimes gets linked to a not-so-good site. The internet is not as innocent as it once was. Don’t fear; the internet can also work in your favor. There are many tools available to help you get rid of those pesky links. I’ve picked a few steps to highlight these tools on this post:

Recognize a Bad Link

Look out for these pitfalls:

–          Links unrelated to your business (keywords, niche, etc.)

–          Links that may have malware or potential viruses

–          Links with sketchy names (need I say more?)

–          Links with low Domain Authority

–          Links that may be paid or sponsored

Use your discretion. If the link doesn’t feel right or looks sketch, you’re probably right. Google Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer, and Link Detective are free sites to check your backlinks.

Contact the Source

Now that you’ve identified a good number of links you don’t want to be associated with, it’s time to contact the websites that these links are coming from. For the most part, there is a contact page, but if not you can find the contact info on whois.com. Don’t try to contact the webmaster if the link has a malware warning.

What if the webmaster does not get back to you? How rude! Instead of crying in a corner, you can disavow the bad link. This is a tool that Google offers after you’ve done your part to get rid of a link and it has not worked. Note: You will still be able to see the links on Webmaster Tools. The Disavow Tool is available in Webmaster Tools, but use it with caution and only until you have tried everything else.

Avoiding bad links

Avoiding Bad Links

Bad links do not create themselves. Be careful where you build links. You can do a background check of the site to see if it’s worth creating that backlink. Seek for quality, not quantity. It’s better to invest time in finding one good high-quality link, than to find “easy” links that Google doesn’t like. I’m a rebel at heart, but in the internet world, Google is boss. Healthy link building is always the way to go, after all, link building is relationship building. Good luck and may the internet force be with you!

Photo Credit by Erin

Jamie Bates