Always Disavow Bad Links (Yes, Even After Penguin 4!)

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disavow links

Do you disavow bad backlinks? Or do you rely on Penguin algorithm to do this for you?

If you think that Google Penguin will take care of your bad links for you (because it’s more granular), think again!

As it is, links are still the most important ranking factor determining how good our position in SERP will be. In our attempts to rank better within Google, we are prepared to go to incredible lengths just so we can get an additional link or two.

But, certain links are NOT beneficial for our website. Furthermore, they can even get us into trouble with Google (Penguin penalties).

Google urges us to contact each and every webmaster who placed a suspicious link to our website. Although this sounds great in theory, it is something that requires a lot of time and effort and in the end, there is no guarantee that a person will remove the problematic link.

In the end, that same person may be trying to sabotage us.

The solution to this problem comes in a form of Google disavow tool. By using them, you are able to personally remove anything that looks suspicious. This way, you do not depend on anyone.

Before we go through disavow tool, let’s mention types of links that may cause issues.

  1. Links from different niche can be a big no-no

It is more than obvious why such links would look suspicious to Google. Basically, the biggest search engine is constantly working on improving quality of content presented on the Internet. Through various algorithm changes, they fought against duplicate and thin content.

That being said, it is quite unusual for a website to link to another website that has nothing to do with the general topic on which they usually write. This can indicate a link exchange or paid links. Anyway, it is a bad practice and you should definitely avoid such links.

  1. Links from a different country or language

This is similar to the previous example but not on a completely same level. Website that has all its content on French is unlikely to link to a website that has English pages.

Simply put, if your readers are generally French natives, English resources may be of little value to them. In that regard, there is no point in linking to foreign website.

Now, as I mentioned, there are some situations where this is acceptable to a point. For example, if both websites are working within the same industry and one of them is linking to a highly authoritative site, this may be normal. In the end, we all tend to quote authoritative resources and industry leaders no matter in which language they write.

But, if majority of your links are coming from foreign website then, this may be cause for concern.

  1. Always disavow links from low quality websites

Some websites are made solely for SEO purposes. They might have articles which are incoherent and irrelevant. Generally speaking, it may seem that such a website doesn’t have any creative direction whatsoever writing on various non-related topics (such as PBNs).

Nevertheless, they still might link to your website as a way of improving their content and trying to fool Google. You should avoid getting such links at all costs. Sooner than later, Google will hit them with a penalty and with it, your website will be affected as well.

  1. Links within low quality articles are dangerous

Again, similar story as with the previous example.

Writing articles with the help of article spinners can lead to very bad results. These tools are mostly used by blackhat SEO experts who never bother to create high quality content. Instead, they prefer to use software which can produce huge amount of spinned content for their private blog networks.

Spotting such links is not that hard. Just use some backlink checker tool to monitor your inbound links and make sure you visit each page that links to you. If its content looks fishy or badly written – disavow it on sight.

  1. Comment links can penalize you

Nowadays, links from comment sections are an obsolete strategy. They have rel=”nofollow” and they can be used as a form of link diversification. But, there are still some “SEO experts” that tend to write either very elaborate comments advertising their product or are pointing towards bad websites. Most of the real SEO experts see this as more of a spam. Nevertheless, it still exists and requires your attention.

First of all, make sure that you never give dofollow links within comment section. Secondly, eliminate every type of comment that was created solely for purpose of promoting a website. Finally, never use comment links for link building purposes.

  1. Links with strange anchors are dangerous

In most of the cases, your anchor text will be the same as your keyword. But, in some cases, you may see anchors such as “click here”, “this article” etc. Most of these are normal.

Given that links are used as a way to point towards other articles, it can be expected to see such anchors. Problem comes with strangle looking anchors or repetition of one and the same anchor.

Basically, all your anchor texts need to be diversified. Different people express themselves differently and this will be reflected in the way they write their articles. However, it would be very strange if everybody used exactly the same phrase or even worse, if people would put a link to an SEO blog with anchors such as “cute kittens” or “amazing furniture”. This can indicate of malpractices and you should remove such as links immediately.

Tools that help you find and disavow bad links

There are many different tools that can help you disavow bad links.

For example, you can use Ahrefs or even better – LinkReseachTools. Today, there are hundreds of companies that are creating blogging and SEO tools. So, even if you decide to avoid these two, there will certainly be some software which can help you with process.

Finally, it is necessary to emphasize how important it is for a webmaster to check their links properly. I already mentioned that bad links can get you in all sorts of trouble with Google. But, at the same time, removal of good links can have a disastrous impact on your optimization.

Before you decide whether to keep or remove a link, you need to be 100 % positive about it. If necessary, ask for an advice from an SEO expert. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Do you often disavow bad links pointing to your website? How do you do it and with what success?

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