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How to Spot Low Value Backlinks to Remove

3:01 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,
I've been crawling through some clients' link profiles over the last couple of days and filtering out some links that I'm not altogether happy with. Some have a linking page authority of less than 20, which I'd say is 'poor quality'. Even if the content is amazing, the site needs time to mature and gain traction before links become valuable.

I suppose my question is, does anyone have an exhaustive list of sites, or at least types of sites that are perceived to be of low value? I'd say this would be useful to the community as a whole to be able to create a central north star in terms of links, what to get / remove and why.

Any thoughts on how to best present this would help also.

11:03 am on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Back, back, back in the old days when Google & Yahoo actually showed backlink data to the public it was interesting to see how they valued backlinks very differently. Some backlinks would skyrocket you up in Google but barely move you in Yahoo. You might want to be careful when trying to determine value using paid link analysis tools. The different paid tools don't always agree and you can bet that Google's secret valuation won't match up 100%.

The way I value backlinks is by how much referral traffic the link sends to me. If I have a backlink and it sends me 100 people a day then it is probably a good link. If I have a backlink that hasn't sent me a single referral in a year than that link probably isn't very useful.

I have used this method to greatly slash the paid link buys of my clients. The clients are usually very worried so I start slow and show them a little test. I usually end up saving them alot of $$$ by deleting non-performing paid links (that Google had probably negated anyway) while their Google rankings and conversions stay the same.
12:01 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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In my opinion the overall backlink profile, as well as the distribution of anchor text, should be the main considerations. The problems arise if most of the backlinks are of the same type, such as blog comments or directory listings, and/or if the same anchor text is used repeatedly. I wouldn't worry about "linking page authority" at all. In fact, I think it's good to have some backlinks from small obscure sites with no pagerank, since these won't appear to be purchased.