With today's post I am happy to announce the launch of the Stone Temple Consulting YouTube Channel. And, we are kicking that off with a video interview I did with Bruce Clay on a hot topic – link pruning. As you probably know, Google's recent Penguin update focused on lowering rankings for sites that use questionable link building practices.
This is a hot topic! If you have been hit by Penguin, or are worried about future variations of the algorithm, this is a video you can't miss. In fact, regardless of your current situation, pruning the worst links out of your profile is a rock solid idea.
- Link pruning refers to the identification and removal of unnatural, non-organic, or generally spammy links from a link profile.
- In many cases, questionable link building tactics (buying links, spamming links) can result in an eventual loss of rankings.
- In the event of a loss of rankings (or warning from Google) due to unnatural link profiles, it sometimes makes sense to investigate a link profile, find the low quality links, and send requests to their webmasters for removal.
- Many times, getting a link removed from a webmaster can be as difficult, if not more difficult, then getting the link in the first place.
- The key to this process is persistence and communication with Google.
- Sometimes, the best you can do is send a list of the links you are trying to remove, and ask Google to discount them. Showing an effort to Google is always a good plan of action.
- When removing links, don't expect to return to your pre-penalty rankings. You must replace the spammy links that were detected with quality links, which can sometimes be a lengthy process.
- Link pruning should be considered every month. Ask yourself: What is the bottom 5 percent of links that I have in terms of quality? How can I remove these and replace them with quality links?