Good back links are search engine gold, but when the spam starts to seep in, you’ll find your rankings begin to sink and your reputation will wane. So what can you do? Here’s how to recover when the reputation sappers strike.
Spotting the Spam
The first thing to remember when trying to filter out spam links that lead to your website is that SEO is a numbers game. While numbers matter when it comes to content rankings, not all numbers are created equal. Good links add value, boost your rankings and create revenue. However, bad links violate Google’s rules, and these are the most important rules to follow.
Google’s 2012 Penguin algorithm update placed an emphasis on quality over quantity and began to penalize sites tied to low quality content that is a hindrance to web users. As the official post put it, these new rules would benefit sites that practice “white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive web spam tactics.” You need to wear the white hat.
Do Your Background Reading
Linking goes both ways. There is little you can do about other companies trying to sabotage your website by building your links into spam or porn websites. What you can do is avoid including connections to sketchy sites in your own writing.
The first thing to do, then, is to read the blacklists. There are a number of online resources that will let you know the who’s who of bad SEO practice. Check them thoroughly and eliminate any sites you find from your roster of link connections.
Check Other Problem Sources
If you’ve seen your reputation tank, but your link quality seems to hold up, then it’s time to look into other possible problems. Have you been writing duplicate content? Are your redirects not up to Google’s standards? Maybe you’ve even been hacked – it can happen to anyone. Any of these problems could be the source of your reputation problems.
When all else fails, you can even just pull the pages that have lost positive standing and start again. Then you have the opportunity to build new links that reflect a better image of your business. It can also be worth checking with Google to see what’s pulling you down so you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Know Your Score
Much like a credit score, Moz.com created a system that scores your spam link content on a range from 0 to 17. While it is still somewhat limited in function and more than a little difficult to use, the site crawler will ascribe a value to each site linked to you. Pursue those with a high spam value to remove the links and remedy your high site reputation.
Ditching the spam may be the first step to rebooting your content creation strategy, but that won’t be enough to demand attention from your prime audiences. No, the real key to high-quality content is getting personal. The more tailored your content approach, the more it will appeal to the reader.
Set clear goals, communicate directly yet informally and approach with a sense of what you have to offer the recipient. Focus on the exchange and the intended outcome, and you’ll be headed for success.
It’s important to constantly watch your reputation reports and check your SEO rankings because the creation of internet back links can tank your position at a moment’s notice. Often it isn’t your fault, but remedying the situation is always your responsibility.
Be vigilant, check all your content and don’t be afraid to fight back when someone is dragging you down. Your reputation matters – don’t leave it to chance.