When you want to make your website more popular by getting other websites to link to it, you might think that using free sources for links is an easy way to improve your website’s visibility on search engines. For many of our clients, these free links have actually caused problems. So, should all free website links be disavowed?
Think of these links as recommendations for your website. They show search engines that your site is trusted and important. But not all links are good. Some free link sources come from websites that are not trustworthy or relevant.
Getting lots of links might seem like a good idea, but if they are not from reputable websites, they can actually hurt your website’s reputation and how search engines rank it.
Still, the decision to ignore all free link sources isn’t the best answer. Disavowing links means telling search engines to ignore them when ranking your site. But doing this without thinking can make you lose good links too.
So, the right thing to do is to be careful and smart about it.
The first thing you need to do is look at your links closely and figure out which ones are good and which ones might be causing you trouble. Don’t just get rid of these free links though. Instead, choose wisely. Some of these free links could be useful and help your website.
The goal is to keep the good ones and remove the ones that are causing harm.
In the world of Search Engine Optimisation, it’s not just about saying yes to free links or saying no to all of them. It’s about understanding your links and making thoughtful decisions to make sure your website becomes more popular in a smart and safe way.
What are free sources of links?
There are ways to get links for free, like creating a blog and putting a link to your website in it. In the past, this was a common way to make your website more popular on search engines.
There are many websites where you can make a blog for free. Our top picks are:
However, just making blogs to get links back to your website isn’t a good idea. This is called ‘unnatural link building’. These are not really for people to read. They are only made to trick search engines.
If you’ve been doing this, it’s not recommended as the links you get this way might hurt your website’s reputation. If you’ve done this and you want to fix it you can use special tools from Google and Bing to tell them to ignore these bad links.
If this has been the case we encourage you to block these unnatural links using the disavow tools available.
Are all free blogs bad?
Deciding whether a blog link is good or bad depends on the situation. Some blogs are real and made by people who want to share their thoughts and gain followers. These kinds of links are usually okay to keep in your list.
But there are blogs that are only created to put links in them. These links can actually make your website perform worse on search engine results pages.
- Here’s how to identify a bad blog:
- There is lots of advertising on the blog.
- Random blog posts that link to different websites.
- Redirects that take you to another website.
- The links have anchor text that is overloaded with keywords.
- The website is not user-friendly.
- There is excessive use of links in the sidebar.
What can be done about bad incoming links?
If you find any of these bad links in the list of websites linking to your site you should visit each of those websites and decide which ones you want to stop linking to your site.
To do this you can use what is known as ‘disavow’ tools. With these tools, you can let search engines know which links you don’t want them to consider when ranking your website.
To use these tools you will need to create a list of websites or domains that have bad links pointing to your site. Tools like SEMRush are helpful when doing this.
Once you have a list of the domains you want to block, these can be added to the Google and Bing disavow tool and you should start to see an improvement in visibility after cleaning up your backlink profile.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is not an instant task and it may take a while for the search engine to recrawl and reindex the websites that feature the bad links you want to disavow.
While a disavow file helps Google to understand your preferences on certain links it doesn’t guarantee immediate removal of those links from its SERP. Google needs time to process the information.
By monitoring your website’s performance over time you can gauge the impact of the disavow process and your rankings and overall SEO.
If you’re experiencing challenges with your backlink profile our SEO experts can help you navigate the difficulties of link building.
Get in touch with our SEO team today and take the first steps towards optimising your website’s performance. We’re here to analyse, strategise and enhance your SEO journey for better results!