Is your website stuck? Have you lost rankings and traffic across your most important pages? then it might be time to audit your backlinks profile and clean things up so you can remove toxic backlinks hurting your performance in the SERPs.
In this article, I share the exact steps you can take to clean up your backlinks profile so you can get back your lost traffic.
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Why Should You Clean Up Your Backlinks Profile?
Link building is a crucial part of SEO as it boosts organic growth. However, if the links are bad, it can hurt your site’s visibility on the SERPs. Bad links are spammy, sponsored, irrelevant, or point to low-quality websites.
Sometimes these bad links may come from sites that have already received penalties, and as a result, your website may suffer negative SEO penalties due to its tarnished reputation. One penalty is not ranking on the first page of SERPs.
Since Google wants to maintain its reputation by not showing users irrelevant or useless results, it will only put pages on the first page of the search engine results page if they have established credibility, reliability, and authority.
Factors That Determine The Quality Of A Link
1. The Domain Authority Score
The domain authority (DA) score of the blog you got your link from is important because it enables you to know the quality of the link you’re acquiring.
The DA score of a website is usually between 0 to 100 with 0 being the worst and 100, being the best. Great tools like Moz, Prepostseo, Bulkdachecker, and Countingcharacters are handy for checking the DA score of sites.
2. The Domain Relevance
Domain relevance means that the site you’re linking to should be relevant to yours. It could be the same niche or industry, but this is a key ranking factor on Google.
3. Search Engine Index
A search engine organizes and stores web content in a central database through a process known as search engine indexing. Once the content has been analyzed and understood, the search engine can present it to users in ranked lists on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Then the search engines make use of crawlers to look into links and material on websites before indexing them and arranging their database. If a page gets a higher index from Google, they have a better quality link.
Some tools to help you check for search engine indexes are Google search console, Sitemaps, and Robots.txt.
4. Trust Flow
Majestic designed the metric known as Trust Flow to analyze a website’s reliability by gauging its effectiveness on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher a blog’s trust flow result, the better. If the majority of the links pointing to your site have a high trust flow, your site’s perceived quality will rise.
5. Citation Flow
This is another Majestic metric, designed to predict how influential a website link is by the number of inbound connections it has. The higher the number of inbound connections the blog has, the better the citation flow score of the blog.
6. Root domain
Ideally, you want as many root domains linking to you as possible because they are generally more authoritative and trustworthy than subdomains or folders. You need as many root domain backlinks to tell Google you’re awesome at what you do.
How To Clean Up Your Backlinks Profile
Analyze Your Backlinks Profile
The first step to clearing your backlinks profile would be to analyze your profile to know what links to clean up. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to analyze your backlink profile below:
Step 1: Choose your analysis tool. You can make use of tools like Google Webmasters Tools, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to easily find all the toxic links and provide an easy chance to remove them.
Step 2: Check your link velocity. From the dashboard of your chosen analysis tool, select your backlinks profile and click on new. This lets you know how many links you have acquired and when you got them.
Step 3: Identify your toxic backlinks. Select referring domains from your backlink profile. You’ll see a list of domains referring to you with some other information such as their DR, Ranking, and organic traffic. You can begin checking the links by looking for links that look random and clicking on them.
Step 4: Check your referring pages to referring domain ratio. This is important because if you have a lot of links from the same domain, it’s unhealthy.
Separate Low-Quality Links
With the information you have gathered from your analysis, prepare an excel sheet mentioning the exact references, PR, DA, and webmaster’s email id.
Request a Link Removal
Start the link removal process by contacting webmasters to request link removal.
Use Google Disavow Tool
Prepare a txt file for all the links for which you have not succeeded in removing and log in to your webmaster’s tools account. All low-quality links need to be disavowed using the disavow tool. This tool will allow Google to detect the domains passing links that you do want Google to count.
After submitting the txt file, wait patiently and let Google process each low-quality link.
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Never neglect cleaning up your backlinks profile if you want to be successful with SEO. You can lose rankings if you have too many bad links since Google considers them an essential factor in ranking your site. Once you identify the toxic links, make sure you remove them as soon as possible.