Link Removal – Should You Do This?

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There appears to be a trend online, due to the recent Google updates, where people are panicked about their backlinks and are requesting link removals from the site owners.

While it does appear that the Google penguin updates target shady links, sometimes requesting link removals can do more harm than good.

This is because no one knows what Google considers a “good” link or a “bad” link.  Sure we can make some educated guesses, but that’s all they are – guesses.  I doubt there are even very many people at Google that know what constitutes a “good” link.

So if that’s the case, how is a website owner supposed to find those bad links?  What’s worse, what if you have identified a link as bad that in reality wasn’t?  That’s what I am going to talk about here – the downside of removing links.

Help My Site has disappeared from Google!

I’ve heard from a few people now over the past few months.  Their sites have been rolling along on the first page of Google for years in some cases.  Then all of a sudden the site is gone.  What do they do?  I wrote an article about this already and in it I talked about some issues which could have caused this outage.

But what if it’s not a site specific issue – what if the site isn’t gone – just penalized? What then?

In this case – if the site still exists in Google but you have noticed your rankings have dropped it likely means that Google penalized or removed some of your back links.  So if Google removed or penalized links, what can you do?  Well I wrote an article about this too which you can read here.

Now you know a few things you can try to do, let’s take a look at some consequences of link removals.

First let me say I am not a fan of link removals.  That’s because it is time consuming and often doesn’t result in many link removals.  Plus, as I said above, how do you know what is a good link or a bad link?

I mean, you can do all the leg work to determine if a link might be good or bad, but no one really knows.  In the end you could be doing even more damage by requesting a link removal that is actually a good link which will further lower your rankings.

This is one of the worst consequences of dealing with these links incorrectly – not only do you not remove the bad links, but you end up removing good links which further lowers your rankings.

Therefore I recommend new link building to offset those bad links.  Forget about wasting time trying to remove bad ones – chances are you won’t get too many removed.  Instead focus on new good links – ones Google will not penalize and go after those.  Your time will be much better spent that way.

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