Last Updated on 11 January 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
Google has been cracking down on artificial links created by site owners to increase PageRank (PR). The problem is that most site owners don’t know the rules for properPageRankand what qualifies as an artificial link.
An artificial link is any link that you purchased or placed on a site in an effort to increase yourPageRank. If you think you’ve been hit with Penguin, or you’ve received an “Unnatural Links” warning in Google Webmaster Tools, here are some tips on what links you should remove or include in your disavow file.
Most webmasters are guilty of including a link in a link directory. Link directories include websites that just list your site with a brief description and a link to your site. Some link directories let you specify keyword anchor text.
The link directory owner tries to boost his own PR, so yourPageRankis in turn increased. The whole process is a link scheme and against Google’s guidelines. You want to remove these links or place them in a disavow file in Webmaster Tools.
Article directories were the de facto way to create backlinks several years ago. The process involved creating several cheap articles, and then placing them on several article directories. The concept was good at first, but then the articles continued to drop in quality.
The end-result was that article directories became a spammer’s haven, and the quality of the articles was disregarded by article creators. If you place your articles on an article directory, you should have them removed.
Guest bloggers were popular and they are still popular today. The problem is that many blogs paid guest bloggers with a backlink to their own blog. The idea was that the guest blogger would gainPageRankwhile writing for free.
The main blogger got content, and the guest blogger gotPageRank. This seems innocent, but in fact it’s a link scheme. If you’ve guest blogged at several places, you should remove the backlink to your own blog. Most bloggers allowed guest bloggers to create a profile, so log in to your profile and remove your link.
Another option is “nofollowing” the backlink. When you add nofollow to the link, it does not pass PR, so you eliminate the link from harming your Google rank.
Like guest blog posts, forum signatures seem innocent. However, several site owners used forum signatures in a way to manipulatePageRank. If you have several backlinks from forum signatures, you want to remove those signatures.
It’s especially important if you’ve used keyword-rich anchor text in the forum signatures. Like guest blog posts, you can also add nofollow to the forum signatures to eliminate the links from thePageRankgraph and stop them from passingPageRank. Adding nofollow to links is just as effective as deleting the link.
It’s difficult determining which links are bad versus ones that are beneficial, but the above types of links are always problematic.
Remove these links or add them to your disavow file to eliminate any negative effects on your Google rank.
Internal links are the hyperlinks that only point within your own website or domain. The links on the menu bar and on the footer of your website include internal links. Also, links from pages to the contact page or too a particular product page on your website are some examples of internal links.
External links are the hyperlinks that point from one domain to another separate domain. External links can be links from your website to an affiliate program, or from your website to another website to provide additional information to the readers. It is important to understand the sites with different domains can also provide eternal links to your website domain in their page content as well. For example, if you publish an article with unique and informative content that will be useful for the reader, then another company might want to provide external links to your website in their content.
Links from the other sites are generally termed as “inbound” links to distinguish them from external and internal links.
Sometimes we are reluctant to use external links as nobody wants customers to click on the links that direct them away from their website. However, building external links to trustworthy authority sites (not to the sites that are perceived as spam by search engines) can help boost your searching engine ranking in Google’s search algorithm.
In short –
- External links are links that point to a separate domain
- Internal links are links that point to content within the same domain