Backlinks remain an important part of the formula for a successful SEO campaign. High-quality backlinks help Google and other search engines recommend your website over others. Conversely, low-quality and spammy backlinks can seriously hinder your performance in search. Released in 2012, the Penguin algorithm continues to penalize websites with links from spam websites or otherwise irrelevant sources. If you believe your website has been hit by Penguin, there are a few actions you can take.
Identify the Poor Backlinks
Using Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, distinguish the good backlinks from the bad. If you’ve never heard of a domain, do your due diligence and investigate further. If you visit the website and determine it has nothing to do with your business, ask the webmaster to remove the backlink. You don’t want to remove backlinks that could potentially boost your search results, so make sure to do your research before removing them.
If, after multiple attempts, the webmaster still hasn’t removed the backlinks, Google allows you to disavow the poor backlinks via a very specific process. If you decide to go the disavow route, make sure you know what you’re doing, as disavowing quality backlinks can seriously deter your SEO campaign. Also keep in mind that the disavow process doesn’t happen overnight – it often takes weeks to months for Google to implement the changes. By using the disavow tool, you are essentially telling Google not to take the low-quality backlinks into account when evaluating your website.
Offset the Low-quality Backlinks with High-quality Backlinks
In addition to distancing your website from spammy or low-quality sites, be sure to continue your normal backlink building strategy. Continuing to add quality backlinks will help offset the poor backlinks and improve your search results.