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Backlinks in SEO; identifying the bad ones

An Arrow to go down

Ever thought about why SEO specialists are slipping into the mailboxes, and just won’t ever give up? Well, it’s the backlinks in SEO that are making them constantly nag (I don’t call it that, people do) well-established websites.Quick review: Backlinks in SEO are the outbound links that another website give to your website. It’s basically when a website sources your content on their website, giving you a hyperlink in the process. Your website’s hyperlink on other websites is a means for the latter’s audience to drift to your website. Backlinks are an effective means of directing traffic from websites that already have an audience.Coming back….Okay, so Backlinks in SEO can really up your game regardless of how limited your content is. By limited, I mean the quantity. Be clear that if you have a limited number of articles/blogs on your website and their content has done justice to the topic, you are good to go.

What would win you a backlink?

That’s easy; content. What differentiates a ‘linkable’ website from a ‘non-linkable’ one is the content. When your aim is to get a backlink from a reputed website, your bargain chip is always the content.Remember the skyscraper technique? The skyscraper technique is when you produce content that is in demand and is better or more informative than the top-selling (as in ones that are sourced the most) ones.This way, you can reach out to sites that have linked to similar content and tell them that you have come up with a more comprehensive one that they can link back to.Content is rightfully the king and they are no second thoughts about it. Make sure your content is comprehensive, not repetitive, and an easy read.If you can’t seem to find the articles that could really be improved, there is always the option of extending the lists. A plethora of list-based articles are available. Pick one of the lists and extend it. Extending lists can be a hard nut to crack especially when there are already tons of similar lists available. You might get stuck after adding 5 more (you can squeeze in 5 easily, trust me). It will be challenging but remember the writers are often confined by the word limit so there has to be something that they have missed out.

How to approach?

Remember the nagging emails? Yes, that is how you approach websites. But obviously you don’t want to be the nagging one, do you?Keep the email very simple and brief and do not beg. Salesman tactics can ruin the already meek chances that you have. Yes I said ‘meek’ because high ranking websites get a lot of emails. The chances of them replying or reading your email for that matter are not as great.This is why you ought to reach out to as many websites as possible (websites that have linked the list/article that you modified).Email each of the websites just once.

Reach out to Authoritative Websites

The ‘well-established’ websites that I am talking about are the websites that have authority in Google. Websites that have a hefty number of backlinks with quality content are ranked higher in Google. As a website’s rank increases in Google, its domain score increases. The domain score speaks of the authority that the website has in Google. The maximum domain score that a site can have is 100. The closer to maximum a website’s score is, the higher is its authority.


So, instead of focusing on getting maximum backlinks, try getting a backlink from a website that has higher authority in Google. Google credits a website if it has a backlink from a high authority website. Who knows you could be that high authority website someday.

Bad Backlinks

Backlinks that are broken, link to spam, or are a part of PNBs (Private Networking Blogs) are termed as bad backlinks.Many people, in the search of finding an easy way out, end up opting for PBNs. PBNs are illegal and if a site is found to be a part of it, it is immediately penalized by Google. With Google’s algorithm improving every passing day, it has become very probable to get caught.Keep in mind that once your site is penalized, it will be almost impossible to restore its reputation in Google.Better wait than never.

Monitoring Backlinks

It’s 2019 and you can expect a tool for every teeny tiny feature of SEO. There are tools that can monitor backlinks on your website. These tools let you check which of the backlinks are broken. The tools won’t tag the broken links as broken but will provide you with the complete address and you can easily identify which one is broken.These tools even notify when you get a new backlink. There are a plethora of such tools available. Many are free. Could not get any easier, right?

Buying Backlinks

Buying backlinks in SEO is always an option. There are websites that let you buy backlinks in bulk. For novice websites, if struggling for backlinks is not an option, buying can help.But you have to be careful while buying. Many websites sell broken backlinks or links that expire after some time. Go for websites that are known to sell healthy backlinks. Ask around and don’t just rely on the list that you came across while surfing on the internet.

Go for broken link building

Sounds too much work? Trust me, the struggle is worth the reward. Let’s walk you through the process first.You will find many sites quoting a link that is now broken. Well, that’s your opportunity. The dead links are of no use to anybody and websites get rid of them as soon as they find them.You can recreate the content of the dead link. Since the link is now broken you can’t just visit it and get to know the content it was harboring. There are tools available that can do that for you.Once you get your hands on these links, recreate the content. Now that you have the content, start emailing the websites that are still quoting the broken link. Tell them about the broken link and provide them with a substitute i.e., your content. They will get rid of the broken link and if they like your content they can source your article instead (well, at least you can expect one of them to give you the backlink if not all).

Summing up

Backlinks in SEO are a real deal maker when it comes to the ranking of the websites. When talking about improving ranking, always remember that you need ‘Do-follow’ links, not the ‘No-follow’ ones. The Do-follow links account for improving the ranking of the website, not the No-follow ones.Stop looking for shortcuts and put in a little effort in the beginning. If you are lucky, you will see the results within the six months.