Is Removing Bad Links Worth It?

Recently, a few potential clients asked if we offered “backlink removal services“. They felt their last SEO companies have been doing detrimental link building resulting in dropped rankings. And one of the requests they have for us is if we can remove the link the past SEO’s have gotten them. While bad links could be a problem to some degree, focusing on them instead of working on getting fresh quality links or our typical SEO campaign, isn’t the best approach.

We can work on removing links your past efforts have obtain. But keep in mind, many sneaky SEO’s get links from networks very hard to find the main contacts. Spending time removing links is very time consuming and could be a waste of time. It’s only worth doing if you can easily find the contact info and it’s obvious a spammy site with a bunch of ads or 100′s of other links on the very same page. Where do you draw the line on which links to remove is almost impossible. Do you only except links related to your niche, or above a certain PR?

If having a bunch of bad links was really detrimental, it’d be much easier for us to just build a bunch of negative links to the competition to make them drop. But Google has found ways around that.

Plus, if Google labels a site as not worthy of counting your backlink, they would just de-index that website and pretty be removing the links for you. If your rankings dropped, it not because bad links are making you drop. it’s because the links that were helping you before are no longer of value.

Google only counts the upper percentage of your links based on quality. In other words; Google only looks at your best links and uses those links to determine your rankings. The percentage of quality links is the important factor. So the best thing to do is offset the bad links (if any) with good links. Some speculations say Google only counts your best 10% of links, some say Google only counts your links that meet a certain guideline.

If you see any links that you really, really, think is hurting your website, then go ahead and try to remove them. Our job should be to focus on getting legitimate links. But for future clients that truly believe there are bad links holding them back from obtaining top rankings, SEOhaus does offer link removal services.

About James Harrison

James Harrison is the SEO Manager at SEOhaus.com. He is the brains behind SEO operations.
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  • Janus

    Thanks for sharing the advice, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I think the percentage of quality links is really the important factor. So the best thing to do is focus on building more quality links to offset the bad links, plus creating more engaging content that adds value to the readers.

  • http://komimarketing.com Joseph Chambers

    Google is going to release a link disavow like bing did.. will be much easier then!

  • John A.

    Nice post James!

    Came across this post when doing a search for link removal services, I’m having a tough time deciding how to move forward.

    I found a few different services, two that are spoken highly of on the net and came across a post on Seroroundtable about them too.

    Linkdelete.com and then Removem.com – both seem good, I like the idea of removem but it seems that they are really just a tool to help manage the process? I am a business owner and don’t want to be removing the links myself. I have better things to focus on.

    So that leads me to Linkdelete.com. I’m wondering if you have experience with them? It seems that they do everything for you and will work with you on deciding which links to remove.

    I hired a bad seo company, well in hindsight, that built links on a lot of low quality link networks that got deindexed. Not to mention other bad links that I haven’t a clue where they came from.

    From the looks of it they will contact the sites, manage the whole process and give me a final report that gets sent to Google.

    So again, have you worked with these guys yet?

    Thanks,
    John

    • http://jameseo.com James Harrison

      I don’t have any experience working with either one of those websites. If you have the budget to buy link removal services, why not give them a shot. Personally I still feel there are ways to make bad links good. I am also patiently waiting for Google to introduce their link disavow tool, so I can just tell Google not to count the links I’m not comfortable with. Bad links are not that detrimental yet, Google isn’t ready to open a can of negative seo worms. If there are actual tests showing bad links are bad, then I’d consider starting a negative seo brand reputation management co and give up the seo biz.