It is possible your SEO strategy has produced excellent results so far in terms of your website’s ranking. You may have done excellent keyword research, looked at your competitors, optimised your website, acquired lots of backlinks to your site and making the most of what social media can offer.
With your website sitting high in the rankings you may think it is just a case of sitting back, relaxing, and only occasionally tweaking what you have done thus far. However, there is one action that you must complete and that is conducting a backlink audit. Without one your website could be in danger.
Everyone knows how important backlinks are, albeit there are conflicting theories as to how backlinks to a website should be acquired. You may have acquired your own backlinks in several ways, which can include social media, guest blogging, articles, third-party services and even paid services.
Google used to only count the number of backlinks to a website as a measure of its importance which subsequently influenced that website’s ranking. As a result, websites known as link farms appeared which offered to send hundreds and even thousands of links to anyone wishing to purchase them.
Over the past couple of years Google has started placing much more emphasis on the relevancy of links to a website, rather than the number. The reasoning behind it is they want the websites which appear in their results to be much more aligned to the searches that users have entered.
For example, a searcher may have entered the search term dog training. With the previous algorithm giving weight to the number of backlinks, a poor site with little or no useful content but with thousands of links coming from other sites with little or no relevance to dog training could still be on page one.
The difference with Google’s newer algorithm is that a site on dog training that has links coming from sites with lots of relevant information about dog training, but not necessarily a lot of backlinks, could rank higher than previously was the case.
With Google’s new strategy sites with poor backlinks, with no relevance or from doubtful sources can be penalised. On the low end, this penalty could range from the website’s ranking being lowered a couple of slots to the extreme of being de-listed from the search engine results altogether.
Just think about that for a moment. That would mean that your website would no longer receive any traffic whatsoever from the search engines. What negative impact would that have your sales, your profits and your income? In some cases, it could mean a website or company going completely out of business, literally overnight.
A backlink audit can prevent this from happening by analysing your backlinks and highlighting those which are relevant and those which Google might regard as suspicious. By removing or disavowing in the eyes of Google these dodgy links, you can give your website a clean bill of health, and keep it from the risk of being delisted.