Can Any Inbound Linking Hurt My Ranking?

2 min read

Avatar Luke Tobin

17th April, 2014

Online marketing,SEO

In light of the current information available online it is easy to presume that inbound links are the holy grail when it comes to your search engine ranking. Oh if it was only that simple. While inbound links are undoubtedly a great help when it comes to the searching and indexing of data there are also bad links which can now prove detrimental to your ranking and should be avoided at all costs.

If you have had the same links in places for a couple of years then it’s time to get them checked. The search engine algorithms are almost unrecognisable from the way they worked only five years ago and those old, out date links could now be doing you more harm than good. It is well worth your while getting an expert to look over these as with the landscape changing so much you may change them yourself to find they are still past their sell by date.

Google has long cottoned onto the fact that website owners were pushing in as many links as possible to raise their rankings. They classed this as ‘false popularity’ in that nobody had actually found the site useful and created genuine links to it. The updates they have employed over the last couple of years have aimed at bringing up better and altogether less ‘spammy’ results and if you have found yourself slipping down the rankings due to these changes those links need addressing. The last thing you want is spam driven links leading to your website.

It isn’t difficult to spot a dodgy link, even for a complete amateur. Have a look at the sites where the links are coming from and see if they are of poor design in that their purpose is not instantly clear. Also check that the links aren’t coming from unsavoury sites. For example if you have a floristry website you don’t want a link coming from a porn site!

Links should never come from non-relevant sites as in the world of SEO a link is effectively a yes vote so relevancy is vital. If you have ever paid for a link at any time in the past get rid of it now! If Google hasn’t picked up on it already you can bet they soon well so instant removal will protect your site from plummeting down the rankings faster than skis on ice.

If you thought keywords were dead and buried as far as SEO was concerned think again. They have merely shifted position and should now be found within the links. Keyword rich links are best left to the experts rather than trying to think of the terms you would personally search for.

The latest Google guidelines regarding good links are pretty self explanatory;
• Links you don’t control
• Editorial links
• Links you don’t know you have

All of the above get the thumbs up from Google, now it’s up to you to ensure your site is ticking all these boxes.

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