If you believe that your search engine rankings have fallen unnecessarily then one thing you can do is to look at your link profile. This is the range of links which are directly pointing to (i.e. “touching”) your website’s various pages. What you then can do is analyze the quality and type of the links which are pointing to your site.
Ideally, all of the links touching your website (home page and inner/interior pages) are:
- coming from quality websites
- relevant to your niche/industry
- have a wide mix of the text used in the links
Unfortunately this is not necessarily the case!
You may have links pointing directly to your website which are neither quality nor relevant to your industry. This could have happened because:
- your competition has sent “spammy” links to your website — these are links touching your site from domains focusing on topics such as adult, pharmaceutical, gambling or other sub-optimal subjects
- your company may hired a company which generated these links in previous years when they were a “loophole” which was inadvertently being rewarded by the search engines; but those links now are deemed to be negative
- other reasons
It is possible to have a “link profile cleanup” performed on your website. You can contact the sites directly and also notify Google to “disavow” links coming to your site. This process, however, is not necessarily simple to execute.
To clean up your link profile you will need a few things:
- as thorough a list of links pointing to (touching) your website
- the quality of the websites pointing to your website (using objective measures)
- relevance of the websites
- the keywords (text) used in the links pointing to your website
- a few other metrics
- properly setup Google Webmaster Tools account
You will need to analyze the links properly and then contact the site owners to remove links if you notice ones which are irrelevant and/or on adult sites. You then want to have links removed from sites which are “neutral” but are of low quality. The quality can be measured by Google PageRank, Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Domain Rank, or other objective measures. The minimum quality can be subject to discussion, so the “floor” can be set at different levels.
After a few days if you don’t hear back from the websites to remove your link then you can “disavow” them in Google’s Webmaster Tools. The process of doing this requires some finesse of spreadsheets, understanding URL structure, proper reporting, and accurate URL labeling.
Once the bad links are disavowed or otherwise “cleaned up”, you may start to notice an increase in your search engine results rankings. Of course, you need to have chosen the correct keywords, have proper on-page optimization, have quality and relevant links pointing to your site, a mixed array of keywords in the link text pointing to your site, and more.
If you need any help with this process then you are welcome to contact us for assistance.