With the New Year comes new search engine algorithm updates. It’s time to take stock and look at your backlinks to determine if you need link-building rehab or are on the right track.
In the early days, many so-called SEO experts violated Google guidelines by buying backlinks and producing spammy articles. It didn’t matter, because although Google complained about these practices, they didn’t enforce their guidelines. But in 2012, the day of reckoning arrived in the form of an update called Penguin.
Penguin targeted sites with a large number of non-relevant, quickly acquired backlinks from sites of low quality. In other words, websites that paid for a lot of backlinks instead of earning them found themselves plummeting in the search rankings. Since Penguin’s initial release, SEO agencies have spent many hours tracing spammy backlinks, removing them, and replacing them with high-quality backlinks. But keeping up with Penguin isn’t a one-and-done proposition for link-building services. The updates will keep coming in 2020.
The Question You’re Probably Asking
So why can’t some SEO consultants just work on earning quality links for their clients? Why do they keep giving into these get-rich-quick schemes and trying to beat Google at its own game?
The answer: It feels incredible to generate fast results and make clients happy.
Even though they know it could all come crashing down someday, in the moment, indulging in a fast backlink building scheme provides quick, easy results.
The short-term wins of quick links could distract businesses from best practices. But smart businesses should take a closer look at the long-term results. At first, switching to an SEO agency offering high-quality link building services feels a lot like putting your link building efforts through physical therapy. It’s hard work. The results take longer. A quick fix would feel so good compared to all that effort. But in the end, you’re able to come out stronger with better results.
Yet businesses with the courage to go to link-building rehab and change the way they do SEO will be the ultimate winners. They won’t succeed today; they’ll stay strong through virtually any Google algorithm update.
Step 1: Acknowledge the Problem
Link-building reboot is about two things: recovery and leading a life free from quick-link bailouts. It starts with a thorough assessment, this time assessing how spammy backlinks are affecting your website. Using tools like Ahrefs, your agency will find every backlink pointing back at your site. Then, they’ll analyze every link according to the following criteria:
How Much Traffic Does This Backlink Send to Your Pages?
Most spammy backlinks exist out in the wild, but they don’t bring traffic back to your website. They’re often hosted on sites that aren’t interested in search rankings for themselves. They’re just holding areas for a whole bunch of mixed-up links.
Is This Backlink From a Site Highly Relevant to Yours?
Natural backlinks are earned because your content is good, and they come from the sorts of people who would read your content — and those people have sites like yours. In many cases, fast link building involves creating mishmash Web pages full of links with no relationship to one another, or it involves buying links from whichever domain is offering.
Does the Link Come From a Page of High Domain Quality?
When medium- to high-quality domains link back to yours, Google assumes your website is more respectable and trustworthy. When you have many backlinks from sites with low domain quality — and backlinks built fast usually come from those sites — your low-quality link profile can hurt your search ranking.
Step 2: Start Recovering
After identifying problematic backlinks, your link-building agency will work to remove or disavow spammy links.
- Your agency contacts webmasters of the sites hosting the problematic links, asking them to remove links that don’t meet the criteria.
- For the links they can’t remove, your agency will create a disavow links strategy. This process can have negative effects if done incorrectly, so it’s best to rely on a professional for link disavowal.
- After improving your inbound link profile, your agency will ask search engines to have its spiders re-crawl your sites. Some sites see an immediate improvement in rankings, but, for others, restoration takes a while.
Step 3: Maintain Good Link Building Practices
Once you’ve recovered from the bulk of your problems with Google, it’s up to you to stay from cheap-link methods. This means not giving in when a cheap SEO agency comes along offering instant backlinks and fast improvements to your rankings.
Instead, work with an agency that helps you build natural, relevant, high-quality backlinks that, in addition to helping your search rankings, drive actual sales-ready traffic back to your website. It takes time to earn a high-quality backlink profile, but once you do, you’ll worry a lot less about Google’s algorithm changes.
Avoid the Quick Fix
Google always wants to deliver better search results to users, so it will continue to update its algorithm. The quick fix might feel great and look good today, but it usually doesn’t last.
Before your website hits rock bottom, make a New Year’s resolution to get into better, more sustainable link-building practices.
Get your custom backlink proposal from Digital Current today and get the proper link-building services you need.