What is a Bad Link and How Does it Affect Your Website’s Health?

DSM Digital School of marketing - bad link

By now, we at the Digital School of Marketing are sure you are aware that backlinks linking to your website can massively impact your site’s search engine rankings, either in a positive or negative way. However, keep in mind that not all links are created equal and you need to know that links come in different shapes.

The importance of linking

Some links have more weight than others and some are more valuable while others do more harm than good to your site’s SEO and organic ranking. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you have used white- or black hat link-building techniques, there is always a chance that a percentage of links linking to your website are bad links and can impact your website’s organic rankings.

Other websites linking to yours is one of the most powerful SEO tools

It can dramatically improve the ranking of your website in major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. However SEO specialists tend to forget that a quality of a link always trumps quantity. We at DSM advise that you rather focus your efforts on building a relationship with websites that can provide you with high-quality links rather than those which can provide you with quantity.

How do you get your site to rank well on search engines?

When the Internet began and started gaining the world’s attention, it was relatively easy to rank well on search engines. All you needed to do to be found was to throw together a couple of articles, stuff them with targeted keywords, and link out to a couple of other sites. At the time, you didn’t really need to sweat it out to drive organic traffic to your website.

However, things have changed. Google became a lot smarter and it became easier for search engines to sniff out bad links and sites and, of course, punish them. In fact, the rules of the game changed overnight. Google updated their algorithm and introduced their Penguin update and continues to do so on a monthly basis which means that it’s getting harder and harder to buck the system.

To rank on the first page of Google has become a war. This means that to get this coveted spot you’ll need to get your technical SEO on point:

  • Articles stuffed with keywords will no longer do the trick. To rank your website on search engines you will need to post valuable, unique content, and link out to sites relevant to your niche.

Most marketers are new to link building. We have found that most individuals are confused with what makes bad link. So, here’s our quick guide to help you figure it all out.

What is a bad link?

In a nutshell, a bad link is one that offers no value whatsoever. For example, if a casino site links to a health and wellness website, Google can immediately identify that there is no correlation and value shared between the two websites.

Most of these bad links are considered spammy or obtained from spammy websites. Any self-made links that were created with the intention of manipulating Google and other search engines can be viewed as ‘bad’ or low-quality links and they can get you into trouble with search engines. Both the Panda and Penguin update that was rolled out by Google were implemented to focus on defining a website’s external and internal link quality

Links can also be said to be ‘bad’ if they are broken

Broken links arise when the content has changed or is no longer available. This can have a severe negative impact on the health of your website and the user experience. To an extent, it indicates that your website is outdated. If your site appears outdated it could affect your rankings on search engines as well. Bad or broken links also affect the value your visitors get from your website, and are likely to leave them annoyed and frustrated.

Removing broken or bad links from your website and replacing these with high-quality links will significantly improve the health of your site, which in return can help boost your overall organic search rankings in Google and other major search engines.

What makes a link good?

For a link to be good, it needs to be relevant. For example, if a website that shares health and fitness workouts with its audience links out to a health and fitness recipe website, it will most definitely add value to the user browsing the website. And the reason is that is simple: if you are interested in fitness workouts, the chances are good that you are also trying to eat healthily.

Other factors like link authority, as well as domain authority of the website the link is coming from also play a role in the quality of a link. However, focusing on relevance is always a safe rule of thumb to go by if you do not have the necessary tools available to help you measure the quality of a link.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

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