Backlinks 101: The Bad and Downright Ugly

SEO Bad Backlinks

We’re back on the backlink gravy train. Backlinks really are the make or break for your website and your search engine results. Good backlinks are what you want. These backlinks will take you far and will actually work for you, making it easier for you to get found, sell your products and services, and attract more good backlinks.

On the flipside, bad backlinks are extremely bad. In fact, they’re downright ugly. All it takes is one bad backlink and your search engine results will start to drop, you’ll lose online credibility, find it hard to build the good online relationships you need to build good backlinks, and if things get really bad – your website could simply no longer show up in the Google Search Results.

No, we’re not being overly dramatic here. We’re being honest. We’re not fooling around here when we talk about how detrimental bad backlinks can be for you and your website. We take the business of backlinks (yes, it’s a business) very seriously and this is why we want you to know what we know.

We’ve worked with too many companies who have been led astray by a devious SEO company that promised to get them to number one in Google Search Results.  We don’t want that to happen to you. We want you to build a strong online presence that uses the best-in-class of digital marketing and SEO strategy. This takes patience, skill, knowledge, and science. (Hint: we’ll test your SEO strategy for free and give you some free advice. Yes, we’re that friendly and helpful.)

Okay, back to the backlinks. You read our post about good backlinks so you know what you want. But often to help understand what you want, you need to know what you don’t want.

Bad Backlinks

We’re going to give you some pointers on what to look out for when it comes to bad backlinks. This way, if you’re working with someone else (gasp!) then you know how to verify their work and ask the hard questions about the backlinks they’re building into your website.

One key thing to remember: immediate and fast success with a backlink is often an indicator of a bad backlink. Nothing that is going to last happens overnight on the Internet. Keep this in mind when evaluating your backlinks.

And don’t forget our number one rule: quality. The quality of the website matters. Backlinks to poorly written, poorly designed, and just plain low quality websites are not what you want. Avoid these at all costs. Trust us when we say that low quality backlinks and content will end up costing you big.

Avoid these kinds of backlinks:

  • Article sites: there are some websites out there that have been designed to simply list links to other articles. While at first glance this looks like a good opportunity for you, these websites are to be avoided at all times. You can often identify these by the commonality of the links on the page, they’re often not related and don’t make a lot of sense.
  • Comments: these kinds of backlinks are typically created by bots. They scroll through your website and insert some kind of comment about how useful your article is or even using a fake name with a personalized message. Think of these as you do spam email and delete them from your website. Often, we’ll see that these bots will work to outsmart the website owners and if you neglect to delete the comment and link, you’ll only attract more.
  • Poor quality anchor text: in Backlinks 101: Let’s Talk Backlinks, we emphasized the importance of the anchor text. Be on the lookout for anchor text that simply doesn’t fit into the context of the page. Sometimes you’ll come across entire pages that don’t have anything to do with the rest of the website but are just used to provide some kind of oblique relevance – Google is not fooled by these. Also look for duplicate content on a website, this is an indicator of the level of quality on the site and can hurt your search engine results. (Hint: if you’re not sure what good anchor text is, contact us and we’ll talk keywords, anchor text, and backlinks in more detail.)
  • Links that make zero sense: yes, this should be obvious but you’d be surprised at how many website owners end up with links to companies that have zero connection and relevance to their own website, products, and services. If the backlink is not to a website in your niche or industry space, ignore it. If you’re not a global company, don’t bother with links to a company in a country in which you don’t operate. Remember, like-to-like is what you want.

Let Us Help You

Yes, we know this just got real serious. Now you understand that backlinks really can make or break your website and your online presence. This is extremely important if you do all your business online. Backlinks are critical. But don’t stress, this is why we’re here.

Browse our blog, keep on reading and learning. Then contact us with your questions. We’ll work with you to get you on the right path. We’ll test your SEO strategy for you and get you pointed in the right direction and then we’ll work together to formulate a plan and approach that puts you where you need to be.

We won’t promise overnight success. But we will promise that your website will start working for you and not against you. We’ll put your best online face forward and get you back on the gravy train.