SAVE YOUR WEBSITE FROM POTENTIAL GOOGLE PENALTY! MAKE SURE THE BACKLINKS ARE LEGIT!
Up until 5-7 years ago, SEO was relatively easy. All that it took was to create/purchase a bunch of backlinks, stuff the web content with keywords and off you go for fast and expected results.
But, like every good party that gets quickly abused by SEOers, Google has put an end to these shady practices and for the most part not only they are not affective, they could also damage one’s SEO or even worse – cause the website to be penalized by Google and potentially be removed from the search results.
CHECK YOUR BACKLINKS
Since forever, I have been advising all my clients to review the backlink portfolio of their website (easiest option would be with Google Search Console) and get rid of the ones which are irrelevant or look spammy, as these could cause potential damage to SEO in the future, or upon another targeted algorithm update.
Review the domains that link to the website once every few months and look for links from Russia, Asia or in different languages other than English. These could potentially be spammy. Browse all domains – mark the ones that look suspicious in a sheet – and leave the relevant ones untouched.
FOCUS OF CROSS-SITE LINKS
Footer links or cross-site links (that appear on all pages of the website) create a lot of duplicated links. Make sure the domain is legit and that the anchor text is relevant and varied.
The actual disavow process is a little tricky since it requires to create a specific list in a specific format, but once it’s done, it could be replicated for future need.
It may take Google up to 45 days to review the list and in most cases you won’t feel the difference in the site’s performance as most of the action is happening behind the scenes. You will not get any notification either, but would be only able to see whether the sheet has been accepted. Here’s the link to Google disavow tool.
GOOGLE’S LOGIC / WHY COMING CLEAN MAKES SENSE
It is better to come clean for Google – before it cracks down on your website and then the result will be much more painful (if the reason is just, of course) and complex to repair.
Google is well aware that shitty links can and do exist, and even be applied by 3rd parties (for negative SEO practices). Spam links can be purchased and pointed to a domain without the website’s owner is even being aware of that. So from here, Google’s created the disavow tool to handle the bad links and save website from being penalized in the future, so it makes perfect sense to review the link portfolio and notify Google on the spam ones.