What is the importance of auditing backlinks to your website?
Backlinks have always been a very important aspect for SEO (search engine optimization) of a website. These can either be present on your site, or feature your site on other domains. Both are good to have, while linking to other high-authority domains can help your search engine profile in the eyes of the search algorithms. Being links on other sites can help establish further domain authority while also generating valuable traffic from a previously untapped well of web users.
Though this all sounds like an innocent and even encouraging sign of cooperation between companies and websites, this is still the internet and there are always actors with bad intentions ready to enact some shady tactics in their web strategy.
It’s important to audit your backlink profile or work with an experienced SEO company that can keep tabs on your backlinks to ensure your site isn’t being negatively affected by any shady, black-hat backlink practices.
Auditing or scanning through your backlink profile sounds daunting or almost impossible for a single person to do. You don’t know where sites are linking to your business, a backlink mentioning your business could be anywhere. Thankfully, various SEO tracking tools like Ahrefs, Moz and SEMRush have backlink audit tools that can scour the web to find links to your website.
These tools even evaluate the type of backlink and takes contextual data of the anchor text, the domain authority of the linking site and more. When using these sites and tools, it ends up as a great way to keep track and file each of these backlinks. One of the most important indicators that these tools provide, though, is a toxicity score.
On SEMRush, for instance, the backlink audit presents each non-whitelisted backlink in order of toxicity score, which is the likelihood that the link is problematic for a variety of reasons. Those could be a low domain authority for the linking site, questionable content or other factors. Higher toxicity scores reflect worse quality websites.
Shady SEO companies can work with businesses to drive more toxic backlinks to their competitors and drive their site authority and rankings down, thereby elevating their own business. DigitalParc and other reputable, white-hat SEO companies that follow best-practice when optimizing websites don’t engage in sabotage of competitors.
Anything with a 60 or higher is a toxic link that should be removed immediately, potentially toxic links with scores between 40 and 59 can be reviewed, but are often backlinks that your site won’t want to have.
Removal and Disavowal
So, how do you get these other sites to remove your company’s website in order to keep its good standing with search engines and high domain authority?
There are a few options, including reaching out to the owners of the infracting website to remove the link to your website. While this is a straightforward solution, it rarely works, as often toxic websites don’t have the hierarchy of ownership to respond, or are even controlled by bots aimed at farming links.
The simplest and most effective solution is link disavowal and removal. This can be a difficult process for those not in tune with every integrated product helping their SEO, but DigitalParc’s SEO strategists routinely go through this process with our clients. The process begins with moving the toxic links to a disavow list. Then, you will need to import any existing disavowed link list from Google Search Console to your SEO tracking tool. Then, take the compiled list of new and old disavowed links and upload again to Google’s Disavow Tool.
That will signal to Google that your website disputes the presence of a link to your site on the provided domains. Essentially, you’re telling Google that you don’t approve of your website being linked on a particular domain, so it won’t factor that domain in evaluating SERP (search engine results page) rankings or domain authority scores.
Backlinks are a complicated mess when there are various bad actors at play. Monitoring these regularly can become a chore and a headache when there are disavowals in the picture. DigitalParc works with backlinks every day and ensures our clients aren’t dropping in ranking or domain authority due to toxic backlinks. Contact our SEO team today to get started with your backlink audit and get on a path to a healthy website with more traffic.