There is still a debate about backlinks, and what is a quality backlink, and what are proper SEO methods. Even after all the warnings from legitimate SEO experts about how Google and other search engines will be cracking down on spam filled blogs, paid backlinks, link exchanges, and automated programs with the intention of scheming page rank, there are still companies, and unfortunately clients, who buy into this strategy. Because customers are impatient to see results with their new or revised websites on a search engine, and with the knowledge of how powerful a front page ranking is, companies that promise the moon in SEO still survive in the post-Penguin world.
What is Penguin you ask? This was the recent update by Google to its algorithm done a couple years back, that was again recently updated to what is termed ‘Penguin 2.0’. To best explain what you can expect, I would recommend watching the above 7 minute YouTube video from Google’s own Matt Cutts. He explains very clearly what you should be doing for good SEO, and what to avoid.
Here is what you should do: Build a good responsive website that has quality content, that is relevant to your business, that does not overemphasizing your keywords with too much anchor text, and you will be golden. When you have a good site, backlinks will naturally flow. Whether you ‘like’ Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) or not, you MUST, you MUST be active there. That is one of the best ways to generate traffic and interest in your brand and website. You should also be involved with national, regional, and local industry organizations that support your type of work. Pretty much every type of job has some kind of trade organization, or groups that share ideas. Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and other professional networking groups will often provide a directory for local businesses that will link to your website. This is a good thing, and completely legitimate. Bottom line is that websites that are well done will be referenced in others blogs, or mentioned in news articles because they are truly informative.
What you want to avoid are the following practices. To have your backlinks done right use common sense, especially when it comes to your small business website and marketing campaign, and remember that if you see “Free” or “Paid” attached to a backlinks service, then it probably is not legitimate or ‘white hat’: (Information from both Google and Maine Hosting Solutions was used in this post. BTW, this is an example of a good backlink. I found MHS’s information while researching best SEO practices, and am giving them credit for it in this blog!)
So, what should you do if your website has a substantial amount of ‘bad’ backlinks pointing to it? First make sure that you remove as many as you can manually, by asking the webmaster of the websites where you are linked from to remove them. If that does not work, you can also “Disavow” them through the following tool with Google, and you should be OK: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en
**Warning from Google about Disavow tool: “This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool.”
At Tayloe Marketing and Consulting, we will promise you one thing: That we will use reliable and ethical SEO strategies to get you the results you desire. There is a lot more information out there about best practices for SEO and Internet Marketing. If you have further questions, do your research, and then give us a call at (941) 483-6187 or email us for a free consultation.
Thank you for reading,
Bradley Tayloe MBA
President and Founder