Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Get Rid of Bad Links: Part One

Best First Step: Ask for Removal on the Site Itself

Now that you've identified your bad links, you can now start the process of getting rid of them.

Here is are some links for a site downloaded from Google Web Master Tools.  I've put them in a spreadsheet and started to analyse them.

Nofollow, No Worry
Notice that the first six links are all nofollow, since I've put an "n" in the "Followed?" column.  You don't have to worry about them, as a general rule, if they are "nofollow"  since they don't pass much link juice. The seventh is a followed and low-ranking link from the domain:  It has a PR 0.  This is probably not good for page rank, and looks a good one to get rid of.  Doing so can only help our ranking.

Best Way to Start Link Removal
The best way to start link removal is to go to the site itself to request link removal.  Sometimes there is a contact form to request removal and, on the other end, in the best of cases, a person who after receiving the request, will immediately remove it for you.  This is what happens with reputable site.

Let's Try it Out
Let's go to Alestat and see if that is the case here.  This is what Alestat looks like:

We will love their statistics, we are told. And so it seems, at first glance, we will.  Alestat is one of those sites that will give you statistics about your page rank and Alexa ranking, if you enter your domain name into the text box. It looks professional, clean, and reputable, like a good site.  It does not look spammy at all.  The site probably added our link when someone, out of curiosity, submitted our domain to find out the statistics.  (Warning: If you are following along, do not submit your site.)

Find the Contact
To top it all off there is a "Contact " too.  This is great, it seems, we'll be able to ask for removal.  Clicking the "Contact",  we find a form and on the form under "--select type of query--" there is even, yes, a "Delete link to website."  At this point we're loving this site and how easy they make it to request removal.  Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, we're almost there, we think. I enter "Delete link to website" and I find this:

Time to be Shocked
Now we're shocked, this site is so bad.  It lures people into their really nice, clean and reputable looking website, saying we'll love their statistics.  Unsuspecting, we enter our domain.  After which they give us a low-ranking link we didn't ask for, and then charge us $10 a year to remove it and keep it removed?  I don't think so.  I would not pay this...this is not reputable or honest.  This is a site to stay away from completely. Don't enter your domain to begin with, don't pay if you already have.

What to do Next
What I did was to disavow the link in Google Web Master Tools which I will talk about in a future post.  I put in a comment to tell Google why.  Disavowing will take the bad link's link juice away without paying the $10 or $25 dollars.

The Best First Step
With many sites, you can submit a request for removal in their contact form or, if they list an email address, by emailing them.  This is the best and easiest way to remove a bad link.  Many websites make it easy to request removal and will do it on first request.  Start there.  The harder link removals come next.

If you want help finding or removing bad links, Ducktoes will be glad to give advice or do it for you.

The other posts in this series are:
How to Find Bad Links
How to Remove Bad Links Part One - Ask for Removal on the Site Itself
How to Remove Bad Links Part Two - Use Whois to Find the Owner
How to Remove Bad Links Part Three - Create the Disavow Tool Text

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