Backlink audits help you inventory and identify good backlinks and help you identify and eliminate the bad ones. Good backlinks pump up your rankings and move you to First Page Positions. Remember, backlinks play a very important part in effective SEO strategies if they are coming from a reputable site. There are two different types of backlinks: the good and the bad (a.k.a toxic).
What makes a good link, good? Simply put, good backlinks are from trustworthy/reputable websites. As an example, if you have a backlink from Yahoo! (which is both popular and reputable) this referral tells Google, “Hey, I (Yahoo!) am vouching for this, your website.” Google now prioritizes your website's rankings. This is the goal.
On the other hand, toxic backlinks, as you probably now suspect are not good. They tend to link from sites that are spam ridden, have broken links, include mismatched intent, and are non-indexed sites. These referring links decrease your reputation. Google negatively prioritizes your website's randing. This isnot the goal.
Executing a simple Google search, provides you wiht many different ways to complete a backlink audit. Using various tools can be handy for saving time and gaining more insight. Let’s look at some of these tools and dive into what to do after you’ve found and inventoried those bad, “toxic” links.
There are software tools that fit virtually any size budget and and provide succesful backlink audits. Though you might find one providing results, typically integrating sevaral tools provide a more holestic view of your website. Here are the top three Epoch Online suggests and the pros/cons that accompany each:
Auditing your backlinks involves visiting each linking site and determining the credibility and value of the site. This means analyzing the:
Assuming you have hundreds or thousands of links to sift through, doing this task by hand can be arduous and time-consuming, as we mentioned earlier. This is why you should definitely be using the help of an analysis tool like SEMrush or Moz to do the heavy lifting for you.
Another piece of the backlink audit puzzle is searching for link penalties. These can be manual or algorithmic penalties and will show their face in a few ways:
While there is no sure-fire way to correct all penalties, you can avoid long-lasting effects by performing regular backlink audits, SEO audits, and content audits to clean up your profile.
Google has not been shy about its opinion when it comes to paid links. They refer to them as “Link Schemes” and it can have a negative impact on your site rankings. Here are a few examples of what Google deems to be link-building malpractice:
If you are working on building up your backlinks, remember that organic link generation is best. We’ll go into more detail later on how to build a healthy backlink profile.
Unfortunately, the toxic links that you’ve uncovered are not going to disperse on their own; you’re going to need to put in some work to see improvement. Now, if you have hundreds of bad backlinks, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but breaking the task down can allow for breathing room.
There are two ways to eliminate these toxic links; request for removal and disavowing. Let’s look at each:
Now that we’ve seen the best ways to identify and eliminate harmful links, let’s look at the best ways to build a healthy backlink profile. The tactic we suggest is White Hat SEO, where you put the user experience first and let the rankings fall in line naturally. Here are top techniques to follow: