We Paid Over $5000 For Link Building – What Happened?

This week’s Ask an SEO Question comes from Marlin at Bethel, who asks:

“I paid over $5,000 for SEO link building.

First the traffic increased.

However, then we lost our ranking on those keywords and our traffic was gone! What happened?”

Marlin, without seeing your backlink profile, I suspect your ranking has dropped because Google flagged new links as unnatural.

In other words, those links are of low quality,

As you mentioned earlier, and then decline, it is not uncommon.

For example, the link builder may have been getting good, relevant links initially, but moved to lower quality links as the link opportunities dwindled.

Google provides examples of “unnatural links” in its guidelines, including:

  • Bookmark site link.
  • Low-quality directories.
  • Forum comments with customized links.
  • Keyword-rich anchor text in articles and press releases, posted on sites other than your own.

You can view the complete list here: link plans,

Google will generally ignore this type of low-quality or spammy link.

John Mueller confirmed it in this Twitter thread in January 2022:

Rewind a few months October 2021 SEO office hours With Mueller when he was asked:

“Is the penguin penalty still relevant or are the less relevant/spammy/toxic backlinks more or less ignored by ranking algorithms these days?”

His answer sheds more light on what might have happened to your site.

Mueller explained that Google generally recognizes that something is problematic (ie, spammy links) and tries to ignore it, similar to the January 2022 tweet.

Yet he said the following:

“If we see a very strong pattern there it could be that our algorithms may well say that we really have a lost trust with this website and based on the big picture on the web at the moment, we should be able to get around more There needs to be more of a conservative side when it comes to understanding the content of this website and ranking it in search results.

And then you can see a kind of drop in visibility there.”

so what will you do now?

What to do when your ranking drops because of low-quality links

1. Check for Manual Action

This is the first thing I would do.

you need to see if there is any manual operation In Google Search Console.

If someone from Google has reviewed your website manually and found your site to be in violation of Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines, you will face manual action.

This means that Google will take steps to remove spam from search results.

The message will indicate the problem and you will have to move quickly to get it fixed.

To find out if you have a manual action, go to Google Search Console > . go to Safety and manual actions , manual actions to check.

If you don’t see a manual action in Google Search Console, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

You can still be affected by this Google’s algorithm And the problematic link will need to be fixed.

This leads to my next point.

2. Remove Low-Quality Links

If you’ve received manual action for an unusual link, see Google’s recommended steps; See Unusual links to your site Recommended actions,

The best thing to do if you determine that your site’s ranking is affected by bad links – whether by manual action or if you suspect an algorithmic effect – is to physically remove the links from the relevant sites. be given.

You have to access those websites to remove links.

This is a tedious process, and most of the time, other websites will ignore your request.

If you can’t remove those links, use Google’s rejection tool,

Basically, if it appears those links are harming your site, proceed with trying to clean them up, including disallowing them.

However, be very careful with rejected equipment.

I have seen people reject the official and helpful links of the site.

See Google’s warning:

“If used incorrectly, this feature could potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results.

We recommend that you only decline backlinks if you believe that your site contains a large number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links, and if you believe the links are causing you problems. ,

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you know if a link should be removed.

Here is a comprehensive guide to review and identify problematic backlinks: Too Many Links: Strategies for Rejection and Cleanup,

As I already mentioned, this is tedious but a necessary process if low-quality links are affecting your ranking.

Once you’ve cleaned everything up, focus your attention on getting high-quality, relevant links.

3. Focus on High Quality, Relevant Links

There are many ways to get good links pointing to your website.

Some tricks are easier than others, such as accessing websites that have already mentioned your company but haven’t been linked (ie, unlinked brand mentions) or recovering lost backlinks.

Other strategies are more complex and time-consuming, such as building a tool or guide, but they can be worthwhile.

There are many creative and non-spam ways to attract links.

If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Search Engine Journal’s Link Building Guide,

Marlin, it won’t be an easy process, but follow these recommended steps to get your traffic and ranking back up again.

more resources:

Featured Image: Mix & Match Studio / Shutterstock

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