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Why Links are Holding You Back

For businesses outsourcing their SEO campaigns or doing it themselves, the past 18 months have been a period of extreme change.

Google has caught many Australian brands off guard as their long-standing first page ranking has plummeted to outside the first five pages.

Link and learn

These penalties – algorithmic and otherwise – can have a significant impact on website traffic and any business generated through your website. 

Google’s stance on links has stemmed from the manipulation of search engine rankings through “black hat” or unsavoury SEO tactics such as:

  • Paid advertising links that have not been labelled as “no follow”.
  • Links created with keywords set as the anchor text such as “carpet cleaner Sydney”.
  • Links from poor quality sites set up for the purpose of providing links to manipulate search rankings.
  • Footer links across a network of websites.
  • Links from article directory sites.
  • Links generated automatically via comments on blogs and forums.

Best practice

If you’re concerned that your business may have been a participant in the above practices, not to worry.

Just follow the five steps below and enjoy peace of mind that your search engine rankings will continue to improve.

1. Identify

Recognise links that have been created with the intention of manipulating Google’s rankings.

2. Profile

Review your link profile as a whole to find common signs of manipulation such as anchor text, site-wide links and country of origin.

3. Delete

Make every attempt to contact and remove questionable links from your profile.

4. Disavow

Disavow (through Google’s tool) all bad links.

For those you can't remove contact Google so these won't negatively affect your ranking. 

5. Build

Build quality links from websites most relevant to your business, including your local area and those who are part of your business network.

Chances are the links you are deleting were the only thing keeping your ranking there in the first place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ewan Watt is the founder of roi.com.au, a leading Australian based SEO agency. Ewan has been leading SEO projects in Australia for over 15 years. You can follow ROI at @roicomau and plus.google.com/+RoiAu.

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