How to Deal With Unnatural Links to Your Site

seo and unnatural linkingEven if your website has a lot of high quality content, having low quality links can damage the search engine’s impression of your website. This forces them to take action, which can hurt your website’s ranking, thus making it harder to find it in the search engine results pages. If SEO is what you are doing, sometimes sites are not found at all if they have been deemed too “spammy.”

While the intentions behind the links are to create as many doorways as possible and increase exposure, it is not always about quantity as much as it is quality. Even when you have tried to legitimately improve the page ranking, unnatural links can make the search engine think that you were intentionally trying to manipulate it. This is why you have to be very careful with SEO, as there can be a lot of links floating around on and off your website.

Google’s Warning

In 2012, Google issued a warning to some website owners about unnatural links leading to their websites. Unnatural links can include links that are purchased or attached to your website under the radar by spammers and scrapers. By working under the radar and attaching to your site, your site could potentially end up being linked to a bad neighborhood on the Internet.

When Google suspects an affiliate site of possible blackhat SEO, they will take manual action. This means that a member of their support team will manually delist the site and that means it won’t be found in search results. The site receives a warning to delete or alter the unnatural links within six months. Website owners can then submit a reconsideration request; otherwise the necessary changes will need to be made.

What Can You Do?

In order to ensure SEO is effective, you will have to stay on top of your site and detox it of unnatural links. You can download a list of your backlinks and sort them by date to see what kind of link activity you have had recently and delete the affected pages, replacing them with new ones. From there, follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines where you will find that Google doesn’t necessarily frown upon all purchased links. However, applying the “rel=nofollow” attribute to purchased links or any links that could be considered low quality or unnatural will help. From there, work on building quality backlinks so that any unnatural links that may have slipped under the radar are not an issue.

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