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Discover and Monitor Bad Backlinks

SEO GazelleOur ThoughtsDiscover and Monitor Bad Backlinks

When identifying bad “neighborhoods” for backlinks take your time and be thorough when making decisions. The tools available today has made it become easier with better online tools, larger link indexes, and increased SEO knowledge, however for many in our industry it’s unfortunately not prioritized. It isn’t hard to Discover and monitor bad backlinks within your online profiles and various money pages. While in most cases the ideal scenario would be to have an SEO professional poring over all of your linking profile and evaluating each link instance one-by-one, for many average Webmasters handling their small business that’s just too expensive (or, considered, extremely overkill).

Let’s walk through a simple methodology using Link Explorers to combine together the power of Ahrefs Site Audit, Moz Link ExplorerKeyword Explorer Lists to do a comprehensive link audit.

The basics

There are numerous components involved in researching whether a link is “low quality” or “bad” and should possibly be removed or marked by the search engine. Ultimately, our goal is to be able to measure the “riskiness” of the link (a.k.a. how likely is Google to flag the link as manipulative or unnatural). Let’s address three of the common factors used by SEO Agencies to determine this link score:

Trust FACTORS/metrics:

There’re a handful of metrics in our industry (DA, PA, SPAM, LA) that are readily available to help point out concerning backlinks but most don’t take the time to evaluate them. The main two most often used are Moz Spam Score and Majestic Trust Flow (difference between Citation Flow and Trust Flow). These two scores actually work quite differently and should be used properly before jumping to conclusions. Moz’s “Spam Score” runs a prediction algorithm that determines the likelihood a domain is/could be banned or penalized based on certain site features or history online. Majestic Trust Flow calculates the “trustworthiness” of a domain or web page based on the quality of links pointing to a specific page. While both of these are calculated quite differently, the goal here is to help SEOs & Webmasters identify which sites/links are trustworthy and which are not. However please keep in mind, while these are a solid starting point, they aren’t sufficient on their own to give you a clear picture of whether a link is good or bad, or the lasting effects of its history.

ONSITE SEO Anchor text manipulation:

This is often something goes overlooked with most link audits and one of the first things an SEO learns is that using valuable anchor text can help increase your rankings, simply SEO 101. The very next thing they learn by reading online or various industry leaders is that using valuable anchor text can bring on a “manual penalty”. The reason for this is pretty simple: the likelihood a webmaster will give you valuable anchor text out of the goodness of their heart is very rare, so “over-optimization” sticks out like a sore thumb to the search (Google, Bing, Yahoo) crawlers. So you may ask, what is the best way to measure my anchor text manipulation? If we look at anchor text with our own eyes in the source of the pages, this proves to be rather intuitive but time intensive and if your website has 2000 pages could be overwhelming. Don’t waist time there’s a better way to do it by hiring a qualified SEO Specialist or with an automated process that will allow you to better judge these links.

Low VALUE/authority LINKS:

Of course, low-authority links can be very concerning to most. A quality link should reside on an internally well-linked page on a likeminded site. If the difference between the “DA” Domain Authority and “PA” Page Authority is very high, it could be a major concern of un-crawled new content or old data from a purchased domain. It isn’t always a strong signal, but it is one worth looking at and noting when you come across it. This is especially obvious in certain types of spam sites or purchased blogger articles, like paginated comment spammed with comment links or forum profile footer spamming large amounts of posts.

If you find your website at a point dropping a huge amount of rankings or fluctuating within the search engine, reach out to a qualified SEO Company for a professional website audit. This can save tons of time and more then likely will help you correct the issues and regain your ranking positions within the search engines. For any questions or comments, please contact us via

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