Maybe through a result of a previous agencies work, previous link building tactic or even through no fault of your own… it is possible that you may have harmful links pointing to your site. And those harmful sites could affect your rankings if they haven’t already done so. Google is on the prowl and there not slowing down.
Like I said, this may be through no fault of your own and it could have come about through other sites seeing your site and see that you provide relevant content and liked the look of it – and here we are thinking we’ve obtained a free link and we have had to give nothing away in return for it – not even our time. Well unfortunately this is not always the case, because that site may well have X-rated links and gambling site links sprawled all over the site! And from that Google can sometimes make the assumption that your ‘Puppy accessories and treats’ site is in some way linked to the adult entertainment business – hard to fathom I know.
Whether or not you have been hit by a Google penalty or received one of those dreaded emails in your Webmaster account (if you haven’t got webmaster set up… stop reading and do it now… seriously!) it is worth carrying out the process of checking whether or not you have potentially harmful links pointing to your site. You can use the following sites to check:
The Next Step
Ok, so you have found some links that don’t look right to you, that’s part 1 done, the easy part mind you. Now you have the unenviable task of trying to get these links removed from that site. This may well take some patience, 1st thing to do is find out who obtained the link, whether that’s a member of your team an old agency you had employed for you and get the contact information of the website you have your link placed on. This might be easier said than done but here are some tips that might help you with the cause:
Domaintools.com: semi-free this tool will give you the basic details without paying such as name, Email Address and associated URL’s – unless hidden behind private registration which all Go-Daddy sites are.
C-Class Checker: if you have already compiled a list of all the links you want to get rid of, you can run them through this and it will tell you how many are in the same C-Class – possibly cutting down the number of site administrators you have to contact.
Social Media: through Twitter or Facebook you could always use this as a possible option, but before you spend time searching for their social media accounts think to yourself if they would actually have one. If it is a site that distributes thousands of links in a day to incomplete sentence sites would they really spend time on twitter…?
Social media can be used as a way of getting noticed, it won’t endear you with the site administrator but if your previous attempts get ignored then maybe kicking up a fuss on Twitter will do the job.
There are several scenarios that can come out of your efforts to have your links removed –
- Website removes link and informs you about it (saves you a lot of work)
- Website removes link and doesn’t tell you (check to make sure it’s gone)
- No reply and no action taken (Not ideal to say the least)
- Ask for payment to take link off
Once you have done this process and believe your site is now clean of dodgy unwanted links pointing to your site – if rankings were penalised – send Google your reconsideration request. It is worth noting that if you don’t hear back from sites you have contacted, mention it in your reconsideration request.