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Is it best to delete all these links or keep them as who knows they might have some worth?
Could these external spammy site really effect the sites SERPS? Many people say incoming links from bad neighbours can effect your ranking, but at the same time people say you can not control who links to you, so... Does anyone have any experience with this? Was there a great change when bad neighbour links were removed?
You mention deep linking fresh content, would these be links from external sites or more internal links? For example if the fresh content are from articles, should it be part of the link building strategy to build one links to these new articles? I´ve always relied on natural linking for such content.
I agree with you if you are talking about the lowest of the low quality links. I employed a link builder back in March for one of my sites. Within their link build came 4 links from bad neighbours. I got them to remove the links asap, however, i´m sure as a consequence my rankings took a hammering (came shortly after). For some reason it was as if my trust had been lost, since then I haven´t been able to get it back. Let´s hope after this never ending goog update the trust will be back.
My original post was talking more about "Spammy" links (eg free ads, spammy forum posts, basically links in which you can duplicate easily), I suppose not as extreme and obvious as bad neighbours. Do you think it is worth weeding out all the questionable links if possible, or is it not worth the effort?
I suspect you would do more harm than good removing those. Proving that you control the links just underlines spammyness
The fact is, ALOT of people reference thier own blog, or even their favourite site, in formum links. Well meaning "civilians" with their own crappy site or blog will link to you, or run an advert for you. It would not be sensible to penalise for these.
But, it really does depend on your backlink profile. A site that has attracted a large amount of forum and/or free advert links would be expected to be of some quality itself, and have therefore atracted valuable links. If you have the spam, but not the quality, you are going to lose Trust. So, primarily, I would make sure you have built a good link profile independant of the spam.
deep linking fresh content.
would these be links from external sites or more internal links?
No major difference, although external is better than internal.
Whatever. The point was: ignore the good links bad links subject, and focus on content, fresh content, new deep links to content, and content again...