How to Remove Bad Backlinks

shutterstock_163989638When running a website, it’s easy to accept links from many sources. In the past, this was a wise move as Google and the leading search engines would value your content highly if you had hundreds of links from random, and even irrelevant, sources. Things have changed, greatly. If you have links from spam sites or irrelevant ones, you are going to fall in the search engine rankings, and if you know anything about Panda updates, you know this is true. Fortunately, with a little leg work, you can find the culprit and get rid of the links.

Before getting started, you should know what links point to your site. With Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, you can see what links point to your site. Then, you can create an Excel sheet and organize your data. You will want to check back at these two sites in a few weeks so you can ensure that the links were removed.

Once you know where you stand, you can start with the Google Disavow Tool. With this simple tool, you can login to your account and select links that you believe are hurting your site rankings. Google will then take this into consideration when determining your rankings. Of course, if you take a proactive approach, you will save more time as you can get rid of links earlier.

Now, if you want to contact sites directly, you are going to have a serious task on your hand – especially if you have hundreds of links you want to be removed. To start, you should look up the contact information of every site. With a Whois search, you can find the contact information of the webmasters. But, while you can find the contact information for many sites, you will end up with a lot of bad email addresses. Worse yet, if the Whois information is protected, you are going to have to dig deeper to find any contact information. This is a time-consuming task, and if you are too busy, it’s wise to find someone who can look up all the information. Once you have the email addresses in hand, you can start sending emails.

When you compose your email to the webmaster, you need to keep it short and to the point. At the same time, when sending out your message, make sure it’s both friendly and firm. You can find examples online, or you can write your own. To start, the subject line should read, “please remove my links”, or something along these lines. In the body of the email, you should state who you are and what site you represent. Then, you should tell the webmaster that you want the links removed as it’s hurting your site rankings. Most of the time, you will not receive a response as webmasters are busy or simply don’t care. But, you can probably get rid of a lot of links with this method.

Next, you will want to check the links and see which ones were removed. By giving the site owners a couple of weeks to remove links, you will not email anyone twice. Then, once you have a list of sites that still need links removed from, you need to send a message. Be a little firmer in the second email as you will get more results if you tell them what you want. This may not work, and you may have to take one final step to remove the links.

If you still have some bad links you want to be removed and a simple email to the webmaster won’t fix it, you are going to want to head to the site and find the contact information. Remember, a lot of times the site will have dead email links, so it’s best to email multiple people, or at least someone who manages the website.

After contacting people through a Whois search and the website, you are probably out of luck if you want to get the links removed manually. Sadly, the website owners are not under any obligation to remove your links. Fortunately, if you do the legwork and find out what links are spam, you can use the Google Disavow Tool, which is a great tool that can help you regain your rankings. It should be noted that if you use the Google Disavow Tool, your links will still show up in the other leading search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.

If you run a website, you need to use the available tools. With Google Webmaster tools, you can track your links and make sure they are all high quality. Then, if they are spam, you need to contact the site owners directly and ask them to remove a link. Since this won’t always work, you will want to familiarize yourself with the Google Disavow Tool so you can make sure Google ignores the spam links.

Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014