It is with great regret that WebMeUp is no longer available as an SEO tool. There is an alternative to WebMeUp however, check out my review of Positionly here.
A few years ago building backlinks was easy, you simply commented on a bunch of blogs, participated a couple of times on some popular forums each week, submitted your blog to a truck load of online directories, threw out a few articles on some article directory websites, posted a few guest posts with optimized anchor text links and you got your backlinks.
But things are a little different now, the SEO landscape has changed so much in just the last few years, and applying those methods today simply wouldn’t be as effective any longer. These days there are more effective ways of building quality “natural” backlinks to your blog, we’ll look at a few examples of those later on in the post, but first, lets look at a simple way to clean up your tarnished blog backlink profile.
Before you make a start understand this, achieving a clean backlink profile takes time. If your blog has thousands of backlinks then be prepared to put in a lot of work.
#1. Analyze your baclink profile quality
So the first step to achieving a cleaner backlink profile is to start assessing the quality of the links to your blog. Analyzing your links isn’t that hard to do, however and like I said, depending on how many backlinks you have, the process can take a considerable amount if time and can be tedious.
Anyway, so how do you know which links to your blog are dangerous and which are good?
Easy, by using an SEO tool that I recently reviewed a few days ago called WebMeUp. This tool has a very useful feature which allows you to assess and determine the quality of the backlinks pointing to your site or your blog, placing them into risk categories of dangerous, suspicious, neutral and trusted.
So once you’ve logged into your WebMeUp user panel, (signup here if you’re not yet using WebMeUp) (aff), add your blog and click on Backlinks > Profile > Links Penalty Risks. See image below.
If you click on the risk category “dangerous” you can start to analyze each link in this category in greater detail. The reports provide you with the following valuable information for each backlink:
- The backlink page
- Penalty risk percentage
- Anchor / Alt text
- Anchor URL
- Google PR
- Age of backlink
- IP address
- Alexa rank
- Date found
Ultimately the important information you really need to assess are the type of link, IP address or where the link is coming from and the anchor text or Alt text used for the link, also you want to check the percentage of likely penalty risk. To do this simply sort the links out by Penalty risk, see image below.
Again, going through these links can take some time, naturally we’re interested in the links that are placed in the suspicious and dangerous categories, but assess the dangerous ones first as these could potentially be the links that might be causing your blog to get penalized by Google.
#2. Contact website owners and request link removal
Once you’ve finished identifying all the dangerous and suspicious links you want to get rid of, you can begin the process of contacting the website owners to request the offending links to be removed. Unfortunately during this process it’s all about playing the waiting game to see if you get any response from the website owners. Based on my personal experience with this process, the chances of getting a response or achieving a solution to having a link removed is very slim! If you have zero luck with attempting to get the links removed yourself, you can then move onto the next step: creating a disavow list to submit to Google.
#3. Create a link disavow file
Google launched a useful too called the disavow tool which simply allows webmasters to tell Google which links to ignore as in not to affect PageRank.
You need to remember that the whole disavow process should only be considered if you strongly believe that you’ve done as much as you can to get the offending links removed yourself, as in put in requests to webmasters to remove the links. If you’ve done as much as you can and have had little success with that process, only then should you consider creating and submitting a disavow file. To find out more about disavowing backlinks check out the following article on Google webmaster.
Creating a link disavow file is simple, first you need to export all the links that are placed in the dangerous and suspicious category for download. Once you’ve saved the file onto your computer, open it up, then copy and paste the links into a blank Txt file (Windows Notepad). See images below.
There is a systematic way of create a disavow file that Google recommends using, the image below gives an example of how to construct your disavow file correctly before submitting it.
Once you’ve created your file, save a copy onto your computer, then log into your Google Webmaster tools account and access the disavow links tool. Select the domain you wish to submit the file to and upload it, then hit submit. You are done. Once again you now have to play the waiting game, or at least wait until the next Google algorithm refresh comes around and hope that there is some form of recovery.
#4. Keep tabs on your backlink profile clean up efforts
In addition to cleaning up your blog backlink profile and submitting your disavow file, you should consider making use of the management tools in your WebMeUp application to help you keep tabs on your efforts. For example, if you requested for some links to be removed from a particular website on a certain date, just make a note of it in the “comment section”, this way you’ll know when you requested for a link removal or submitted a disavow. See image below.
#5 Protect your trusted backlinks
One of the great features about the WebMeUp Backlink analysis tool is that you can group and manage your neutral and trusted backlinks, those are the links you want to protect.
In the category list for trusted links you can simply star them so that they are placed in your management folder. From their you will be able to do a host of things with your trusted links such as monitor their status, track their anchor text and any changes, monitor on-page factors and store essential details about the backlinks such as webmaster’s contact details etc. See image below.
#6 Build more smarter backlinks
Here are some quick tips and suggestions for building more natural, SEO friendly backlinks to your blog. Optimized anchor text links are out, and the three strategies below is what you should be doing to build backlinks.
- Use plain URL’s to link back to your blog or content, for example www.magnet4blogging.net
- Link back using the title of your blog (brand), blog post article title, for example: To learn how to blog smarter visit Magnet4Blogging.
- Make use of long phrases like most of the ones seen on this blog, for example: Writing an eBook for your blog is a must, and I want to teach you how to do it correctly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this tutorial to clean up you backlink profile, but regardless of your efforts, if you’ve done all you possibly can to try and get rid of those nasty links and you don’t see a recovery of any kind, as a truly last resort, you just might want to consider starting all over with a fresh blog or website.
I know this isn’t the news you want to hear, but if your blog is your business and you rely on search traffic for customers and sales, and you don’t have a loyal audience, there is little point in throwing in time, money and resources building a blogging business to not have enough traffic to boost your conversions, despite the fact that you can look at alternative traffic sources. To build a loyal audience you need traffic, and search engines play a crucial roll in driving lots of traffic, it’s the bitter truth. Please note that I’m not telling you that you should do this, I’m saying it might be something worth considering.
The very best of luck.