Sometimes I get calls from people who say things like this: “I was at the top of the search engines and now, all of a sudden, we are nowhere.” These types of phone calls are on the rise because Google creates new algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin. These updates have an affect how Google sees your site after the update. Bottom line, Google doesn’t trust one or more of your incoming links anymore.
Disavow My Links Please
Google now has a program called the Disavow Links Program. First you have to have an SEO professional run your website through some expensive software to tell you which of the incoming links are “toxic.” Then you have to try to get the toxic links removed yourself or hire someone to get the links removed.
Only then can you give a list of links that you couldn’t get removed to Google and ask them nicely if they will please not count or “disavow” this particular set of toxic links. You have to try yourself first then ask Google.
How do these links get there?
Usually the calls I get from people who have link problems are from established companies who hired an SEO company 4 years or 2 years ago who had link- building included in with their SEO marketing strategy. I have never done link building as part of my strategy because I could see that link building abuse was on the rise.
Link Building Abuse
Whenever people start abusing an SEO factor (like meta keywords) Google lessens the weight of that factor for ranking your website. I fully expect that in about 4 years Google will make an announcement that they no longer use incoming links as a factor in ranking your website. I know this because I have seen a lot of websites that have an enormous amount of links (35,000 links) for a 100 page website.
Matt Cutts with Google made a video announcement 5 years ago that they no longer use meta keywords as a factor when ranking websites.
Monitoring Incoming Links
If you cannot risk losing all your traffic for one to 3 months from Google, you may want to have your links monitored on a monthly or weekly basis. Unfortunately, this link building thing is not regulated and anyone can add a link to your website from a well known un-trusted link farm. If you are not monitoring your incoming links, you may go months without knowing someone is consistently adding your website to a link farm.
The Very Best Links
Not all links are bad of course and you certainly don’t want to remove the links that are helping your website to rank. Getting a link from a .edu or .gov that is related to what your business is or what your website does is by far the best way to get the search engines’ attention. It is not always easy to do but not impossible.
One thing you might want to do is check out your online competition to see who they are linking from. There may be a government agency that is related to your business. This government agency may have a directory which allows you to add your website to theirs.